Located in the private second court, also called the Inner Garden, the 19th century Observation Pavilion was used by Abdülhamid II to watch the spectacular view of Istanbul. The pavilion, located on the edge of the garden next to the wall, has a panoramic view, especially from the attic.
The two-story Victorian style pavilion has a basement and an attic. The basement and the two floors above are designed similarly. The ground floor was used for the servants quarters. The other floors were decorated for sultan’s daily needs.
The interior of the attic, overlooking the Bosphorus, Marmara and Golden Horn, was particularly designed for observation. Abdülhamid II enjoyed coming here often, as he kept himself distant from the public. Apart from his visits to Dolmabahçe Palace twice a year and to Topkapi Palace once a year on religious holidays, he did not like appearing in public. Abdülhamid II watched the people, but he was not seen. Probably, coming to the Observation Pavilion satisfied him, as he enjoyed using his Zeiss binoculars.
The old Ottoman palaces always had special pavilions for observation purposes. Topkapi Palace had the Procession Pavilion (Alay Köşkü) in the Gülhane Park, located across from the Sublime Porte (Bâb-ıÂli). Dolmabahçe Palace had the Glass Pavilion (CamliKöşk).
It is located in the 2nd Court.