Arslan (Lion) and Arslanhane’s (Arslan-house) in the Ottoman Building Culture
Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı, İstanbul/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Arslan symbol in Turks, Arslan reliefs, lion in Ottoman building culture, Arslanhane.
Figured ornaments fell behind in the Ottoman Empire, which established the decoration equation in the building culture in the era of the principality on the dome decoration and calligraphy. The figured decoration used in examples such as Gebze Sultan Orhan Mosque, Hoşap Castle, Jerusalem Arslanlı Gate, inn, bridge, and aqueduct continued to bear the ancient cultural codes in limited numbers. Information about the symbolic value and function of the lion figure, whose usage characteristics specific to the Ottoman period, in buildings will be discussed in this article. Lions, which continue to feed the Turkish culture with their symbolic meanings, took part in hunting ceremonies in the Ottoman Empire, etc. They continued to take place with their concrete assets and to be a part of the ceremonies in Arslanhane, an institutional structure for Arslanhane’s building, which is a place where wild animals were sheltered and trained with a team of 100 people to be brought into the public in ceremonies, especially during the expedition and the peace, is a building that is tried to be identified and although there are many researches on it, the uncertainty about its location and structure continues. In this article, the literature about the Arslanhane buildings in Istanbul, whose exact location has not been determined, with the reflection of lion symbolism and decoration in the Turkish culture and especially in the Ottoman building culture will be investigated through the documents from the General Directorate of Foundations and Directorate of Ottoman Archives, and new results will be reached.