Monday, May 26, 2014

Istanbul 2014 - Gulhane Park "Istanbul Tulips Festival"

Date of visit: 6th April 2014

Feeling blessed when surrounded with sweet smells of blue lavenders

Every April since 2006, the city government in Istanbul has planted millions of tulips in Istanbul's parks, avenues, and traffic roundabouts. Mostly everywhere and anywhere where there is open ground. Because of this fact, we have scheduled our trip from March to April resulting 2 days advance leave application due to short of leave entitlement.

Unique pastel colors of Tulip in Suleymaniye Mosque compound

Yellow tulips in Yeni Camii

We were blessed being able to witness in person during our stay in this historic city, i.e. from 4th till 7th April 2014. To us, it was even glorious as spring flower festival with brilliant splashes of color was on every direction you see, including a beautiful smell lavenders that really able to boost your mood. The tulips begin to bloom around the end of March or beginning of April, depending on the weather. They bloom for several weeks and may delight the eye and the spirit for nearly a month. The municipality uses domestic producers for the festivals, mainly grown in Cumra, a town of Konya but other villagers in Sillvri, Catalca, Pamukova and Gevye also grown them. 

Maroon and Yellow tulips at Hippdrome Square with Hagia Sophia & German Fountain as backdrop
Multi colors Tulip in 5th Courtyard of Topkapi Palace

April may not be as rain-free as May or June, but it usually has moderate temperatures. It's indeed a great time to visit Istanbul. The tulip is one of Istanbul's traditional symbols. Brought to the city from Iran centuries ago, it was favoured and cultivated here until tulip-love became a mania. In the so-called Tulip Period of Ottoman history, a rare tulip variety could be sold for a higher sum.

Happiness overloads when surrounded in Red tulips - Suleymaniya Mosque

Open park at Aksaray
White tulips, so pure, so sinless look

Gulhane Park means "Rosehouse Park" received it’s name from a Persian word Gulkhana @ "house of flowers". It is a historical urban park in the Eminonu district of Istanbul located adjacent to and on the grounds of the Topkapı Palace. The south entrance of the park sports one of the larger gates of the palace. It is the oldest and one of the most expansive public parks in Istanbul. Entrance is free to all. According to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) website, more than 1.3 million tulips from 63 kinds were planted in Gulhane Park for 2014 Tulips Festival where the festival was officiate on the day of our visit but in different location, Emirgan Woods. The event takes place from 1st till 30th April 2014 but the bloom stays for 2 months.

Blue Lavenders at Gulhane Park
Gulhane Park
The Rosehouse Park (Gulhane) was the place where the 1839 Edict of Gulhane was proclaimed. The edict launched the Tanzimat reforms in the Ottoman Empire, which modernized the empire and included changes such as the equalization of all Ottoman citizens, regardless of religion, before the law. The proclamation was made by Grand Vizier Mustafa Resid Pasha, a leading statesman, diplomat, and reformer in the Empire.

Gulhane Park was once part of the outer garden of Topkapı Palace and mainly consisted of a grove. A section of the outer garden was planned as a park by the municipality and opened to the public in 1912. The park previously contained recreation areas, coffee houses, playgrounds etc. A small zoo was even opened within the park. The first statue of the first Turkish President Kamal Ataturk was erected in the park in 1926. At present, the zoo was removed, fun fair and picnic grounds affecting an increase in open space was refurbished. The excursion routes were re-arranged and the big pool was renovated in a modern style. With concrete structures removed the park regained the natural landscape of the 1950s, revealing trees dating from the 1800s.

The Museum of The History of Science and Technology in Islam is located in the former stables of Topkapı Palace, on the western edge of the park. It was opened in May 2008 by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The museum features 140 replicas of inventions of the 8th to 16th centuries, from astronomy, geography, chemistry, surveying, optics, medicine, architecture, physics and warfare. I wish to recommend for those who has more time to include a visit the museum when visiting Gulhane Park. 

I hope and prays that all photos shared in this entry would please all of you who read this post.

Note: from various sources.
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