by Maryam Aamer
"Whatever happens,I can always take a long walk along the Bosporus.'' Orhan Pamuk
| BOSPORUS The favorite of its inhabitants, royal jewel of the city. It soothes the hearts of the tired, enlightens the eyes of the onlookers and enchants the tourists. It is located at the important strategic political position. Young on the geographical scale but believed to be older, in this manner it acts like a lady who wants to hide her age. It separates Asia and Europe and joins the city of Istanbul adding beauty to its architecture.
Before the emergence of Bosporus and the conversion of lake into sea (Marmara), prior to Istanbul being the glorious diamond surrounded by two sapphires (Marmara and Bosporus), there lived people on the land now called Turkey. But the city knew that it was incomplete, pregnable and less beautiful. By the creation of Bosporus many died, many suffered but now many live with the wish in their hearts to glance upon it. Only a gaze upon Bosporus is enough in order to get inspired by the beauty of the nature and to become its lover. The sapphire (Bosporus) was said to be more white than blue due to the presence of fish and marine animals. As of today, you can still see people enjoying themselves catching fish .
In the past many visitors who entered the Centre of the world through Bosporus were stunned by its beauty. Through the fanning wind and misty fog the cupolas, the white marble minarets shimmered upon their eyes and the gardens on the edge gave the view of paradise to the enchanted visitors to the city.
Many also described the effect on the panorama when the rays of the sun smiled on the Ottoman- Roman architectural jewels and the gifted gardens of nature. The sun would have shone the brightest upon the Bosporus' waves scattering the color of the rainbow on its currents. When the moon would have sparkled on its waves the eyes would have glimmered, the heart would have rejoiced and the body would have felt light.
Rumeli Hisari, the fortress built by the conqueror and later to confine prisoners represents itself to the tourists on one of the sides of the strait. On the Asian side the Anadolu Hisari reflects the struggles of the Ottomans in the process of achieving their dreams as it was built by the great grandfather of Mehmet the second in order to control the strait .
The shore of Bosporus also shows the site which once held the title of imperial gardens and then of the imperial palace (Dolmabahce). The palace contains the room in which modern Turkey's beloved father Mustafa Kemal breathed his last. That room can be recognized by anyone because the clock of that room is stuck at 9:05 the time at which the revolutionary passed away from the ever changing world.
The imperial Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) reflecting Ottoman dominance and architecture can be seen from the strait while the western influence can be seen in the Ortakoy Mosque architecture.
Its shore has long been the place chosen by sultans for their summer residences in order to get away from the Topkapi and the rush of many servants, officials and pashas.
Beylerbeyi Palace, Kucuksu Palace and Cirgan Palace were the summer residences of the majestic sultans of that time. Now these palaces and Maiden tower can be seen prettifying the view of Bosporus.
One of the best way to witness the panorama of Istanbul and enjoy the ships floating on Bosporus is from Galata tower. A French painter even drew the enormous view from its top.
One can feel himself to be in the sky while enjoying this view. It would be the most exciting and novel experience one can ever go through in his lifetime.