Tag Archives: Istanbul

“Better Turks than Latins!” – The Aftermath and the New City

Mehmet had now achieved the goal that for centuries had been the sacred duty of the faithful to capture the Christian capital. Born during a plague that had killed two of his brothers, he was the third son of a … Continue reading

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BBC’s Chronicle – The Fall of Constantinople

Here is a little gem and a blast from the past. John Julius Norwich (who wrote the excellent and accessible trilogy on the history of Byzantium) tells the dramatic story of the fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, followed … Continue reading

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The Fall of Constantinople 29 May 1453

Having said his farewells and taken the sacrament I would like to think that Constantine was at peace. He had done all he could and fought bravely with this soldiers and allies. He must have realised on that warm May … Continue reading

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The Final Hours and Last Eucharist

The fifth … We come now to the last hours of Byzantium. The defenders were weary after defending the city since April 5th. The Emperor’s hope lay with a relief fleet from Venice, but this had failed to appear. On … Continue reading

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The Siege of Constantinople – An Update

The Sultan decided to concentrate his fire to achieve a greater effect. Remember some of his cannon were so large they they could only fire a round every few hours. He needed what modern commanders would call ‘concentration of effort’. When all cannon were in place the bombardment then continued unabated until the night before the Fall, that is for another forty eight days. Just think what it would have been like to live with the threat of cannon firing at your home all the time. Given that the citizens of Constantinople had never experience this before, you have to recognise how amazing the human spirit is to adapt so quickly in a fight for survival. Continue reading

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If Only Constantine Had Employed Urban

The Byzantines called this Rumeli Hisar, or “The castle of Romeland”, which was a pretty good name as it was the medieval equivalent of the Sultan parking his tank on the Emperor’s lawn. Mehmet could do as he pleased and respected no treaties. Continue reading

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Chora church frescoes ‘at risk’ after Turkish court ruling

The world’s finest example of Byzantine art— the 14th century frescoes and mosaics of the Chora Church in Istanbul, Turkey— are at risk. First published in Pappas Post. The mosaics— significant not only as art but as liturgical elements to … Continue reading

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Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes

The goddess is back with a remarkable history of our favourite city! Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu’ran to Shakespeare, … Continue reading

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Turkey: Muslims demand right to pray at Hagia Sophia

Why can’t people just leave it is it stands? It has worked so far. Muslims in the Turkish city of Istanbul have gathered in front of the world-famous Hagia Sophia mosque which has been turned into a museum in the city of … Continue reading

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Exhibition of monoprint photographs based on Byzantine structures

Wonderful to be contacted by Joelle Imamoglu about an upcoming exhibition of monoprint photographs based on Byzantine structures to be held at Khas Gallery, Istanbul, between January 7th and March 4th. The photographer is Erhun Serbetci, the exhibition is curated … Continue reading

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Shipwrecks found in Istanbul’s Yenikapı shed light on ancient ship production

Thirty-seven shipwrecks discovered underwater during the Marmaray subway construction in Istanbul’s Yenikapı shed light on ship production technology in ancient eras. First published in Hurriyet Daily News. An inventory of the types of wood used in the production of 37 … Continue reading

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Byzantine Istanbul in 10 iconic monuments

Long before it was Istanbul or even Constantinople, the great city that is now Turkey’s undisputed cultural capital was Byzantium, the city on the Bosporus founded by Megaran colonists in 637 B.C. As the Roman Empire became larger and more … Continue reading

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‘Building Wonders’: Haghia Sophia

Readers in the US, a treat is coming to your TV screens this Wednesday (February 25). Providence Pictures is releasing the third installment in its Building Wonders series. The first, on the Colosseum, aired on February 11, the second on … Continue reading

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Turkey’s Great Musical Gamble

Another article from the New English Review on an interesting subject. I can only imagine that the situation has got worse sincein the middle east in general since this was first written. By Geoffrey Clarfield. First published in the New … Continue reading

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Five questions on an Irish poet’s famous paean to Byzantium

Istanbul has arguably inspired more poetry, novels, travel accounts and essays than any other city. But the world’s most widely read depiction of the city came from a man who never set foot in it: the Irish poet William Butler … Continue reading

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