Despite a lack of many Ottoman architectural flourishes, Turkey’s Ishak Pasha Palace has still managed to retain much of the opulence and grandeur of the empire despite having been abandoned for years, frequented only by picture-snapping tourists.
Built over an entire century by generations of the Pasha family, the Middle Eastern-inspired arches and domes of the sprawling palace have survived for over 400 years. Sitting near the Iranian border, the architectural design of the palace is heavily influenced by its neighboring culture, forgoing the intricate spires of traditional Ottoman buildings. The palace was outfitted with a dizzying array of facilities and amenities including a bakery, a mosque, dungeons, and even a harem. All with a crude central heating system!
Despite all of its decadent finery, the heyday of Ishak Pasha Palace was not to last. With the fall of the Ottomans came the abandonment of the palace, leaving it to rot on its strategically advantageous perch. To this day the halls of the palace remain empty although the site is now a protected historical landmark.
Visitors to the palace can still look upon the windswept courtyards and empty halls, taking in the legendary look of the palace’s silhouette. Ishak Pasha Palace was even featured on the back of the Turkish 100 lira bill, cementing its place as a cultural icon.