22 Kasım 2013 Cuma

Once Upon A time

They say the only thing that will never change is change itself. Istanbul abides by that rule for centuries. As some buildings and monuments manage to survive onto modern times, most disappear through out the ages- and mostly with our help.

A monument that made it to our century and is considered to be the one of the most important landmarks of Istanbul: Galata Tower.

However this entry is not about Galata Tower (it’s time to be mentioned will come).

In this entry I will tell you about where I am viewing Galata Tower. This is Alfred Heilbronn Botanical Garden. Named after a prominent professor of the University at the time; the botanical gardens were founded in 1935 under Istanbul University’s Science Faculty.

Neighboring the Office of Istanbul Mufti, and close to Suleymaniye Mosque in Fatih, the garden showcases a collection of thousands of species of plants. When walking around in this garden’s 6 greenhouses and 23 fountains, you will feel yourself to be dazzled with magnificent smells.

If you have the time this is the perfect place to sit down and read a book or do some homework - that is if you can stop staring at the breathtaking view.

While perhaps the garden’s prime time has been passed due to the less budget allowances and less emoloyees; since its hand over to the Office of the Mufti; we hope to see this garden survive into the future.  You can contact Istanbul University to visit the garden. But keep in ind that it's closed on weekends.

If you have been able to follow the Biennial events, then you know that you had the chance to visit Karakoy Greek Elementary School, which now rarely and only opens its doors to these kinds of events.

Built in 1885, the school stood without damage against many earthquakes that troubled Istanbul. Once educating over 200 children under its roof, the school closed down and opened a few times  due to lack of students and financial support. Sadly shut down its doors as an educational institution in 2007 for the last time.

However, you can still see the beautiful interior of this school if you visit the premises when they are hosting an event.

Make sure you climb up to the terrace and take in the spectacular view. This is also a great spot to look for another building that Istanbulites cannot notice and walk by: the nearby Galata Surp Krikor Lusavoric Armenian Church. How magnificent isn't it?

Our last topic is an exhibition. You can now see famous painter and sculptor Miro’s works in Tophane-i Amire Building until 19th January. This is also a great opportunity to explore the building itself.

This is all for now. By the way you can click here to get your own Istanbul Diary now.

Write down, draw, and document everything you see like you breath: so our children can always know what once was there.

Take care of yourselves,
Tracer of Istanbul

11 Kasım 2013 Pazartesi

Searching for Theodossius

Theodosius I and II, was the emperors of the Roman Empire whom left their mark in Istanbul. In this engraving on the Theodosius Obelisk in Sultanahmet, the 1st Emperor is portrayed as holding a crown, which symbolizes victory.

The Marmaray Tunnel is finally opened and the excavations that took to complete the project earthed new historical findings in the city.

 As some of you know, the history of Istanbul dates back to 8000 BC wtih these new discoveries. The findings include numerous shipwrecks and the most amount of fossilized footprints in a crowd that has been discovered. The amount of archeological artifacts found during the excavations are stated to be thousands of cases.

When we made our way to Yenikapi to check out the newest discoveries, we were welcomed by the Theodosius Harbor which was erected by the order of the Emperor. We hope to see all these artifacts to find a safe home in a new museum.

For those who are interested in these type of findings, the Istanbul Archeology Museum is holding the "Stories from the Hidden Harbor" exhibit till the 25th of December. As you are visiting the exhibition you will run into an old lady from Constantinople (Istanbul :) that was found during the excavations. You can find the details to the exhibition here.

Take your time when you are walking around the streets of Istanbul. You may suddenly come across an old door, and that door may surprise you a lot.

And that is exactly how we came acroos this door. Hypnotized by the beauty of it, we were only able to sneak a peek inside, since the door itself was bolted shut.

Behold the Serefiye or the Theodosius Cistern. Built during the reign of Theodosius II, this fairly large cistern resides on Binbirdirek Neighbourhood's Piyer Loti Avenue in Fatih. Unfortunatelly, all you can do right now is sneak a peek like we did since the cistern is under renovation to be turned into a museum just like Yerebatan Cistern.

Our last news are for the fans of silent movies and Hitchcock admirers. You can watch nine silent Hitchcock movies between the 7th and 17th of November. Details here.

In this post, we traced down two Roman Emperor's legacies within the city that survived hundreds of years... Go out on the streets and trace down what you find interesting, like we do. Don't forget to write them down and leave your trace for the future.

You can get your own Istanbul Diary and other kinds of diaries and notebooks by clicking here.

Take care of yourselves,
Tracer of Istanbul