Sunday, May 04, 2008

Art Underfoot

I feel a true historical spirit near me,

sometimes it is kept in a touching,
in a closer look.

So I walk straight ahead the streets of Istanbul to feel the history. In every step I take I find myself expecting to hear the tunes played in marketplaces that is ruined, old and alone as the City still preserves memories with its narrow streets, old wooden houses, and steep uphills with cobblestone pavements. I love to hear beat sound of well-trained horses hooves on cobblestones.

In the meantime, do you love the cobblestone walks and streets like me?

I start to wandering having forgotten everything about the City, and everything I know about. I cannot wait to see all about the City from its situation of being old, its spirit, people, mosques, bazaars, corners, houses, churches to the rush of living with my bare eyes. Even a drainage cover on cobblestones as follows that makes my heart flutter! I love

I love walking in the narrow streets coming from the good old days going to meet the sea embroidered with cobblestone pavements. Everyone and everything here is waiting for something on the streets of the past. And, one never feels lonesome in Istanbul.

I see some streetsellers are passing with their small display stands. Or women greet me smiling while they are sweeping the windows or hanging newly washed clothes on the ropes. Even the children are observing me while they are playing games, or competing with each other playing football in their streets. They cheering and asking me 'Oh, are you tourist? Take my photo'. So cute children indeed:) Then they return games, and forget who I am, what I am doing;)

Old cobblestone road
in Historical Peninsula of the City,
near Topkapi Palace

Bay-windowed fronted houses aligned on right and left sides spread on the narrow streets -see above-, giving a feeling me like happy houses. I cannot stop myself thinking that each of them surely experienced a lot of human lives pass by. Even though those passing years that the houses still alive, but caused them to be old, however they are stubborn to stand for a long time.

With old streets, rough cobblestone pavements, oriel windowed houses where I can feel simultaneously the impressive history, I continue to walking in the City on a wonderful sunny day, climbing uphill, downhill, again uphill, again downhill. Making the following collection of our pavements which some of them are old, some new. Most importantly, they are colored and beautiful looks! Named each of them as I liked. Here they are for your review:

-Blooming hearts



-Snail's trail
-My garden
-Stars in frame
-Petit squares
What do you think? Any pavement(s) you like the most? I know it's a difficult question;) I'm curious how is your pavements in your town...

I remember a saying that goes ''each cobblestone and every inch of Istanbul is made of gold.'' It's so true that we Istanbulites and also outsiders regard each cobblestone in the City to be as valuable as gold. Just think, the Ancient City embraces a millenia-old ''treasury of history'' in its numerous layers that is for certain.

There's always a continual movement of crowds, the rumbling sound of vehicles along the old cobblestone streets, the constant going-and-coming cries of the streetsellers meddling with shipping sounds from the busy port under its splendid skyline of her minarets and domes to remind you that Istanbul is vividly alive, a fascinating ''gateway to Orient'', not only a historic City.

''All roads lead to Istanbul''
The Anatolian saying


  1. Dearest Nihal, tks for visiting again. You know you always make my day with your comments and you truly deserve the awards because you could write well and present things from a different view. Nevertheless, love your blog and want to go to Turkey one day...

    I never really bothered much about cobbelstone to be honest until this post. Love the picture of your shadow..would love to see a full face one and close one too one day.

    Big HUGS to you and lots of love fm kate :)

  2. Nihal, I don't know how to describe the wonder of your post. You have taken the beauty surrounding you and shared it with us. I tried to pick a favorite, but I just can't. Each one is a work of art.

    Istanbul is such a beautiful city. Have you always lived there?

  3. Hello I'm coming over for a visit from M. Kate's blog. I loved reading this post about cobblestones in Istanbul! NYC still has some cobblestone roads, but I never thought to take their picture. I will definitely do thta next time I visit the city.

  4. @ Kate: Thank you so much for your warm, in depth and encouraging words. Hugs and love.

    @ Bev: Yes, I was born and raised here. Istanbul my home:) A note, I travelled to a number of countries in the world, for business and pleasure. However, my WishList is getting longer since the day I entered in this blogsphere, smile:)

    @ Pat: Welcome to Istanbul, and thanks for your nice comment:) Ohh, I love cobblestones, and a good thing I almost never wear my stilletoes, LOL:)
    By the way, the cobblestone roads surrounding the area particularly Southstreet, near Manhattan, the shopping along those cobblestoned roads, esp Broadway...everywhere I love NYC, the world city never sleeps like Ist'l. I'd LOVE to see your photos taken in your pavements, do it, share your experience w/us, Pat.

  5. I think each pattern could match a mood or a day...

    When I feel worried, I have to eat something ... maybe chocolate bars (=petits squares, on your last picture) would do ...

    When my mind needs to go for a breath of fresh air, then the pine-tree pattern could do...

    At the week end or when I enjoy a holiday, I could have a slow day on the Snail trail pattern...
    or even lie down on the daisy one....

    Yes, I can pick them all according to my day and my mood.
    (I've come all the way from Mélanie's "petit cabinet de curiosités". Cheers!)

    (I cannot find my way out so that my comment gets printed... Have to use the "anonymous way...)

  6. Beautiful post... beautiful cobblestone streets; fill with so much history they are almost alive...

    Have a great day and rest of the week, Nihal

  7. @ Marie-Noëlle: Bienvenue dans mon Journal:) It's very interesting to see that you really match your daily mood with pavements:) Especially I loved your assumptions pretty neatly one with pine-tree, and other snail's trail, how true:) So cool! Hope my readers find the opportunity to open this comment board, and read your point of View that's 'X-traordinary'!
    Your comment w/your name just well-printed, not anonymous you are anymore;) À la vie, Santé:)
    Anyway, I'm glad that I got the chance to meet Mélanie. I enjoyed reading her 'alla turca' notes upon a recent visit to Ist'l, awesome!!!
    ~Looking forward to yr visits soon.

  8. I love cobblestones (except when I'm wearing narrow high heels)! These photos of various kinds are gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing these bits of history with us.

  9. What a wonderful variety of cobblestones. I love comparing the geometric shapes.


  10. just looking at these artistic paved roads is a trip worth while!
    my favorite cobbles are definetely the tulip ones. my hall way is covered with similar tiles ;)

  11. I LOVE seeing all your photos......those designs in the sidewalk are FABULOUS!!!

  12. @ Dale Anne: Welcome to my home:) I was pleased that you visited my page, and thank you for your kind comment. I hope you'll be back to visit me again and again:) Miles of Smiles.