Old Sultanahmet Street, Istanbul

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Along the Byzantine Walls

This old street in Sultanahmet (the southern portion of Ishakpasa Caddesi) passes by the high stone walls enclosing Topkapı Palace. (Note the stone tower at the far end of the street.)

Topkapı Palace stands on the site of the Byzantineacropolis, where a settlement was built perhaps as early as 1000 BC.

Today the street is busy with yellow Istanbul taxisnegotiating the narrow street on runs between Sultanahmet‘s small, cozy hotels and pensions and other parts of the city.

Istanbul‘s medieval street pattern—truly Byzantine—makes transport slow in places, but a slow pace fits this ancient district.

The image here, taken in mid-March 2004, is enhanced by the clear light, strong winter shadows, and the increased visibility through the branches of the deciduous trees.

 

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