Friday, April 22, 2011

Istanbul Part #1-The Art

These large tiled bricks are from the Ishtar Gate to Babylon. As you notice almost immediately upon arrival in the city, you are totally surrounded with very old stuff. It's everywhere. And it dates back to the stone age. It turns out Istanbul was perfectly suited for settlement being near a large sea and at the mouth of a large river which flows out of the Black Sea to the north. Bear with me on my historical facts as I'm not sure I have it all perfect but you will get the idea. .At present, it is the second largest city proper in the world, behind Shanghai.

One of the most amazing stone carvings I saw-especially considering it was done in the late 4th Century BC! It adorns a massive sarcophagus  that sits next to Alexander the Great's massive sarcophagus, both were found in the same chamber in Lebanon during the Ottoman Empire. and a special small rail line had to be built to remove them to Istanbul's Archaeological Museum.
Here's Alexander's-behind guarded glass-it is called one of the masterpieces of antiquity. It's about the size of a garden shed and surely weighs many tons.
This statue (named Bes) greets you as you enter the museum-it's about 20 feet tall.
Sumerian-very old
Very large tile work inside the Hagia Sophia-more about that place in the next post.
A huge Egyptian Obelisk hauled to Istanbul possibly as some sort of war booty. Sits today in a park.
Under renovations, also in the same park.
As was this "Bronze Serpent."

Bronze Serpent
More Hagia Sophia
These next photos were all taken inside the Harem at the Sultan's Palace. It was home to his concubines for centuries and while it may look great, was actually a prison for thousands of woman. It has over three hundred tiled ornate rooms, only a few were open to the public, and there are some horrific stories associated with their treatment I won't go into here.

The Harem Courtyard-smallest in the Palace

I believe this and the  next one are taken in one of the Sultan's suite inside the Harem.

Whole rooms are tiled, including the ceilings. All of it simply amazing artwork.

Tile ran outside too.

Harem gathering area

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Looking at some of the three hundred rooms from the outside.

Back to the Museum

This is Sumerian or Hittite


1 comment:

  1. You're getting to see so many things I pored over for Art History classes! Love the Ishtar gates. The real question - how's the food over there?