Monday, March 29, 2010

On the banks of the Bosphorus II

"The evening wraps Beylerbé Palace. A cold dampness rising from the Bosphorus and the shadows invade the living room of the Sultana Valida. Instinctively, women have to whisper.

On tiptoe, the slaves
make their way to light the candles of green glass chandeliers that, placed in the four corners of the room, looks like large leafy trees."

Kenizé Mourad "On behalf of the dead princess"


The golden age of Ottoman civilization is being held within the walls of Topkapi Palace, where even seems hear the bustle of the court of the sultans and sultanas, the illuminators to illuminate his work busily, the rustle of silk on the bodies ; the smells ..., attached to the wood, soil, ointments, oils, perfumes of the slaves and ladies of the palace, the refining and even cruelty are living in their lobbies and corridors.

All these feelings that fascinated Europeans of the tim
e, also invade us and fascinate us centuries later.

Inside the palace there is a place that often, and making a big mistake, is seen in haste, if not omitted, although its walls is more than any other place where time seems to stand still: the Harem.

Created as a simple set of wooden pavilions at the time of Suleiman and his beloved Roxanne, today is a labyrinth of courtyards, rooms, corridors, bathrooms, bedrooms and dungeons, which brings together the essence of Topkapi.



A large part of the harem is decorated with beautiful Iznik pottery and along its corridors, sometimes in darkness, their salons, where light filters through skylights and blinds, it is inevitable to try to imagine what the lives of their inhabitants.

A self-contained world with its own leaders and outcasts, intrigues and conspiracies, simple stories too, of those that only trying to survive.

A place where hopes were born and died every day, sacrifice for the benefit of the family who stayed behind made it more bearable the confinement in that prison of gold. A world organized to the point where each person had their role to be played until the end.

For us, that we visit, things are quite different; within the harem we're fascinated at the extravagance of rich decoration, the Turkish baroque and rococo, and is without doubt an essential place of the visit, not and Topkapi Palace, but of the Istanbul.

1 comment:

Martin said...

istanbul is my dream destination.
I will go..i will go