You could find them on walls or in plazas, as part of mosques and freestanding, at corners, in rooms and even as cabbage-headed columns. These were the forms of fountains that adorned Istanbul in the Ottoman period and they can still be found today if you know where to look.
Over the centuries Istanbul met the water needs of its citizens by building aqueducts from distant sources, for its time as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 4th century. With repairs and rebuilding the water system, the Byzantines kept the water flowing but by 1453, when the Ottoman Turks conquered the city, it needed a complete overhaul. The addition of new water sources had to wait until the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520-1566) in the next century. Read more.
A Genoese Ottoman castle in İzmir’s Foça district has recently opened following one year of restoration, while providing lessons to other restorers about how to restore historical buildings.
Because the castle walls were reinforced during the restoration without using cement, the castle has succeeded in being included on UNESCO’s Temporary List of World Heritage Sites.
The previous restoration of the castle was made in 1993 with concrete, prompting many to say the edifice resembled a rebuilt concrete house, despite the expenditure of thousands of liras. The castle was also restored in 1983.
But with the recent restoration that was made with the help of scientific data, the castle regained its unique historic appearance. Read more.
An attempt to smuggle seven Ottoman coins was foiled Wednesday at Cairo International Airport.
Youssef Khalifa, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities section of the Ministry of Antiquities, related that during a routine inspection of luggage at the airport, customs personnel discovered seven antique coins in the luggage of an Egyptian citizen who was travelling to the United Arab Emirates.
The coins were of the same size and eroded. They bear the year when they were made, and decorative elements. Khalifa continued that customs officers asked the Ministry of Antiquities to assign an archaeological committee to check the authenticity of the coins.
The committee, he said, verified the authenticity of the coins, saying they date back to the Ottoman period. The coins are now in the Egyptian Museum for restoration and study. (source)
Ongoing excavations in the old city of Van have shed light on the lifestyles, social conditions and dietary habits of the city’s inhabitants from the Ottoman era, revealing bazaar structures that resemble modern-day shopping malls.
The excavations were undertaken to uncover the hidden ancient layers of Van, which was occupied by the Russians and ruined during the turbulence of the First World War. They provide significant insight into civil architecture in the Ottoman era, when Van was a major center home to many intellectuals and elites.
Led by Istanbul University’s Van Region History and Archaeology Center Director Erkan Konyar, the excavations are being carried out by a team of partners from 12 universities. Read more.
We’ve been reminded several times this summer that the moon was going to appear fuller than it usually did, an occasion that happens only once in 13 years. But the moon has always fascinated people, and the Ottomans were no exception. It must have seemed even more marvelous to them without the dimming of its light due to electric lights and pollution than it does to us today.
The moon was considered beautiful so it’s not surprising to find in Ottoman poetry that the most attractive young people were compared to the moon. As Ahmed Paşa said in the second half of the 15th century, in a poem addressed to someone he was interested in:
“If it’s only with the stars you’re destined to be in accord/Ah, my moon, I’ll star the world with tear-drops day and night combined.” Read more.
Was the Ottoman sultan’s heart buried on a battlefield nearly 450 years ago? Archaeologists are trying to find out.
On a rainy day in February, a black Subaru purrs along a country road through the sodden farmland east of Pécs, in rural southern Hungary.
"Back in Süleyman’s day, all this would have been much more heavily wooded," says Norbert Pap, a professor of political geography at the nearby University of Pécs. "Oak forests mainly, broken up with meadows and cornfields and vineyards, although as you draw nearer to Szigetvár the land opened up further and became more marshy."
We were on our way to the fortress at Szigetvár, following an old road that was around in the time of the great Turkish sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and that, for as long as anyone can remember, has been known colloquially as Turbek Road. Read more.
A Turkish scientist has announced that a recently discovered historical document points to a mosque complex in Szigetvar, Hungary, as the site where heart and internal organs of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent were buried in 1566.
“We unexpectedly discovered the document while we were studying the charter of the Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Foundation. It says the internal organs were buried in the garden near the ‘hanikah’ (dervish lodge) of the Süleyman Mosque in Szigetvar,” Mehmet Zeki İbrahimgil, a history professor at Gazi University, told Doğan News Agency. Read more.
A 174-year-old marble globe in the middle of Istanbul’s historical peninsula went missing last month, daily Milliyet reported on April 22.
The globe came from a shrine, ordered to be built by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid for his father Mahmud II in the Çemberlitaş neighborhood in 1840. The Ottoman-Armenian royal architects Ohannes and Bogos Dadyan completed the shrine in empirical style, including a 2.5-meter high drinking fountain on one of its corners, which was also decorated with a 70 cm-wide marble globe.
Officials from the Directorate of Shrines cannot explain how the globe was lost. Read more.