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The Valens (Turkish: Bozdoğan Kemeri, meaning “Aqueduct of the grey falcon”; Greek: Άγωγός του ὔδατος, Agōgós tou hýdatos, meaning simply “aqueduct“) was the major -providing system of medieval Constantinople (modern Istanbul, in Turkey). Restored by several Ottoman Sultans, it is one of the most important landmarks of the city.

File:Valens Aqueduct in Istanbul.jpg

Location

The aqueduct stands in Istanbul, in the quarter of Fatih, and spans the valley between the hills occupied today by the Istanbul University and the Fatih Mosque. The surviving section is 921 meters long, about 50 meters less than the original length.[1] The Atatürk Bulvarı boulevard passes under its arches.

Today it is usually called the Aqueduct of Valens, since it was finished in 368, during Valens’s reign, but there is reason to assume that it was already planned and begun in ’s time.39 As mentioned above, the aqueduct runs parallel to one of the streets in the old part of . Also, its southeastern
prolongation would exactly meet the main entrance of the courtyard in the Great that is now the Mosaic Museum. It is obvious that the aqueduct  was planned in a clear relationship to the street system of the old town of Byzantium. Arches 26/27 and 52 are wider than the others in the aqueduct and were certainly
intended to serve as passages for streets.40 At other points where we would expect similar wider arches, the original construction is lost, for example, at the northwestern end close to the church of the Holy Apostles, where the aqueduct was completely rebuilt in Ottoman times.

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History

Roman period

The construction of a water supply system for the city (then still called Byzantium) had begun already under the Roman emperor Hadrian.[2] Under Constantine I, when the city was rebuilt and increased in size, the system needed to be greatly expanded to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population.[3]

The Valens aqueduct, which originally got its water from the slopes of the hills between Kağıthane and the Sea of Marmara,[4] was merely one of the terminal points of this new wide system of aqueducts and canals – which eventually reached over 250 kilometers in total length, the longest such system of Antiquity – that stretched throughout the hill-country of Thrace and provided the capital with water. Once in the city, the water was stored in three open reservoirs and over a hundred underground cisterns, such as the Basilica Cistern, with a total capacity of over 1 million cubic meters.[5]

Turkey, Constantinople, Aqueduct of Valens (in the City), 1838“Aqueduct of Valens (in the City)” (Istanbul) engraved by J.C.Bentley after a picture by W.H.Bartlett, published in The Beauties of the Bosphorus, 1838. Steel engraved print with recent hand colour. Good condition. Size 18 x 14.5 cms including title, plus margins. Ref G3331

The exact date that construction on the aqueduct began is uncertain, but it was completed in the year 368 during the reign of Roman Emperor Valens, whose name it bears. It lay along the valley between the third and fourth hills of Constantinople, occupied respectively at that time by the Capitolium and the Church of the Holy Apostles.[6] According to tradition, the aqueduct was built using the stones of the walls of Chalcedon, pulled down as punishment in 366 after the revolt of Procopius.[6] The structure was inaugurated in the year 373 by the urban prefect Klearchos, who commissioned a Nymphaeum Maius in the Forum of Theodosius, that was supplied with water from the aqueduct.[6]a[›]

After a severe drought in 382, Theodosius I built a new line (the Aquaeductus Theodosiacus), which took water from the northeastern region known today as the “Belgrade Forest”.[3]

East Roman (Byzantine) period

Other works were executed under Theodosius II, who decided to distribute the water of the aqueduct exclusively to the Nymphaeum, the Baths of Zeuxippus and the Great Palace of Constantinople.[3] The aqueduct, possibly damaged by an earthquake, was restored under Emperor Justinian I, who connected it with the Cistern of the Basilica of Illusb[›] (identified today either with the Yerebatan or with the Binbirdirek (Turkish: Turkish): “thousand and one columns”) cistern, and was repaired in 576 by Justin II, who built a separate pipe.[6][7]

The aqueduct was cut by the Avars during the siege of 626, and the water supply was reestablished only after the great drought of 758 by Emperor Constantine V.[6] The Emperor had the whole water supply system repaired by a certain Patrikios, who used a large labour force coming from the whole of Greece and Anatolia.[6]

Other maintenance works were accomplished under Emperors Basil II (in 1019) and Romanos III Argyros.[4][8]

The last Byzantine Emperor who took care of the aqueduct was Andronikos I Komnenos.[7] Neither during the Latin Empire nor during the Palaiologan period were any repair works executed, but by that time the population of the city had shrunk to about 40,000 – 50,000 inhabitants, so that the water supply was no longer a very important issue.[4] Nevertheless, according to Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, a Castilian diplomat who traveled to Constantinople en route to an embassy to Timur in 1403, the aqueduct was still functioning.[6]

Ottoman period

After the Fall of Constantinople (1453), Sultan Mehmet II repaired the whole water supply, which was then used to bring water to the imperial palaces of Eski Sarayi (the first palace, built on the third hill) and Topkapı Sarayi, and connected it with a new line coming from the northeast. The great earthquake of 1509 destroyed the arches near the Mosque of Şehzade, which was erected some time later. This gave rise to the popular legend that they were cut, in order to allow a better view from the nearby mosque. The repairs to the water-supplying net continued under Beyazid II, who added a new line.[8]

Around the middle of the 16th century, Suleyman I rebuilt arches (now ogival) 47 up to 51 (counted from the west) near the Şehzade Mosque, and commissioned the Imperial Architect Sinan to add two more lines, coming from the Forest of Belgrade (Belgrad Ormanı).[4] The increased flow allowed the distribution of water to the Kιrkçeşme (“Forty Fountains”) quarter, situated along the aqueduct on the Golden Horn side, and so called after the many fountains built there under Suleyman.[4]

Under Sultan Mustafa II, five arches (41-45) were restored, respecting the ancient form. An inscription in situ, dated 1696/97, commemorates the event.[8] His successor Ahmed III repaired again the distribution net.[8]

In 1912, a 50-meter-long part of the aqueduct near the Mosque was pulled down.[4] In the same period, a new modern Taksim (“distribution plant”, lit. ‘division’) at the east end was erected.[4]

Description

The Aqueduct of Valens

The Aqueduct of Valens had a length of 971 meters and a maximum height of ca. 29 meters (63 meters above sea level) with a constant slope of 1:1000.[6] Arches 1-40 and 46-51 belong to the time of Valens, arches 41-45 to Mustafa II, and those between 52 and 56 to Suleyman I.[9] Arches 18-73 have a double order, the others a single order.[6][9]

Originally the structure ran perfectly straight, but during the construction of the Fatih Mosque – for unknown reasons – it was bent in that section.[10] The masonry is not regular, and uses a combination of ashlar blocks and bricks.[6] The first row of arches is built with well-squared stone blocks, the upper row is built with four to seven courses of stones alternated with a bed of smaller material (opus caementitium) clamped with iron cramps.[10] The width of the aqueduct varies from 7.75 meters to 8.24 meters.[6] The pillars are 3.70 meters thick, and the arches of the lower order are four meters wide.[10]

The water comes from two lines from the northeast and one coming from the northwest, which join together outside the walls, near the Adrianople Gate (Edirne Kapı).[1] Near the east end of the aqueduct there is a distribution plant, and another lies near Hagia Sophia. The water feeds the zone of the imperial palace.[10] The daily discharge in the 1950s amounted to 6,120 cubic meters.[10] During , two roads important for the topography of medieval Constantinople crossed under the eastern section of the aqueduct.[10]

CISTERN of AETIOS

This open cistern in the northwest of the city was built in 421 and filled with water from the supply line leading to the Aqueduct of Valens. In the middle byzantine time, it was probably already used as a garden.

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Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.

Passage Oriental’ – Passage Markiz

Finally, after the Suriye Pasaj and almost at the Tünel appears the ‘Passage Oriental’, which stood vacant for years until it reopened recently as the Passage Markiz. Known as the Lebon Patisserie until 1940 when it became Markiz Patisserie, this café and pastry shop is located right at the entrance to the arcade. An important center of cultural and social activity in its day, it was also a meeting place of artists, writers and intellectuals for years.

With its ever changing face, Beyoğlu has undergone many transformations in the last two hundred years but has always preserved a special place in the memory. The sole unchanged witness of that change and dynamism are the buildings that line the avenue from end to end.

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Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


Suriye (Syria) PasajISTANBUL’S MOST RESPLENDENT

At the lower end of İstiklal Caddesi another arcade rises before us which distinguishes itself from all the others. Built by Suriye Paşa in the 1880′s, the Suriye (Syria) Pasaj is the most resplendent of them all on the interior. The original building was designed with a shopping area on the lower level and dwellings on the upper levels and is said to be the first building after the imperial to be supplied with electricity and city gas. Turkey’s first movie theater was also opened in this arcade which boasts two elevators. Silent films began to be shown here in 1910 in a cinema called the Ciné Central, which later took the names Şafak and then Cumhuriyet before unfortunately closing after it was renamed the Zafer Cinema. The French-language Istanbul daily Stamboul was printed here from 1875 to 1964, as is today the Greek-language Apoyevmatini, which has been published since 1925 in the old-fashioned way in black and white and without photographs.

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LoadingAdd to Favorites!  |  CATEGORIES: Shopping, Tours, Whereist Beyoglu

Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


El-Hamra Pasaj

Directly opposite the Church of St. Antoine, conspicuous for its magnificent architecture, the El-Hamra Pasaj, built in the first half of the 19th century, is quieter than the others.

At first an entertainment center with a French Theater and Billur Saray (Crystal ), this was subsequently razed and rebuilt to accommodate the most opulent theater of its time, built by the famous architects Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi and Kiryadis. Interest in the El-Hamra waned as new movie theaters went up around the city, and a new one has now been erected in its place after a recent fire.



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Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


Hacopulo (Hazzopulo) Pasaj

Built by the Istanbul Greek Hacopulo Family but better known today as the ‘Danışman Geçidi’, the Hacopulo Pasaj housed some of the most fashionable shops of its day. Home to vendors of thread, buttons and headgear, this at the same time had a political mission. The Young Turks met here and their newspaper, ‘İbret’, published by Ahmet Mithat Efendi and Namık Kemal, was also printed on the premises. A venue mainly of small cafeteria-type restaurants today, the also has a few book dealers and old-fashioned artisans’ establishments.


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Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


Aznavur Pasaj
Built in 1883, the Aznavur Pasaj subsequently underwent several renovations. Its shops sell a host of gift items ranging from miniatures, mother-of-pearl inlaid boxes and pipes to clothing that appeals to the young people.


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Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


THE HISTORIC FLOWER
When you reach the square in front of Galatasaray Lycée at the heart of Beyoğlu, if it’s evening the melodies beginning to rise in the distance and the voices of the people singing along will lure you into the famous Çiçek Pasaj or ‘Flower Passage’. Aka ‘Cité de Pera’, Çiçek Pasaj boasts a plethora of traditional restaurants where you can quench your thirst and sample the tasty Turkish appetizers known as ‘meze’. Çiçek Pasaj, which opens at one end onto the avenue and at the other onto the old Istanbul Balık Pazarı or Fish Market, plays host to some very old denizens indeed. Maruni Naum Efendi’s wooden theater and a hotel called ‘Palais des Fleurs’ once stood in the area where the Çiçek Pasaj and Avrupa Pasaj, both built following the Pera fire of 1870, stand today. The Avrupa Pasaj in particular presents a sharp contrast to the other arcades with its unique architecture and ornamentation. The statues in the arches of the upper level of this long, corridor-like and the unusual items sold in the shops give this pasaj a different air. Colorful ceramic tiles, embroidered silk covers and Turkish fabrics and kilims dazzle the eye in this pasaj which is known as the mirrored for the mirror-encased columns separating the shops. Continuing along the avenue we come to the Aznavur and Hacopulo (Hazzopulo) arcades, where Italian architecture reigns supreme.


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LoadingAdd to Favorites!  |  CATEGORIES: Shopping, Tours, Whereist Beyoglu

Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


Atlas Pasaj

Directly opposite the Halep Pasaj is the Atlas Pasaj, at whose entrance are the Atlas Cinema and the Sadri Alışık Theater. The two buildings at the back of this , which consists of three large structures, has the appearance of a mall with numerous shops.

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LoadingAdd to Favorites!  |  CATEGORIES: Shopping, Tours, Whereist Beyoglu

Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


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Rumeli Pasaj

When you stroll from Taksim Square down to Tünel, the Rumeli Pasaj () appears on your right just after the French Consulate. Built

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Thronged by thousands daily, Istiklal Caddesi is chock full of buildings that reflect the cultural changes of the recent period and the dynamism of the times. With their cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes and art galleries, the famous of Beyoğlu preserve their original vitality even as their owners and regulars come and go.


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The Anadolu Pasaj
The Anadolu Pasaj (1910) just opposite and the Afrika Pasaj (1905), which joins Büyük and Küçük Parmakkapı Streets, were also built by Ragıp Paşa, a functionary who had three arcades built and is rumored to have named them the Rumeli (European), Anadolu (Asian) and Africa to symbolize the far-flung reach of Ottoman rule. An important commercial center when it was built, the lower floors of the Africa Pasaj were an apartment building occupied mostly by Levantines. Unlike the Rumeli Pasaj, the other two serve more as passages between streets today.

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