Byzantine historians wrote about this lovely spot on the Asian side of the Istanbul Strait, which later became one of the imperial parks known as Kandil Bahçesi during the Ottoman era (Lantern Garden). Several sources use the name Bagçe-i Göksu, which dates back to the 7th century, but it was popularized by Sultan Murad IV (1623–1640), who renamed it Gümüş Selvi (Silver Cypress).
Divittar Mehmed Paşa, a minister in the court of Mahmud I (1730–754), constructed a two-story timber palace on this waterfront, and it was used throughout the reigns of Selim III (1789–1807) and Mahmud II (1754–1806). (1808-1839).
The present stone pavilion or royal lodge was built in the same style as Dolmabahçe and Ihlamur during the reign of Mahmud’s son Abdülmecid (1839–1861) when western influence on Turkish architecture was at its height.
Nikoos Balyan designed and built the Küçüksu Pavilion in 1857. The pavilion has a basement and two main stories, with the basement housing a larder, kitchen, and servants’ quarters on a 15 by 27-meter plot of land. The layout of the first and second floors is similar to that of a traditional Turkish home, with four corner rooms that open onto a central gallery. This pavilion was built for the sultan’s brief stays when he went on hunting trips through the woods or on other country excursions. Instead of high walls, Küçüksu had cast-iron railings with gates on all four sides. Even more ornate embellishment was added to the exterior during the reign of Abdülmecid’s younger brother Abdülaziz (1861–1876). The pavilion’s ancillary structures have long since been demolished.
Various western motifs adorn the elaborate seaward façade and the double flight of steps that sweep exuberantly around the ornamental pool and fountain. The furnishings and decorations inside echo the European style established on the exterior by Sechan, the stage designer at the Vienna State Opera.
Carton-pierre molding and painted designs adorn the ceilings. Küçüksu is like a museum of 19th-century fireplace design due to the large number of fireplaces made of Italian marble in a wide range of colors and styles. Each room features elegant parquet floors with unique patterns and is decorated with furniture, carpets, and paintings that are reminiscent of those found in European homes. Küçüksu Pavilion served for a time as a state guest house following the founding of the Turkish Republic, and it is now a museum palace open to the general public.
After years of neglect, the pavilion was given an extensive makeover in 1994, and now the garden, parkland, nearby fountain, and quay are being transformed into a park where the public can enjoy picnics and excursions as they have for centuries. Once construction is finished, the Küçüksu Pavilion Garden can be rented out for exclusive gatherings.