Istanbul (Constantinople) Turkey about 1892

CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE BOSPHORUS, TURKEY — If there be one city in the world whose site combines in absolute perfection, beauty and utility, and which, while radiant with loveliness, holds the most enviable location on the globe, it is beyond a doubt Constantinople, the favorite of Destiny, enthroned upon the threshold of two continents, and well named the “Sultan’s Paradise.” How matchless is its situation! Here Europe and Asia advance and gaze into each other’s eyes. Between them speeds that ocean current called the Bosphorus, which sweeps along in majesty for fifteen miles, connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmora. It is the most secure and capacious harbor that ever opened its bosom to the navies of the world, and lies here like a bridge of lapis-lazuli uniting thus the Orient and the Occident. The oldest part of Constantinople, called Stamboul, is a gracefully rounded promontory, the extremity of which is known as “Seraglio Point.” On one side of this, and at right angles to the Bosphorus, is a glittering arm of the sea bearing the title of the “Golden Horn.” Just as the Bosphorus divides two continents, so does the Golden Horn separate Constantinople into two great sections, the Turkish (Stamboul) and the European (Galata and Pera). The general view of this capital of the Sultan is one of the most remarkable and beautiful that this world can offer. For aside from the exquisite contour of its wave-washed shores, one looks upon a marvelous perspective of many-colored houses, marble Mosques and palaces, besides numerous graceful minarets which cut their outlines on the clear, blue sky, like columns of polished ivory. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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