THE THREE-IWAN OTTOMAN DIVANHANES

Abstract

Author(s): Alev ERARSLAN

In Islamic architecture, the wide spaces in palaces that served the purpose of state administrative centers reserved for discussing state affairs, meetings of the Council, receiving ambassadors and other ceremonial occasions, as well as the rooms in palaces, pavilions, mansions, kiosks and shoreside houses belonging to royalty or statesmen, where the residents received their guests, were called “divanhane” (reception halls), impressive structures in terms of their layout and their powerful interior decoration. The tradition of the divanhane among the Turks first appeared in the palaces of the Qarakhaniyan, Ghaznavid and Great Seljuks. The tradition of the divanhane continued in Anatolia in the Seljuk palaces and kiosks and was also widely embraced in Ottoman architecture. The classic Ottoman divanhane was one in which the preference was a three-iwan layout containing a domed fountain in the central space that led into the open area of the “sofa”. The aim of this article is to present the layout scheme of the “three-iwan” divanhane, which was one of the divanhane layouts of Ottoman architecture that was used as from the end of the 17th century, not only for pavilions and kiosks, but also in residential plans of mansions (konaks).

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