Close to the Iraqi Border, İshak Paşa Sarayı is Truly on the Edge
Pashas, sultans, belly dancers, Scheherazade, and visions of 1001 Arabian Nights danced in my head as we headed to this palace in the farthest reaches of Eastern Turkey. The İshak Paşa Sarayı is just not a place many people go. It’s located tucked up in near the borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Really the only way to get there is by car, and you know we love a road trip! This one was dusty and dry, but at the same time new and exciting. It’s trips like these that make us feel like bonafide travelers, so as we drove the winding road to the top of the craggy mountain we were sitting forward in our seats, taking it all in.
It was a hot Turkish day, probably well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We really weren’t prepared for the blast of heat as we exited our air-conditioned jeep. We’d been driving for a few hours, stopping occasionally to take photographs, enjoying the June wildflowers, the many beekeepers, the goats, donkeys, and children that are ever present in this landscape. So, when we had parked the car, gaping at the tall, intricately-carved stone gate, we forgot how hot it was.
The sun was blinding, but it didn’t stop us from admiring the mix of architectural techniques, the ornate decorations, and the majesty of the site on which the palace was built. It was obviously a great strategic location, a bastion of safety for the many caravans of the silk route that the Ottoman sultans and pashas wanted to protect. It signified wealth.
The İshak Paşa Palace is a place of dreams. Hardly anyone visits; the interior is all but empty, and the harshness of the weather coupled with its remote location all work against it, but if you have a chance to visit, go!
Here are some more photos to enjoy.
Would you like to visit the İshak Paşa Sarayı?