The Emirgan Park (Turkish: Emirgan Korusu or rarely Emirgan Parkı) is a historical urban park located in Emirgan neighborhood at the Bosporus in Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the largest public parks in Istanbul.
In the Byzantine era, the entire area, where today the park stretches, was covered with cypress trees and known as "Kyparades" or "Cypress Forest". It became known as "Feridun Bey Park", when the uninhabited land was granted in the mid-16th century to Nişancı Feridun Bey, a Lord Chancellor in rank in the Ottoman Empire.
In the 17th century, Ottoman sultan Murad IV (reigned 1623-1640) presented the estate to Emir Gûne Han, a Safavid Persian commander, who surrendered his sieged castle without any resistance, and followed him back to Istanbul. The name "Feridun Bey Park" was changed to "Emirgûne", which in time became corrupted to "Emirgan".
During the centuries, the estate's owner changed several times, and by the end of the 1860s, it was owned by Khedive Ismail Pasha (reigned 1863-1879), Ottoman governor of Egypt and Sudan. The area was used as the backyard of a large wooden yalı he built down at Bosporus. Further, he built within the park area three wooden pavilions, which are still existing.
The heirs of the Khedive family sold the estate in the 1930s to Satvet Lütfi Tozan, a wealthy Turkish arms dealer, who granted the park grounds, the three pavilions included, later in the 1940s to the City of Istanbul during office of Governor and Mayor Lütfi Kırdar (1938-1949).
The park, owned and administered today by the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, covers an area of 117 acres (470,000 m2) on a hillside, and is enclosed by high walls.
Inside the park with two decorative ponds are plants of more than 120 species. The most notable rare trees of the park's flora are: Stone Pine, Turkish pine, Aleppo Pine, Blue Pine, Eastern White Pine, Maritime Pine, Japanese Cedar, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce, Atlas Cedar, Lebanon Cedar, Himalayan cedar, Beech, Ash tree, Sapindus, Babylon Willow, Hungarian Oak, Colorado White Fir, Maidenhair tree, California incense-cedar, Coast Redwood and Camphor tree.
Many jogging tracks and picnic tables make the Emirgan Park a very popular recreation area for the local people, especially during the weekends and holidays. The three historic pavilions, called after their exterior color as the Yellow Pavilion, the Pink Pavilion and the White Pavilion were restored in time between 1979-1983 by the Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey under its CEO Çelik Gülersoy, and opened to the public as cafeteria and restaurant.
The Emirgan Park is closely associated with the tulip, the traditional flower, which gave its name to an era (1718-1730) of the Ottoman Empire. A special garden was established in Emirgan Park in the 1960s to revive the city's tradition of tulip cultivation. Since 2005, an annual international tulip festival is organized here every April making the park attractive and very colorful with these flowers.
( source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emirgan_Park )
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