Baghdad Kiosk

The Baghdad Pavilion The construction of the Baghdad Pavilion began just as Sultan Murad IV embarked on his Baghdad Campaign in April 1638. By the time the sultan returned in June of the following years, the pavilion’s decorations remained unfinished and the building could only be completed after the sultan’s death on 8th February 1640. This structure is the most unique and beautiful example of pavilion architecture. Raised atop the octagonal foundations is a vaulted cellar with stone arches resting on pillars seven meters in height. In three of the pavilion’s recesses there are doors while in the fourth there is a fireplace. The lower and upper floors both have four windows each. The pavilion has a rather classical décor with cushioned divan seats along the walls, in which there are niches covered with green and blue 15th-century İznik tiles. The floral patterns found on the dome are done on gazelle leather, the style of the time. The window shutters and cabinet doors are of ebony with mother-of-pearl, turtle shell, and ivory inlay. The classical fireplace is one of the Baghdad Pavilion’s most unique elements. The fireplace’s interior is plated with lead; a precaution against fire. The two sides of the fireplace are decorated in exquisite ceramic tiles featuring bird figures. Two other important works found in the Baghdad Pavilion are the hanging ball inside a tombac grille and the silver brazier which was a gift of French king Louis XIV, both of which are traditional symbols of sovereignty. The Baghdad Pavilion, originally built to commemorate the reconquest of Baghdad by Sultan Murad IV in the mid-17th century, is Topkapı Palace’s best preserved building. It was also here that the Cabinet of Ministers (Meclis-i Vükelâ) met during the last years of the Ottoman Empire.