Springtime in Istanbul is beautiful, and our April walk is designed with that in mind…. We will explore the lovely Asian side neighbourhood of Kanlıca, an upscale Ottoman area where the nobility and wealthy constructed waterfront mansions, and combine this with visiting Hidiv Kasrı and its tulip gardens – spectacular during the time of the Lale Bayram.
Kanlıca, a pretty area with some beautiful and historic wooden mansions, has the Bülbül (Nightingale) Creek running into the Bosphorus at Kanlıca Bay, and a small nature park to the south. Across the Kanlıca Pier lies the Iskender Pasha Mosques, built by master architect Mimar Sinan in 1559–60.
Kanlica is famous in Istanbul for its yogurt, which we will sample in a local café. We will then stroll through the picturesque main street and up the hill to Hidiv Kasrı, passing attractive old houses, some of which have been renovated.
Hidiv Kasrı belonged to the last ruler of the autonomous vassal of Egypt and Sudan, who sought good relations with the Ottoman Empire. He visited Istanbul several times, and appointed an Italian architect to build him a residence here. We too can enjoy its magnificent view over the upper Bosphorus by climbing up the little tower, and on the upper floor we can gain an insight into the way of life of a Hidiv, a high-ranking official in the Ottoman Empire.
The mini-palace’s large, landscaped park is beautifully and planted (a favourite place for wedding photos!), and our visit should hopefully enable us to see the tulip gardens at their best.
Inside the Hidiv Kasrı we have opportunity for tea or lunch to celebrate the Lale Bayram together.