Constantinople (Istanbul) – Joseph Schranz, ca. 1860

GORGEOUS PANORAMA OF CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE BOSPORUS STRAITS “Vue Generale du Bosphore, de Constantinople a Roumeli-Hissari (Prise d’Asie)“, lithograph made…

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Vue Generale du Bosphore, de Constantinople a Roumeli-Hissari (Prise d’Asie)“, lithograph made by Joseph Schranz around 1860, printed from 5 stones by Jacomme et Cie in Paris. Coloured by a later hand. Size: (view) 25 x 170 cm, (incl. text) 28 x 170 cm.

This rare view shows the city of Istanbul – named Constantinople in those days (until 1932) – looking from the east across the Bosporus Strait from the Sea of Marmara in the south to ‘Mont Géant’ in the north. In the foreground are scenes of local residents engaged in socializing, traveling and other, more traditional activities. Just beyond lies the Bosporus Strait which is filled with dozens of ships including two very early steamships. The city of Constantinople makes up the background, and is depicted in great detail.

There are several landmarks indicated, from left to right: the Beylerbeyi Palace, Üsküdar community, the Seraglio Point (where the Topkapi Palace stands), the islet with Leander’s Tower (a lighthouse in the mid 19th century), the 17th century Sultan Ahmet Mosque, the famous Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Sublime Porte where the Ottoman central government was located, the Seraskier Tower (a fire watch tower), the Süleymaniye Mosque on the Third Hill, the Galata Tower (also an Ottoman fire watch tower), the Grand Champs des Morts in Pera (one of the world’s great necropolises of the day), Çiragan Palace (now a luxury hotel), Ortaköy Mosque (built between 1854-1856), Kuleli Military High School established in 1845, the Rami Barracks, Kuruçesme neighborhood, Arnavutköy neighborhood (today knows for its wooden Ottoman mansions), Bebek (a popular residential neighborhood), Kandilli neighborhood, the Rumelian Castle (the ‘straight blocker), the Baltalimani neighborhood, Istinye neighborhood, Yeniköy neighborhood, Anadoluhisari (the Anadolian Castle) and, finally, in the distance the Mont Géant (‘Large Mountain’, presumably Mihrabat hill).

According to those accompanying Austrian emperor Franz Joseph, who visited Constantinople with his steamship in 1869, the Bosporus was one of the most splendid landscapes in the Orient. And its appeal is increased by the images from legend and history that appear here in front of the soul of the wanderer. Truly, this trip through the famous strait is a worthy preparation for the first sight of Constantinople, that miraculous city which, as it was centuries ago, is still today the long-awaited destination of mighty conquerors.

Price: Euro 2.750,-