By Robert Dankoff
Evliya Celebi was once the seventeenth century's so much diligent, adventurous, and sincere recorder, whose puckish wit and humor are laced all through his ten-volume masterpiece. This fresh translation brings Evliya sparklingly again to existence. ""Well worthy a read.""-Irish Echo 7/2011
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Additional resources for An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya Celebi
In the year (—) (1634), when Sultan Murad IV went on his expedition to Revan, his lieutenant Bayram Pasha repaired and whitewashed the walls of Galata and measured them with an architect’s cubit. The circuit, together with all the towers and ramparts, was calculated to be 18,000 cubits. There are 205 towers and 13,000 crenellations. The height of the walls is forty royal cubits. Some of the towers are eighty royal cubits in height. But Galata Tower, built by Mehmed the Conqueror, is 118 cubits high, and its sky-scraping summit is covered with lead.
The courtyard has ten gates: two on the qibla side, the Mera Gate and the Old Palace Gate; on the south side, the Mekteb Gate, Market Gate, Sağmedrese Gate, and Chief Physician’s Gate; on the west, the Imaret (Soup Kitchen) Gate, Tevhane (Guesthouse) Gate, and the Agha’s Gate, reached by (—) steps. On the north is the Dome Gate of 1001 Nails, reached by twenty stone steps – it is called so because that was the number of nails used to construct the dome. And on the east side is the Hammam Gate, with (—) steps leading down to the public bath.
Guild of sable kalpak makers. Eighty shops and 105 individuals. Their patron saint is unknown. This headgear is the crown of the Chingissids. They deck their shops with sable kalpaks and entertain the crowds by stuffing kalpaks with cotton and manipulating the resulting puppets with strings. Guild of sable merchants. 1,000 individuals, all of them Rumelian Greeks – from the cities of Serfice, Florunya, Liçista and Gölikesri – with no religion and no patron saint. They are wealthy merchants who every year import sables and squirrels and other furs from Muscovy.
An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya Celebi by Robert Dankoff