Friday, November 22, 2013

İhlamur Pavilions - Beşiktaş

Today's photo trek takes place at Beşiktaş, one of the bussiest neighborhoods in İstanbul which is located at the European side of the city.   To get to the Ihlamur Pavilion is really easy and you can just walk 15 minutes from Beşiktaş İskelesi thru the Ihlamurdere Cd. (street).  The Pavilion  is open everyday except Mondays and Thursdays and the entrance hours are from 8:30am to 4:30pm.  This photo trek will take two hours and the entrance to the pavilion would cost 2 TL.
İhlamur Valley was beautiful countryside around Beşiktaş, Yıldız and Nişantaşi slopes.  According to historical sources, it is understood that the valley where Fulya stream flew, was shaded by plane trees and linden trees.
The Ceremonial Pavilion.
The first part of the valley belonged to Hacı Hüseyin Agha, one of the trustees for the shipyard.  During the period of Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730) participating in the state treasury of the Sultan.The area was turned into an ımperial garden (Hasbahçe).

Historical fountain.
Sultan Selim III (1789-1807) and Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839) had had their contest of shot with musicians at the rising Yıldız quartier and the shooting cornerstores reached today.   Theses stones still bear the degrees and the dates of the sultans' shots.
 Gardens of Ihlamur Pavilions.
During the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861) the pavilion added the third part of the so-called Muhabbet Baheçsi.  The landscape was carried out with the set point regulation, too.

The Retinue Pavilion wich offers cafeteria service today.
French poet Lamartine, in 1846 entertained as the guest of the Sultan Abdülmecid at the İhlamur Pavilion and its environments, he descried in his memories:
"The building faces to a beautiful garden with fruit trees and linden trees. İn front of the three stepped stairs of the pavilion, jasmines does not exceed the lenght of the branches of a small fountain, falling into the marble pool with a sweet gurgle.  Linden pavilion was the sultan's favorite place. He rests and makes meditation here". 

 Gardens of Ihlamur Pavilions.

İnstead of this modest pavilion that Lamartine metioned, Sultan Abdülmecid had the actual pavilions constructed between the years 1848-1855.  Sultan called this the region as "Nüzhetiyeé" meaning space, freshness and joy.

Turtles at the main water fountain.
Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-1876) held a variety of fun and wresting at the gardes of the pavilion. İn the following years the pavilion continued to be frequented by the sultan and his family for trips. 

 Garden front door entrance.

Autum reflections.

Detail from the facade decoration.
After the declaration of Republic of Turkey,  the Grand National Assembly of Turkey gave  the pavilion to the Istanbul Municipality and it was organized as Tanzimat Museum.

Details form the staircase entrance. 


Entrance stairs.

Structures which were transferred to the National Palaces in 1966 were opened to visit in 1985. The palace museums maintain the original objects and complete arrangements.

A room at the Ceremonial Pavilion.

A room in the Ceremonial Pavilion.

Second floor.

Details at the balcony at Ceremonia Pavilion.

Main entrance to the Ceremonial Pavilion.

The information shared in this blog  is taken from the brochure elaborated by the Organization that promotes all the National Palaces in Turkey.

The Beşiktaş neighborhood is a famous area within the city. If you stop by you must visit this pavilion. Outside the streets are bussy and plenty of shops, inside the place is peaceful and you are being transported to the old days where this area was a countryside.  It was a nice autum morning with fresh air. I hope you enjoyed the views!

Soreya Reyes

If you are interested in a photo guide trek in Istanbul inbox for more info:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Selimiye Camii - Ataşehir

İn this trek we visited Ataşehir neighborhood, a modern residencial area in the Asian side of Istanbul.  There you can find a copy of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne that is believed to be the Masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, the great Archictect from the Ottoman Empire.  The original building enter the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 2011.

The place can be reached from the european side by ferry to Üsküdar or Kadiköy iskelesi and from there by dolmus of bus to Ataşehir.  This trek lasted two hours and the interesting part of it was to see how the mosque kept the outside structure like the original mosque and how the interior differs by its  modern decoration.

Mosque skyline

This copy of the Selimiye mosque varies a small proportion of 5 percent.  İn 2012 the mosque was opened for worship on the first day of Ramadan.   The Ataşehir project was criticized by people in İstanbul since they belive it to be an imitation of a masterpiece with a populist approach from government and a waist of money. According to some sources 550 million TL was spent for the mosque.


The mosque has a capacity of 12,650 people.   The area is 7 thousand square meters.  The Minaret height is 72 meter  and the dome height is 42 meter.  Its construction lasted only 22 months.
The construction is sorrounded by green area with a city park with the characteristics of Turkish-Islamic garden.
Ceiling entrance

Main door entrance.

Columns decoration

Main duome

The project centrally planned, designed as a half-dome of six fours. Reflecting the characteristics of Ottoman architecture in the project in general terms.   The main dome 27 meters in diameter and 42 meters in height.

Back painting.


The door to paradise.

Domes and Chandeliers.



Stained glass window.

The patio.

Oblation fountain

Tap water.

Windows to the patio.

The trek was interesting but is not an absolutley most one. I have to say I dislike copies and I believe you have to see the real thing but I would only recomend this visit if you also would like to see the modern neighborhood of Ataşehir with skycrappers and the Fenerbaçe sport center.  The area also has a big shopping center where you can find very good restaurants too.

Soreya Reyes

Twitter:  @street_photos_

Friday, November 1, 2013

Grand Bazaar Photo Trek

Today we are going to take photos of one of the must interesting places of Istanbul: the Grand Bazaar.  This trek will take us three hours if your are only shooting but it is imposible not to buy something in this place.  The vendors are so skilled that you will end up buying something you were not looking for but absolutely adore.  : )

The Grand Bazaar has four main gates situated at the ends of its two major streets which interesect near the southwestern corner of the bazaar.  Gate number 7 "Beyazit Capisi" is where we begin. 
Opeing times is from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 19:00 hrs.  Sundays and Bank holidays is closed.

"The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı, meaning "Covered Bazaar"; also: Turkish: Büyük Çarşı, meaning "Grand Bazaar") in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily." Wikipedia

 Mosaic Lamps

Old Bazaar

The bazaar has been an important trading centre since 1461 and its labyrinthine vaults feature two bedestens (domed buildings), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake.

Paintings in the ceiling


Water fountain

Watter fountain tiles

Hall of Flags

The Zincirli Hani, a former caravansary where now jewelry is produced.

Arched halls
The Grand Bazaar is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewellery and the like.



Turkish Ceramics

The art of Turkish tiles and ceramics occupies a place of prominence in the history of Islamic art. Its roots can be traced at least as far back as the 8th and 9th centuries.
İznik Ceramic
  The late 15th and early 16th century marks the beginning of a new period in Ottoman tile and ceramic-making. The most important centre active at this time was Iznik. Designs prepared by artists who were employed in the studios of the Ottoman court were sent to Iznik to be executed in wares ordered for use at the palace. The court's patronage stimulated and supported the development of an artistically and technically advanced ceramic industry in Iznik.
 Embrace Turkey

Nazar boncuğu 

Fashion and Jewellery

Belly dancing is very popular in Turkey. It is a very old art form still enjoyed by Turks of all classes and ages. It may be the descendant of ancient Anatolian fertility dances. Belly dance costumes available in the Grand Bazaar consist of head scarf, Turkish/Arabic vest, decorated bra, separate sleeves, hipband and circle skirt. Garments are traditionally decorated with imitation coins.

Belly Dance

Arabic Necklace

Along with embroidery used in traditional costumes, jewellery is also commonly used as an accessory. The concept of the evil eye is widespread, and one can observe many amulets to ward it off in peoples’ clothes and hair. All the civilizations which have existed in Anatolia have produced artistic works made from precious or semi-precious stones and metal.


Hand made necklace 


Turkish vendor

Carpets and Textiles
 Textile Store
Carpet weaving is one of the most ancient crafts in Turkey, and for centuries, women have played a pivotal role in their creation. Historically, the Turks were among the earliest carpet weavers. Turkish carpets come in distinct styles from different regions of Turkey. Important differentiators between the types include the materials, construction and patterns.

Silk on silk carpet

Wool on wool (wool pile and wool warps and wefts) rugs are generally the least expensive type of carpet. Wool on wool carpets have been made for much longer and use more traditional designs than the other types of carpets. 
Wool on cotton (wool pile on cotton warps and wefts) carpets can be much more intricate because cotton can be spun finely and the knot count is generally much higher. In wool on cotton rugs, floral designs are often found, as well as complex geometric patterns.

Silk on silk (silk pile on silk warps and wefts) is the most intricate type of carpet with very fine weave. These carpets can be stunningly beautifull and very expensive.


Colorful cushions

Embroidered boots

Copper and Bronce
Along with the carpets and jewelry, these shops offer a wide collection of high-quality Turkish silverware, copper and bronze souvenirs and decorative objects.  Prices vary and bargaining is customary in these rather small shops.
 Bronze horses

Eagle and snake

 Turkish Coffee


Aladino's Lamp (don't look for it anymore, I have it at home)

Ottoman Chandelier and Mosaic Lamps
Save the last for the best, I just love chandeliers and mosaic lamps.  I guess is because the way they change light and atmosphere to a place. Here are some samples of the lovely pieces you can find.

 Ceiling chandelier

Colorfull mosaics

Ottoman Lamps

I hope you enjoyed this trek, I certainly did. İt is a beautiful one. I learn to smile at the vendors and say today I am only shooting pictures. There was one vendor that even told me "ok then 25 euros for taking a picture of my store".  They can literally sell you the air you breathe.

Soreya Reyes

Twitter:  @street_photos_