Sheep huddle together in the middle of an off beaten pathway in Büyükada, Princes Islands, Turkey. The reason for their behaviour could be to cool off from the heat.
The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı, meaning ‘Covered Bazaar’; also Büyük Çarşı, meaning ‘Grand Bazaar’) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it is listed No.1 among world’s most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors.
The Grand Bazaar is located inside the walled city of Istanbul, in the district of Fatih and in the neighbourhood (mahalle) bearing the same name (Kapalıçarşı). It stretches roughly from west to east between the mosques of Beyazit and of Nuruosmaniye. The Bazaar can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci by trams (Beyazıt-Kapalıçarşı stop).
Today the Grand Bazaar is a thriving complex, employing 26,000 people visited by between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily, and one of the major landmarks of Istanbul. It must compete with modern shopping malls common in Istanbul, but its beauty and fascination represent a formidable advantage for it. The head of the Grand Bazaar Artisans Association claimed that the complex was in 2011 – the year of its 550th birthday – the most visited monument in the world. A restoration project starting in 2012 should renew its infrastructure, heating and lighting systems. Moreover, the hans inside the Market will be renovated and later additions will be demolished. This project should finally solve the big problems of the market: for example, in the whole Bazaar there is no proper toilet facility. Moreover, the lacks of controls in the past years allowed many dealers to remove columns and skive walls in their shops to gain space: This, together with the substitution of lead (stolen in the last years) with concrete on the market’s roof, has created a great hazard when the earthquake expected in Istanbul in the next years will occur.
The Grand Bazaar is opened each day except Sundays and bank holidays from 9:00 until 19:00.
The Prinkipo Greek Orphanage (also known as Prinkipo Palace or Büyükada Greek Orphanage) is a historic 20,000-square-meter wooden building on Büyükada, one of the nine Princes’ Islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. It is considered the largest wooden building in Europe and second largest in the world. It served as an orphanage from 1903 to 1964.
It was designed and constructed in 1898 by the late-nineteenth century by the French-Ottoman architect Alexander Vallaury as a luxury hotel and casino for the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, the European passenger train company that operated the Orient Express. It was sold in 1903, however, when Sultan Abdul Hamid II would not issue a permit for its operation, and subsequently bought by the wife of a prominent Greek banker, who donated it to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which operated it as an orphanage. On April 21, 1964, during heightened tension of the Cyprus issue, the orphanage was forcefully closed by the General Directorate of Foundations (Vakif Genel Mudurlugu). Throughout its history, the orphanage has catered to the needs of 5,744 orphans.
The building is considered to be the largest wooden building in Europe and the second largest in the world (Todaiji Buddhist Temple being the largest). The orphanage consists of 206 rooms, a kitchen, a library, a primary school and vocational workshops. It is situated on top of the Isa Tepesi, a mountain 206 meters high on the island of Buyukada.
Since its closure half a century ago, the neglected building has deteriorated into a state of heavy disrepair. The building was severely damaged by a fire in 1980. The site was included on the 2012 World Monuments Watch and is presently classified as “Rescue Needed” by Global Heritage Network. In April 2012, it was announced that the building would be restored over the next two years to house an international environmental institute.
Places look very different at night, they become more interesting than in the daytime. As the night takes over in Büyükada, street lighting and neon signs alter the appearance of buildings and objects. With the day coming to an end, restaurants and shops close and people return to their homes.
“Büyükada (Turkish, meaning “Big Island”) is the largest island among the Princes’ Islands in the Marmara Sea. It covers an area of 5.4 km², and the distance of the island to the nearest Maltepe shore is 2.3 km. As of 2000, it has a population of approximately 7,335 including Sedef Island.”
(ibb.gov.tr [online] 2010)
For years Büyükada Market has been held every Thursday between 6:00am and 12:00pm. Stalls and canopies are erected the previous day by the local market traders. Some of them live on the island but most come from Istanbul. They come to sell fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese to the islanders. Over the years the market has expanded into the surrounding side streets. Here traders sell hand made items like lace tablecloths, scarves and rugs; as well as manufactured items like shoes, handbags and clothing. Bartering is expected.