Constantinople as described by John Stoddard in 1897

The Azarians
Photos of Constantinople

John L Stoddard was a world traveler and lecturer. The following pictures and text are from John L Stoddard's Lectures, Vol II, published in 1897.

Galata and the Bosporus

"The streets, as a rule, posses no names; its houses have no numbers. Several important thoroughfares go reeling up and down the hills, as if they had been laid out by drunken men, or- if the simile be allowed- by the primitive Bostonians; while the caprices of the smaller streets are past all finding out. Frequently in my tours I became as hopelessly confused in them as in the catacombs of Rome."

Stamboul, Galata and Pera

"Stamboul" is in the foreground. Galata is along the shore across the bridge and Pera is on the hill above Galata

"Galata, the business section, lies along the shore; Pera, the European residence-quarter, occupies the summit of the hill.....The Moslem district is chiefly situated on and near Seraglio Point, and is still called distinctively "Stamboul." This is to thousands of Mohammedans the City of the Faithful, as Pera is the City of the Infidel, into which European section of Constantinople many conservative Moslems have never deigned to set foot"

Constantinople and the Bosporus

The Seralgio Point

The Bosporus (European Side)

The Bosporus (Asiatic Side)

A Square in Galata

The Galata Bridge

"First comes, perhaps, a howling dervish on his way to a performance, where, with his fellows, he will hurl himself about and howl the name of Allah, until, with foaming lips, protruding eyes, and matted hair, he falls exhausted, as if convulsed with epilepsy. Following him, one may behold, within five minutes, a richly-turbaned Arab, with gold-embroidered jacket; a tattooed Nubian from the upper Nile; a Jew with a long, yellow coat and corkskrew curls; a group of Persians bedizeded with cheap jewelry: a black eunuch escorting a carriage of veiled ladies; groups of Bohemians; venders of melons, dates, apples and pop-corn; a florid-faced English merchant; a Roman Catholic priest; a Damascus camel-driver; a pilgrim just returned from Mecca: a Chinaman with hie queue; a missionay of the American Board, and even a "personally conducted" party of excursionists. Pick up a hand-bill dropped here by a passer-by, and you will find it printed in five or six different languages. As many more strange tongues may possibly be overheard by you while walking from Stamboul to Galata. Such at least has been my experience at this point where two worlds meet,- the Orient and the Occident,- the pontoon bridge of the Golden Horn."

Between Stamboul and Galata

"There are in Constantinople scores of European newspapers,- some printed half in English and half in French,- others exclusively in Greek or Italian. "

A fishing station on the Bosporus

Gate of Dolma Baghtcheh

Gate to the Sultan's Palace

Dolma Bachtcheh

A Hall in the Dolma Baghtcheh

Gate of Seras Kierat

"The Turks are as fond of gateways as the Romans of old were of triumphal arches. The very name by which the Sultan's government is known today throughout the world is the one given it by the French, la Sublime Porte,- the lofty gate,- so called from a magnificent portal, through which in former times only the Sultan and his family might enter the Seraglio."

Historic monoliths, Santa Sophia

A tram-car

A wayside lavatory

"Constantinople has many exquisite fountains. Where the ancient Greek reared a statue, and the modern Christian erects a crucifix, the Moslem constructs a fountain, since to the Mohammedans, water is the most essential thing in life. Drinking neither wine nor beer, they, more than other, are dependent upon water. Moreover, five times a day, before they pray to Allah, they must wash at least their hands. Hence every mosque invariably has its fountain for ablutions; and so has almost every public square. These fountains are, as a rule, the gifts of private individuals. The names of the donors, however, do not appear on them; but, instead, a quotation from some poet, praising pure water and contrasting it with intoxicating drinks, which the Koran forbids. It should be said, therefore, that though their streets are often filthy the Turks themselves are personally clean. "

A Cafe on the Golden Horn

A Galata Cafe

"Emerging from the Custom House, we speedily found ourselves in a labyrinth of dark and muddy streets, each of which seemed as innocent of a broom as a Chinese coolie is of soap. The shock was violent........ we had not walked a dozen yards in Galata, before we were compelled to lift our feet like cats stepping on a hot grating. For many of these streets are paved, first with mud, second with garbage, and third, with sharp-pointed, ankle-wrenching stones, making walking upon them perfectly excruciating."

In Scutari

Turkish Officers

Vender of melons

An apple merchant

A water seller

A street vender

Weighing dates

Making a Bragain

A howling dervish

Whirling dervishes

A Beggar

The Sultan's street-cleaners

"Often in walking through the thoroughfares of Stamoul, our serious thoughts were suddenly diverted by the sight or sound of its famous dogs. Constantinople is an immense kennel. The dogs that lodge here are a peculiar breed, half- wolf, half-fox, yellow in color, and with long sharp noses. Not one of them a name. They lie about the hollows in the streets like pigs in a sty; the men step over them carefully, and the horses turn aside to let they snooze in peace. Why should they not? In Constantinople, more than anywhere else, every dog "will have his day;" for in the night time they are hard at work. Dogs are, in fact, the principal scavengers of the city,- the canine brooms of the streets. At night the refuse of the kitchen is thrown into the gutters for their consumption, and they devour almost everything save oyster shells. Only the ostrich can surpass them in digestive powers. Marvelous stories are told of these animals. They are said to have a police force of their own, exempt as yet from any charges of corruption. They certainly do have special districts, sacred to a limited number of their race; and if any strange cur intrudes on precincts not his own, the ugly brutes that patrol that quarter attack him with such fury that he is lucky to return at all to his own set, even with torn ears, a lost eye, and a tail of woe. No traveller, however, need fear them. These Turkish dogs will not molest men, and hydrophobia is here unknown."

A Private Courtyard

A modernized street

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