Memories in Balat
By Yelda Baler
Back on the street I walked up the hill and came in sight of ivaz
Efendi Mosque, standing on the terrace of Blachernae Palace where
banquets were held many centuries ago. The mosque was constructed in the 1580s, and it is thought that the architect trained under the
great 16th century Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. This attractive
mosque reflects the innovative style of the time. Next to the mosque is the Anemas Dungeon, and descending the narrow ramp at the entrance
I found myself in complete darkness. With a shiver of trepidation I
lit one match after another and entered its passageways by their flickering light. Anemas Dungeon is one of the surviving structures of
the palace, along with a second tower and the substructures. The upper
floors of the towers were used as living quarters. Today the impressive dungeons below ground are a favourite location for historic
Turkish films. A little
higher up the hill, just inside the city walls I came to Tekfur
Palace, the most important of the Byzantine imperial palaces and the only one still standing.
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