Watercolor and Istanbul

İstanbul is not just a city. İstanbul is history. İstanbul is beauty. İstanbul is more than a city.

Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities not only in Turkey but also in the whole world. The legendary beauty of Istanbul has not only remained in mind. Many painters have painted this legendary city. Let's dive deep into this beautiful city that has been painted by Turkish and foreign painters for decades.

Istanbul is a very famous city not only with its history but also with its present form. Find a tramway established in the city in 1871. These trams, which are still used today, add an unrivaled beauty to the city. Traveling with the ferries that are frequently used in the city is like a dream. You can see both sides of the Bosphorus and see the Asian and European continents at the same time.

The streets of Istanbul are also famous. Istiklal Street, Bağdat Street, Nispetiye Street, and Abdi İpekçi Street are just a few of these famous streets.

Great works of painters from all over the world to draw Istanbul, which is home to many world-famous paintings, continue to appear even today. Istanbul is a very important city not only with its history and nature but also artistically. This unique city was painted dozens of times by painters such as Ivan Ayvazovski, Amedeo Preziosi, İbrahim Safi, Hoca Ali Rıza, Nazlı Ecevit, Antoine Ignace Melling, and Salvatore Valeri. 

The History Of İstanbul

Istanbul is a city that has managed to carry the historical artifacts that it has accumulated until today, dating back to 3000 BC.

The first traces of human culture were found during the excavations in the Yarımburgaz Cave, located on the shore of Küçükçekmece Lake in Istanbul. It is thought that during this period, people from the Neolithic and Copper Ages lived around the lake. It is accepted by the people of the Megarians as the first prominent settlement owners. The Megarians settled in today's Kadıköy and named it "Chalcedon". In addition, various finds were unearthed in Fikirtepe, a district of Kadıköy. According to Greek Mythology, 40 Greeks who set out for Batumi, while passing through the Bosphorus, landed at present-day Sarayburnu and settled in the Halic, which they call the "Golden Horn", and in Chalcedon.

The Ancient Greek city-state called Byzantion was founded in 667 BC. This state, which developed and strengthened rapidly, was passed by the Roman Empire. Later, the name of the city was changed to Augusta Antonina. Thus began a journey towards Constantinople, which would become the most important city of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire, which held this city for many years, ended in 1453 with the conquest of the city by Fatih Sultan Mehmet.

Conquest of Istanbul

The walls built by Byzantium for years turned the city into a completely sheltered fortress. After these Byzantine walls were besieged by the Ottomans six times, they were annexed to the Ottoman lands by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. During the siege, Fatih Sultan Mehmet used cannons of his own design, which he called "Şahi". Ships could not enter by water because of the thick chains laid by the Byzantine Empire in the waters of Constantinople. This pushed Fatih Sultan Mehmet to think differently. And he decided to take the ships by land. He arranged a sled system for his ships by placing the specially shaped cylindrical oiled trees in succession. Thus, he took the ships overland to the Golden Horn. By conquering Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet ended the Middle Ages and started the New Age. Fatih's conquest of Istanbul has been the subject of many paintings, books and songs.

Watercolor Art

After 1453, Istanbul will be the capital of a great world empire, and it will dominate the lands spread over three continents for more than 400 years. With Ankara's declaration as the capital of the Turkish Republic in 1923, Istanbul became the capital city of M.S. It has lost its capital status, which it has maintained since 330. 

Historical Buildings of Istanbul

Hagia Sophia

With Ankara's declaration as the capital of the Turkish Republic in 1923, Istanbul became the capital city of M.S. It has lost its capital status, which it has maintained since 330. The best place to start touring Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia Mosque.

Hagia Sophia, which was built 3 times in the same place as one of the most well-known places of worship in the world, took its final look in 537.

On the day Hagia Sophia was opened for worship, Emperor Justinian said, "Thank God for giving me the opportunity to build such a place of worship," and the Prophet in Jerusalem. It is rumored that he shouted, "O Suleyman, I have outdone you," referring to the Temple of Solomon.

Basilica Cistern

The cistern, which was built to meet the water needs of the palace in the Byzantine Period, amazes those who see it even today with its eye-catching columns and Medusa statue. The cistern was also the subject of Dan Brown's novel Hell.

Ortakoy Mosque

Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, or Ortaköy Mosque, as it is popularly known, is a Neo-Baroque style mosque located on the beach in the Ortaköy district of Beşiktaş district on the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

The mosque was built by Architect Nigoğos Balyan in 1853 by Sultan Abdülmecid. The mosque, which is a very elegant building, is in the Baroque style. It is placed in a unique location on the Bosphorus. As in all seating mosques, it consists of two parts, the Harem, and the Sultan's section. Wide and high windows are arranged to bring the changing lights of the Bosphorus into the mosque.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower was built by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius in 528 as a lighthouse. Istanbul, which has experienced many wars throughout its history, was badly injured in the 4th Crusade in 1204 and was almost completely destroyed. In 1348, the Genoese repaired the tower in addition to the walls. The tower, which was the tallest building in Istanbul at that time, was raised between 1445 and 1446. After the Ottoman rule, the tower was renovated almost every century.

A legend is believed for Galata Tower and Maiden's Tower. According to the legend, Galata Tower and Maiden's Tower are in love with each other, but the Bosphorus between them prevents lovers from the meeting. He writes his love for Galata Tower in letters for years and puts his longing for the Maiden's Tower into words. When Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi goes here to realize his dream of flying, Galata Tower whispers his love for Maiden's Tower in his ear and gives the letters to him. Taking the wind blowing from Istanbul behind him, Hezarfen delivers the letters to the Maiden's Tower. Realizing that her love is not platonic, Maiden's Tower explodes with joy and these two lovers form the most beautiful view of Istanbul.

After this legend, the belief that you will marry the person you go to the Galata Tower with has started.

Maiden's Tower

The tower, which has become the symbol of Üsküdar, is the only artifact left from the Byzantine period in Üsküdar. The tower, which has a historical past dating back to 24 BC, was established on a small island where the Black Sea meets the Marmara.

There are many legends about Maiden's Tower. One of them is the story of an 18-year-old girl.

According to the prophecy, the King is told that his beloved daughter will die by being bitten by a snake when she turns 18. Based on this prophecy, the king built a tower in the middle of the sea and placed the princess there. However, a snake coming out of the grape basket sent to the tower causes the death of the princess. The king had an iron coffin made for his daughter and placed it above the entrance door of Hagia Sophia. Rumors that the snake did not leave the princess alone after her death has survived to the present day. It is still said that there were two holes in this coffin.

This city is a total legend. As we said at the beginning, Istanbul is not just a city.