Istanbul Scrapbook, Part 1
Rainy day in Istanbul–wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are some pictures I took of the area close to Sultan Ahmet Camii, the vital religious and bureaucratic center of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries. Aya Sofya, Sultan Ahmet, and Topkapı Sarayı are all within walking distance from each other, ensuring that the focus of the city would remain in these (still) gargantuan buildings.
Other parts of the city have since changed, especially since the Tanzimat period and modernization after 1923. But this part of the city tries its best to keep at least the “main” buildings of the Ottoman Empire well-preserved–though some buildings (such as Aya Sofya) have since been converted from mosques into museums.
Sultan Ahmet courtyard
Aya Sofya (Istanbul)
Inside Aya Sofya
View from Aya Sofya (with Sultan Ahmet in the background)
Restoration efforts are plenty during the wintertime
And even in January, people are eager to entice the tourist crowd with elaborate büfes
Çeşme (public drinking fountain) close to Topkapı Palace. A poem by one of the sultans is inscribed on the sides.
Topkapı Sarayı (Topkapı Palace)
Where many bureaucrats and Ottoman administrators would meet
Profile of Topkapı's inner courtyard. This is where many involved in the devşirme process would be trained and become accustomed to the Ottoman bureaucratic process
Close to the water you can see the barricades protecting the palace
Eminönü (close to Yeni Camii)
Plaque found attached to the Bereketzade Mosque near the Galata Tower. Apparently this mosque had a hidden passageway leading to both the tower and the Karaköy harbor nearby.
Graffiti on Bereketzade Camii