German traces in ottoman istanbul: The kaiser Wilhelm fountain

Ceren Göğüş, Zeynep Kuban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1901 German Kaiser Wilhelm II commissioned a fountain in İstanbul as a gift for Sultan Abdülhamid II and his subjects. The fountain was not only a symbol of the amity between these rulers and their two nations, but also stood as an architectural embodiment of its creator. Wilhelm II was personally involved in the design phase; he chose the plan and the style, also supervised the entire creation process. By the time it was completed, it had already become a monument to himself. German in construction and design, the fountain was representative of the revivalist style of its time. It belonged in the Ottoman capital with its Neo-Byzantine style. Besides being born out of Wilhelm II’s personal preferences, the choice of style conveyed fragments of İstanbul’s past as well. Thus, history of the site became one of the factors contributing to the fountain’s design. German Fountain, also known as Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain represented a middle ground between the Ottoman and German cultures of the time. Furthermore, it was to become a souvenir from an era which left profound vestiges in both of these empires and their subsequent future.

Translated title of the contributionKayzer Wilhelm Çeşmesi, osmanlı Istanbul’unda alman izleri
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalA|Z ITU Journal of Faculty of Architecture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Faculty of Architecture. All rights reserved.


  • German fountain (Alman Çeşmesi)
  • Neo-Byzantine
  • Wilhelm II


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