Saturday, 21 July 2007

The View from Hamdi

Hamdi Et Lokantası (Hamdi Meat Restaurant) is one of the best restaurants in Istanbul, not last for its spectacular views across to Galata, up the Golden Horn, and down to Old Istanbul. And a FABULOUS place to rest weary feet for a cold beer and smoe food in the afternoon.
It was from Hamdi's terrace that I took the shots of Galata and Yeni Camii.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Galata Bridge

Some pictures of the Galata Bridge as it is now (well, May 2006) and, below, the older bridge which burned down in 1992.

The current bridge is the 5th Galata Bridge.

Can anyone who knows Istanbul guess where the first photo was taken from??? I shall reveal it soon.

12 August 1989

Friday, 30 March 2007

A bit of Paris in Istanbul

This stand is located in the area outside the Yeni Cami.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Corn for sale

In the area outside the New Mosque

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Yeni Camii (New Mosque)

New Mosque (left) and Spice Bazaar (right)

New Mosque and Spice Bazaar from Hamdi restaurant

New mosque (foreground), and Süleymaniye mosque on hill behind

Interior of New Mosque, with blue Iznik tiles

Looking out fron the New Mosque

Started in 1597 and completed in 1663. This mosque is very prominent, being located near the waterfront at one end of the Galata Bridge.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Bazaar)

Not only a place to get exotic spices, this market, estabblished in the early 1`7th century is a good place to stock up on miscellaneous aphrodisiacs.

It was built as pary of the Yeni Camii (New Mosque) complex, which dominates the waterfront at the foot of the Golden Horn. It was built with money paid as duty on Egypyian products, hence the name in Turkish. In English it is usually called the Spice Bazaar.

The next entry will be on the Yeni Camii.

Entrance to the Bazaar, 20 Nov 1990

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Between the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar - shopping streets

The streets between the Covered (Grand) Bazaar and the Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar down by the Golden Horn are always thronged with people. You can buy every imaginable household item in these streets.

Damping down the dust outside the shop.

1989 - no difference to the photos above which are from May 2006

Sunday, 28 January 2007


My friend Tuncay has a shop right in the wall of the Blue Mosque. We met Tuncay when we were living in Istanbul in the early '90s when he had a carpet shop in the Covered Bazaar. Several years ago he moved out to this location, which is really gorgeous. We have several kilims, sumaks and afshars bought from Tuncay, who like the best of carpet sellers is part psychologist, part philosopher!

The view from upstairs at Tuncay's shop, looking out the little window.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Blue Mosque

So many words have been written about this mosque, and of course, comparisons made betwen it and Aya Sofya (usually in the latter's favour), that it's pretty impossible to add more. I do love visiting here because it is a working mosque.

This Turkish style of mosque has been copied in one of Sydney's mosques - the Gallipoli Mosque at Auburn. It serves a mainly Turkish community.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Aya Sofya

Looking towards the Aya Sofya from the Blue Mosque.

Interior gallery

View looking out from gallery

Aya Sofya 13 July 1989

Arguably İstanbul's most famous building. There are a million photos of it, so in my most recent trip I tried to take some "different" ones, hence the dark spaces in the Gallery.

Inside is simply astounding, and I stare in awe at the architectural miracle that enabled this to be finished in 537. How does that central dome soar above with seemingly no support? [By the way, it has been replaced several times after earthquakes] The answer is that it is supported by 40 massive ribs constructed of special hollow bricks, made in Rhodes, resting on four huge pillars concealed in the interior walls. Almost 1000 years later, the great architect, Sinan, used the same technique in designing the Süleymaniye Mosque.

It was the greatest Christian church of all until 1453, when Mehmet the Conqueror turned it into a mosque. Being equally as significant to Christians and Moslems, I think Atatürk did the right thing turning it into a museum in 1934, so everyone can appreciate its magnificence.

Uncovering the mosaics (covered in plaster, but not destroyed, during the Islamic period) and restoration continues, and there is usually scaffolding, but that does not detract from a visit to this World Heritage site.

Saturday, 7 October 2006

Topkapı Palace

I didn't visit Topkapı this time. It's well worth it for the first, or second time visitor, but in this trip there was limited time. Here's some photos from 1990 and 1991.

Topkapı was begun in 1453 by Memhmet the Conqueror, and housed Sultans until Mahmut II (1808-1839), when the sultans built newer, more European style palaces along the Bosphorus. Along the way Topkapı was home to Selim the Sot, who drowned in the bath after drinking too much champagne, Ibrahim the Mad and Roxelana, the beautiful partner of Süleyman the Magnificent. And centuries of intrigue and espionage.

Inside the Harem - the Imperial Antechamber (Hünkar Sofası)

The area of the Fourth Court

Topkapı Gardens

Friday, 6 October 2006

Museum of the Ancient Orient

In the same complex as the Archaeology Museum and Tiled Kiosk, it houses treasures of pre-Hittite and pre-Islamic empires.

A copy of the oldest peace treaty, the Kadesh Treaty, drawn up in the 13th century BC between the Egyptians and Hittites.

These glazed panels once lined the processional street and Ishtar gate of ancient Babylon from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II (605 - 562 BC)