IF SULTAN ABDULHAMID HADN’T GIVEN THE ORDER, OUR ONLY PICTURE OF MEHMET THE CONQUEROR WOULD BE GENTILE BELLINI’S PORTRAIT. Chief Palace Painter Fauso Zonaro labored for months on the behest of Abdulhamid to depict Mehmed IIs conquest of Istanbul from the reducing of the galleons into the Golden Horn to the commander’s victorious entry into the Byzantine capital.

The 34th of the Ottoman sultans and as a caliph of Islam, Abdulhamid succeeded in preserving the Ottoman Empire on its toes for 33 years from 1876 to 1908.

He can be revered and appreciated not just for the profitable reconstruction initiatives on which he embarked upon his accession to the throne, but additionally for the cultural actions that he patronized. The big visible archive often called ‘The Yildiz Images of the Reign of Sultan Abdulhamid is likely one of the world’s oldest identified and most vital collections. Abdulhamid, who took a eager curiosity within the artwork of portray, appointed Che Italian Orientalist painter Fausto Zonaro his ‘Palace Painter’.


Born in 1854 to an especially poor household in a small village in Italy’s Veneto area, Zonaro nonetheless had a really colourful and thrilling life. His artwork reached its zenith in Istanbul, the place he got here first as a traveler, when he was appointed the Ottoman Palace Painter by Sultan Abdulhamid II early in 1896.

Zonaro’s acquaintance with Munir Pasha, the Minister of Protocol of Yildiz Palace, can be an vital turning level in his life. Following that assembly, he met Osman Hamdi Bey, who made positive that his work had been seen and appreciated by Abdulhamid. And in 1896 he was honored with the title and place of Chief Palace Painter.


A stroll by way of the previous quarters on the other financial institution of the Asi is likely one of the greatest methods to get a really feel for town. For preserved right here within the stone-paved courtyards that be part of the slim lanes are the best examples of the previous Antakya homes: Antakya Home, the mansions of Fuad Kuseyri and of the Yahyaogullari, Halepogullari and different households. These two- and three-story homes, the oldest of which is 200 years previous, had been constructed going through the mountains, whereas their stone-paved courtyards boast swimming pools and gardens.

The decision of the muezzin mingles with the peal of church bells as youngsters play marbles within the slim cobblestone streets. A metropolis steadily talked about within the Bible, Antakya has a excessive potential for religion tourism. And the Church of St. Peter is a crucial place of pilgrimage for Christians on this metropolis which is dwelling to the primary church after the one at Jerusalem. Our prolonged stroll by way of these streets steeped in historical past is sufficient to whet our appetites.

Our vacation spot this time is Harbiye, 10 kilometers outdoors town and a resort space going again to Roman occasions, the place hidden waterfalls rush down right into a deep, wooded valley. Providing the total vary of Antakya delicacies, the eating places at Harbiye are true palate pleasers. And olive oil cleaning soap, and the silk scarves and hope chests produced within the neighboring villages are offered in retailers on the highway to the falls. Refreshing to physique and spirit with its pure air and excellent delicacies, Harbiye is nice for a day’s outing, and we’re mighty glad we got here right here.

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