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Intricate Iznik Tiles 💙 still mesmerising fashion today

August 28, 2015

I have always loved colourful tiles, especially ones with designs which adorn floors or walls. Walking through The Harem in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul a few weeks ago I came across the most beautiful, intricately designed tiles I had ever seen.

From inside the walls of The Harem in Istanbul

These tiles are from the world renowned range of İznik pottery, named after the town in western Anatolia where it was made, it is a decorated ceramic that was produced from the last quarter of the 15th century until the end of the 17th century. The meticulous designs combined traditional Ottoman arabesque patterns with Chinese elements. In the time of the Ottomans the blue and white colours that make up Chinese pottery was adored, but by adding other more vivid colours the Iznik tiles were favoured.

images from beautiful tiles inside The Topkapi Palace Istanbul

In Turkish the traditional tiles made in Iznik are called ‘Iznik Chini’ and in the Ottoman reign Iznik pottery was the official gift of the Ottoman Palace to many other foreign dignitaries, while the “chini” tiles were used in palaces and mosques alike.

These days the beautifully designed tiles are still reproduced using colours such as a striking cobalt blue, sage green, bright emerald green and bole red. It is still produced at Kütahya, about 200 km south of Istanbul, principally for the tourist trade and in imitation of Iznik ware. 

I saw in Turkish Vogue just this month that the world renowned watch maker Patek Phillipe has taken inspiration from the amazing Iznik tiles and used the designs on the face of their new line of watches.

Patek Phillipe watch inspired by Iznik tiles (image taken from Vogue Turkey)

A beautiful piece of Turkish history which will still add beauty to any home today. Find out more here –

From → City guides, Travel

  1. Nice share. You can browse online for the Iznik tiles Store.

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