The New Garden

End of 18th century

İstanbul Research Institute

İstanbul Research Institute
İstanbul, Türkiye

Commissioned by Selim III (1789-1808) and built between 1789 and 1791 during the construction of the Şevkiye Pavillion behind it, this garden is distinct from the traditional Ottoman gardens in terms of its geometric and axial design. Overall, the garden bears a close resemblance to its French counterparts, which may have been why it is named the “New Garden” (Yeni Bahçe) or the “French Garden” (Frenk Bahçesi). In Melling’s plan of the Topkapı Palace, the two circular pools stretched along the north-south axis, the small round clearings that circumscribe the pools, and the road that connects them to one another constitute the backbone of the design. To the east and west of this are the smaller round clearings designed in perfect symmetry as well as narrow paths that perpendicularly intersect the clearings. The juxtaposition of the south pool on the same axis as Şevkiye Pavillion proves that the pavillion was taken into consideration in the design of the garden. It is known that Selim III wanted to commission Melling to build a new palace reminiscent of French palaces to replace the existing Topkapısı Waterfront Palace and that due to Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, the project Melling designed with Kauffer was never brought to life. It seems probable that the New Garden was designed by Melling, who previously landscaped the gardens in Hatice Sultan’s palace in Defterdarburnu.


  • Title: The New Garden
  • Date Created: End of 18th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 23,5 x 180 cm.

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