Abraham Paşa Grove
Beykoz Grove is one of the largest in Istanbul. The actual name of the grove is Abaraham Pasha Grove. Abraham Eranyan lived between 1833-1918 and was the son of an Armenian moneylender. A pleasure-seeking and joking character, Abraham Pasha spoke exceptional Arabic and French apart from Turkish. He was into gambling, hunting and entertainment. The Pasha was both the butler and a close friend of Sultan Abdulhamid II.
The Abraham Pasha Grove is open to public since the Second Constitutional Monarchy. The Pasha worked hard on his grove, the hills of the grove overlooking the Bosphorus were arranged by French landscapers. He had mansions, birdhouses, artificial caves, pools and waterfalls built in the grove. The grove was expropriated and tranferred to the treasury in 1887 due to its military importance, and part of the grove was opened to public again after the declaration of the second constitutional monarchy under the name “Independence Garden”. The small theater inside the grove burned down in 1937. There are rare endemic tree species such as Sequoia sempervirens, Calocedrus decurrens, Ulmusx Bollandic.
Abraham Pasha Grove stood upon 2.200 thousand square meters but it was divided in time. Today, Beykoz Tree Nursery stands on a part of the grove. The oldest tree nursery in Istanbul, the Beykoz Tree Nursery was established in 1934 under the Governor Muhiddin Üstündağ. The tree nursery includes the old Arpacık Farm, and offered gardening education to the students of elementary and secondary schools around the area.
Today, the grove contains 2.873 square meters of open area, 711 square meters of restaurant section and a facility that can host 1.000 people, operated by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The grove welcomes hundreds of citizens in the weekends with its children’s playgrounds and hiking parkours.