Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Üsküdar Photo Trek

Today we are going to walk thru a very busy and vibrant district in the Asian side of Istanbul, Üsküdar belediyesi.  We need at least half day to visit the most interesting spots where you can get great shots of the architecture, people, things and even skylines of the European side. Great views of the old city.

The district of Üsküdar is one of Istanbul's oldest-established residential areas. It is directly opposite the old city of Eminönü and transport across the Bosphorus is easy by boat or bridge. So there are well-established communities here, many retired people, and many residents commute to the European side for work or school.

During the rush-hour, the waterfront is bustling with people running from ferryboats and motorboats onto buses and minibuses. Üsküdar also has the smell of the sea, the sound of foghorns, motorboats and seagulls and one of the best views of the city.

The area behind the ferry dock is a busy shopping district, with many restaurants (including the well-known Kanaat Lokantası serving Ottoman cuisine, olive oil-based dishes, and ice cream) and a number of important Ottoman mosques

"Üsküdar is home to over 180 mosques, many of them historic Ottoman buildings, many built for women of the imperial harem, and many built by the famous architect Mimar Sinan. Among the first things one sees on arriving by ferry are the two mosques on either side of the ferry port, both designed by Sinan. The larger one is the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, sometimes called the İskele (Dock) Mosque, built by a daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent; the smaller one is the Şemsi Pasha Mosque, built by a vizier of Suleiman's." Wikipedia

Yeni Valide Camii (The New Mosque of Mother Sultan)

 Yeni Valide Camii patio and ablution

"Üsküdar's long promenade along the coast from the center down in southern direction towards the bus station at Harem is popular in summer as it commands excellent views of the European shore. This promenade is lined with cafes and restaurants, the most famous and prominent of which is not on the coast but out in the water: Kız Kulesi (Maiden's Tower), a small tower just off the coast that has existed since Byzantine times. From time to time it has been used as a toll booth; now it is used as an upscale restaurant and a venue for wedding parties. The name comes from a legend about a princess shut in the tower." Wikipedia

Maiden's Tower Kız Kulesi

This tower is the symbol of Üsküdar without any doubts.  You can visit the tower by taking a boat at the Uskudar side just in front of the Kiz Kulesi.  The boat will take you directly to the tower and you will hear about the history of this place.  While you climb the tower you will get to see the recreation of three of the legends about the Kız Kulesi.

Çeşmes Ahmet III (water fountain)
Other notable Ottoman features to be seen in Üsküdar are the many çeşmes (drinking water sources) and sebils (kiosks for distribution of drinks). One of the largest and most visible çeşmes is the fountain of Ahmet III (1728–29), an impressive marble structure in the center of Üsküdar near the ferry docks.
 Simit salesman
One of the things that I really like about this trek is the opportunity to take good shots of the people that live and work in this area.  Some of them are reluctant to pictures some otheres are willing to even pose and let you take pictures of them and enjoy it.

Usküdar is a place where you can find ordinary people living an extraordinary life.

Shoe polish man
Children with the kitty.

İ feel like I am leaving so many things behind this trek and I think you will also feel the same thing when you return and look closely to your pictures.  You will wish you had taken some more of this and that.   I don't mind doing this trek twice so feel free to invite. : )

Soreya Reyes

Twitter:  @street_photos_


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