The only building from the Tersane Palace, one of the largest three palaces of Istanbul, is the Aynalıkavak Pavilion. Sultan (Mad) Ibrahim was born in the first palace built by Ahmed I due to its closeness to Okmeydanı and Eyüp Sultan. As Sultan Ibrahim grew up, he transformed it into a Tersane Palace, adding various new buildings. After the 1678 fire, new mansions and summer palaces were added through repairs and arrangements. One of these newly added ones is the Aynalıkavak Pavilion.
According to the rumor regarding the name of the Aynalıkavak Pavilion, the construction was started to be befitting the crystal Venetian mirrors presented as gifts by the Doc of Venetia to the Sultan as no flat window glass could be produced in the Ottoman Empire. When giving this order, the Sultan has asked for a summer palace befitting the “Mirrors tall as poplar trees”.
A treaty which was an annex to the Small Kaynarca Treaty of 1799 was signed at this location by parties five years later.
In 1792, the Aynalıkavak Pavilion was repaired and transformed into the “Biniş Pavilion”. Like in other summer palaces, the wooden domes on which decorations are most concentrated somewhat reminiscent of the sky, which were masterpieces, have added magnificence to the divanhane’s own magnificence. The square middle section of the divanhane in the direction of Okmeydanı has beveled corners with three spaces equipped with sofas; instead of the fourth, a large shade with eaves have been added to the outside. The divanhane is at the very end of the “axial” layout. Behind it, there is a longer and wider than traditional hall which brings together the other areas on its either side. This long hall terminates in an eyvan. Hence, the fact that a glance to two directions has been assured is a proof that the summer palace has been used both for shooting arrows and also for watching the navy.
The submission room beside the divanhane has been decorated in line with the trends in the Selim III period. The summer palace, which has been built in two storeys because of the sloping terrain, has service chambers in the lower floor. The summer palace which has managed to maintain its look in the Selim III period through various repairs has served as a museum for a while.
The Aynalıkavak Pavilion is the only building that can be a reminder of those glorious periods of the Golden Horn which the Ottomans took a liking to as much as the Bosphorus of which the two banks they filled with seaside mansions and palaces.