Ottoman’s Istanbul

Ottoman’s Istanbul

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Istanbul is a city born from the sea. Starting a colony of Megaran Byzantium settled here 2,700 years the pagans, Christian, and Muslim societies who settled here not onlybuilt their cities according to the unique topography of the land, but also —to varying degrees— preserved the monuments of the civilizations that had preceded them. However, when people settled in the coastal areas, considering going as far as 8500 BC, the dateof last finds. This urge to preserve has thus created a demonstrated continuity within the historical physiometry of the city. The urban order that had been Constantinople wascontinued in the Ottoman era. With the passing of hands, however, monumental mosques began to appear in the earlier Roman forums. A total of 112 of the best monumental buildings of Istanbul were selected for this book. The first selection was made based on the monuments remaining in the inner city, an area first delineated by Septimus Severus, and then expanded to include the districts added by Constantine and then, later, by Theodosius. This inner city area was also greatly expanded by the Ottomans as the districts after Beyazıt were augmented to include the avenue stretching to Topkapı that acts as the borders of the lands dividing the Marmara Sea from the Golden Horn. In doing so, for the purposes of this book the iner city was thus classified by these former borders into four distinct districts. The districts of Galata, Eyu¨p, and those lining the Bosphorus Strait, became the fifth sixth, and seventhdistricts to be covered in this work, while the city’s Asian-side districts of Üsku¨dar, Haydarpaşa, and Kadıköy became the eighth district. The monuments of Ottoman’s Istanbulthat the reader will discover in this book have been thus presented according to eight separate districts, and all have been listed in alphabetic order. FOREWORD Istanbul is a city born from the sea, and its extraordinarily long shoreline allowed it to retain the beauty bestowed upon it by nature and, in particular, by the Bosphorus– until the middle of the twentieth century. Adapting themselves to the local topography, the pagan, Christian and Muslim peoples who have settled here over the last –starting a colony of Megaran Byzantium settled here– 2,700 years have attempted to preserve the architectural heritage of their predecessors, thus maintaining a certain continuity in the historical appearance of the city. However, when people settled in the coastal areas, considering going as far as 8500 BC, the date of last finds. The Megaran colonists founded Byzantium on the slopes of Seraglio Point on the site where the Ottoman Imperial Palace would later be built. The city’s first harbor was located at Sirkeci on the Golden Horn. The city was enlarged by the Romans under Emperor Septimius Severus and reached its western boundary at Çemberlitaş along the city walls that ran from the Sea of Marmara to Sirkeci. This period also saw the construction of the Hippodrome, an integral part of the city’s life throughout its history. The new walls, beginning from the place where the Mausoleum of Constantine the Great once stood, traversed from the Golden Horn to the shore of the Sea of Marmara, joining it at the mouth of the Lykos (Bayrampaşa) River, where the remains of the great Eleutherios Harbor were recently excavated. But there is no archaeological evidence allowing us to trace the line of the walls themselves. Constantine constructed a large forum in front of a gate situated along the walls, and it was there that he erected the Column of Constantine, which is still standing today. The last set of walls of the Eastern Roman Empire were built by Theodosius II in the middle of the 5th century. These are the walls that remain today, but, naturally enough, they have undergone a large number of repairs both great and small since their first construction. Constantinople, as the city was then known, was the largest city in the Ancient World, covering an area of 1,440 hectares. The Great Palace of the Byzantine emperors occupied a large site extending from the Hippodrome (in what is now Sultanahmet Square) to the Marmara shore. The main axis of the city (known as the Mese) began at the Milion (the mile stone) on the western side of the Church of Hagia Sophia; the Augusteion was also situated there. The Mese, running from the Forum of Constantine (Çemberlitaş) to the Forum of Theodosius (Forum Tauri, now Beyazıt Square), was lined with colonnaded rows of two-story shops. After Beyazıt the road split into two, with a northern branch running to Edirnekapı and a southern branch to Yedikule. The southern branch passed through the Forum of Theodosius, the Forum Bovis (Aksaray) and the Forum of Arcadius (the old “Women’s Bazaar” at Cerrahpaşa). The northern branch passed through the Aqueduct of Valens (Bozdoğan Kemeri) on the slope running down to the Golden Horn, past the Mausoleum of Constantine the Great. It was here that Justinian erected the Church of the Holy Apostles. Constantinople retained the same layout, without significant changes, throughout the Ottoman period. The Golden Horn continued to serve as its inner harbor, and the city’s walls and gates were maintained after undergoing repair. A fortress was built at Yedikule, and the Mese remained the main thoroughfare from Beyazıt to Edirnekapı. The business center kept its traditional harbor-side location, while monumental mosques were erected in the old forums. Mehmed the Conqueror built his Complex and Tomb on the site of the Mausoleum of Constantine the Great and the Church of the Holy Apostles, converting many of the city’s churches into mosques. Mehmed’s achievements are of considerable symbolic significance insofar as he fulfilled the prophecy found in one of the most famous Hadiths of the Prophet, according to which he would be the founder of an Islamic capital on the site of the most illustrious Christian city in the world. He also founded a large district intended for settlement by Muslims, and built the Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) beside it. This book includes only the most important monuments of the Ottoman imperial capital. The building catalog reflects the extent of the city before the conquest, consisting of the area contained within the walls of Septimius Severus; the area outside these walls but within the walls of Constantine; and, finally, the area between the Constantinian and the Theodosian walls. As this last area expanded massively beyond Beyazıt Square, the road to Topkapı was adopted as the dividing line between the Marmara and Golden Horn districts. Hence, the area within the walls has treated as four separate regions, with Eyüp-Golden Horn as the fifth, Galata-Beyoğlu as the sixth, Üsküdar-Kadıköy as the seventh, and later settlements on the Bosphorus as the eighth region. Monuments located further outside the center of the city comprise a ninth section. The monuments discussed in this book are thus arranged in nine chapters lettered A to I, each chapter dealing with a different region of the city. Doğan Kuban Anadoluhisarı, March 2012 CONTENTS FOREWORD THE CITY: ITS IMAGE AND DEVELOPMENT A SULTANAHMET-SİRKECİ Tomb of Mahmud II Tomb of Selim II Fountain of Ahmed III Atik Ali Pasha Complex Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia Hamam (Haseki Hamam) Hagia Eirene Church Beşir Agha Complex Köprülü Complex Little Hagia Sophia Mosque Mahmud Pasha Complex Nuruosmaniye Complex Rüstem Pasha Medrese (Theological School) Sirkeci Railway Station Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Complex (Kadırga) Sultanahmet Mosque and Complex Topkapı Palace Zeynep Sultan Mosque B BEYAZIT-EMİNÖNÜ Abdülhamid I Complex Bayezid II Complex Bodrum Mosque Damat İbrahim Pasha Complex and Direklerarası Kalenderhane Mosque (Kyriotissa Monastic Church) Kapalıçarşı (Grand Bazaar), Sandal and Great Bedesten Koca Ragıp Pasha Complex Kuyucu Murad Pasha Complex Laleli Complex Recai Mehmed Efendi Primary School and Sebil Rüstem Pasha Mosque Süleymaniye Complex Şebsafa Hatun Mosque Şehzade Complex Tahtakale Hamam Valide Han (Caravanserai) Yenicami Complex

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