Yazar: 2008-09-02FOUNTAINS: SOUVENIRS FROM THE SULTANSThe fountains standing in the several corners of Istanbul like unprizable art monuments are the works of respect towards the water in our country. The belief that quenching is good deed and the Islamic religion's ordering cleanliness have led the great water facilities, fountains and public fountains to be built not only in Istanbul but also in every corner of the country; yet, only some of them have reached today.
After the city had reached enough water by the several facilities made to be built in Suleyman the Magnificent, Osman II, Ahmed III, Mustafa III, Selim III and Mahmud I eras, sultans declared that the excessive water was allowed for people who want fountains to be made with the imperial orders they stated. By these imperial orders, the luminaries of the city besides sultans made fountains to be built to every corner of the city in order to make their names be commemorated. So, fountain and public fountain branch of Turkish architectural art appeared. This architectural art's starting to gain monument feature, on the other hand, starts with the 18th century. Especially in the Tulip Era, Istanbul had reached precious and very beautiful fountains carrying artistic values.
Saliha Sultan Fountain
This fountain was made to be built in 1732 by the mother of Sultan Mahmud I, Saliha Sultan. As it is located in the middle of Azapkapi Square on the down side of Unkapani Bridge, it took the name of this town. It is known as 'Saliha Sultan Fountain' among the people. There is a story about the construction of the fountain that has reached today being told over centuries. According to this story, there had been a small fountain there before the monument fountain of today was constructed and the people met their water requirement from here. Hatice Sultan, the mother of Sultan Mehmed IV saw a little girl crying near this fountain. There was a jug handle in one of the girl's hands and with the other she was drying her eyes. Hatice Sultan, known as a charitable woman, was very sad about the situation of this little girl and she wanted to give her money calling her. Then the little girl said with a maturity that wasn't expected from her, "I don't cry for breaking the jug, I cry for that I couldn't overcome such a simple work like water bringing". Valide Sultan was very pleased with what she heard. After she learnt the girl's name, family name, where she was from and where she lived, she turned to Palace. Not much later, Saliha's family got news from the Palace as their daughter was demanded by the Palace. One day she became the wife of Sultan Mustafa II. Saliha Sultan was looking for the ways to be helpful for the public not forgetting the days her old poor days, although she was a wealthy person anymore. Here, the fountain rising in the middle of the square was the product of this thought. The work of which architect isn't known for sure, was composed of two fountains in two sides, a public fountain in the middle and a water tank in addition to these. The public fountain and the fountains are covered with marbles and it is ornamented with figures inspired from the east and west ornaments of the era.
The First Square Fountain
Although all Istanbul fountains don't have such stories, it is no doubt that they all have characteristic properties. For example, Sultan Ahmed III Fountain in the area back of the Hagia Sophia in Blue Mosque field is the "first square fountain". Although Ahmed III, the famous sultan of the Tulip Era, was known for his prudence, he loosened the purse strings in order to be get this fountain made and ordered a superior fountain to be built compared to those of European. Following this order, the expert mason, casters, lead casters and ceramists were mobilized and the fountain which the sultan was looking forward to be finished was completed in1 729.
The fountain built by an architecture group under the leadership of Kayserili Mehmed Aga had four façades and all façades had one fountain and public fountain on the corners and its main façade was looking to Hagia Sophia. Ceramic, bronze, wood and marble equipment were integrated to each other facade of this fountain.
The Fountain Vitalizing Tophane
Tophane Fountain was made in 1732 by the head architect of the Palace Mehmed Aga under the command of Sultan Mahmud I. At the beginning of the 18th century Tophane Square was one of the most central places in Istanbul and there were shops in here where trade goods were sold. Yet, there was no fountain to meet the requirement for water. So, in order to create the needed area to construct Tophane Fountain with this aim, first the shops in the square were ruined and Tophane Fountain or with the other name Mahmud I Fountain was constructed in this area.
The four marble façades of the fountain are quite the same. There is a pointed arc in the middle. Under the art the fountain arc a trough, on the two sides of the fountain embossed ornaments that symbolizes the several fruited trees in the flowerpots or these facades.
Uskudar Seaport Fountain
The glorious fountain in Uskudar Seaport Square lives the memoir of Gulnus Sultan, the mother of Sultan Ahmed III. Gulnus Sultan, among one of the most charitable sultans of Ottoman history died in 1715 in Edirne. After her corpse was brought to Istanbul and she was buried to the tomb in front of Yeni Valide Mosque which was made to the memory of her. Sultan Ahmed III ordered Damad Ibrahim Pasha a fountain to be constructed which would commemorate the name of his mother with good wills. Only locals were using the fountain, the water carriers and the residents of other towns weren't given water from this fountain which was opened in 1729, fourteen years after the death of Gulnus Valide Sultan. The work is accepted as the pioneer of Turkish rococo art from the historical aspect. There are two cells together with three façades in the middle of which pointed arc faucet and two fountains of which troughs look to the sea on the main façade. On the fountain, as on the fountain in front of Topkapi Palace, there are embossed and carved typed ornaments. The fountain that was close to the sea when it was constructed, was left inside in the years following as the sea was filled and the dome-like roof on it was ruined by time.
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