Displaying items by tag: Büyükada

Monday, 25 February 2013 17:03

Büyükada - The Greek Orphanage

It is Europe’s largest wooden building, and the second largest in the world, according to Jak Deleon. The building was erected in 1898 by a French company, who planned to open it as a grand hotel called the Prinkipo Palas, with a gambling casino on the style of Monte Carlo. But Sultan Abdül Hamit II refused to give permission for such an establishment and it never opened. The building was then purchased by Eleni Zarifi, widow of the banker Leonidas Zarifi, who donated it to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on condition that it be used as an orphanage. The Greek Orphanage, which had been at Balıklı in Istanbul, reopened here in 1903, helped by a gift of 146 gold pieces donated by Abdül Hamit II, who also gave it tax-exempt status. The orphanage closed in 1964 and has since fallen into ruins, though it is still a most impressive site, one of the principal landmarks of Büyükada as seen from the sea.

Published in Suggested Itineraries
Monday, 25 February 2013 17:01

Büyükada - The Monastery of the Transfiguration

According to tradition, the monastery was founded in the Byzantine era, and implicit reference to it seems to have been made in a chrysobull issued in 1158 by the emperor Manuel I Comnenus.

The monastery fell on hard times later in the Ottoman period, but it withstood these difficulties through the support of the guild of the Greek linseed oil merchants in Istanbul and an endowment from the Feneriote nobleman Pascharnikos Christodoulos Vlachoutsis. Patriarch Gregory V lived there in 1809; the former patriarch Chrysanthos moved to the monastery when he retired in 1826 and died there eight years later. Patriarch Sophronius was in residence during the years 1866-70, and through his efforts the monastery was restored and the present katholikon completed in 1869, in accordance with plans drawn by the architect Vasilis Dimitriou.

What remains of the monastery are its katholikon and an adjacent two-storey wing on its south, as well as some out-buildings on the western part of its grounds. The katholikon preserves the carved wooden iconostasis from the earlier church, gilded and decorated with floral and plant designs in both low and high relief. The doors of the Oraia Pylai are particularly notable, with eight small icons in their panels, the most remarkable being a depiction of the Annunciation, all dating from the eighteenth century. There is also a fine eighteenth-century Offertory Diptych, with Christ in the traditional Deesis representation atop the panels, flanked by the Virgin and St. John the Baptist. Set into the south exterior wall there is a replica of an ancient Greek funerary relief, dating from the second half of the nineteenth century.

Published in Suggested Itineraries
Monday, 25 February 2013 16:58

Büyükada - Two Monasteries on Two Hills

There are monasteries on both of the island’s hilltops, and there is a third on the eastern shore below Yüce Tepe, the southern peak. All three monasteries are accessible from the meydan at the waist of the island, to which one can take a fayton from the village.

Isa Tepesi, the northern peak, is crowned with the monastery of the Transfiguration (Hagios Sotiros Christou). On the way up to the monastery one passes a huge wooden structure that once served as the Greek Orphanage, now abandoned and falling into ruins.

The monastery of St. George Koudonas crowns Yüce Tepe, the southernmost of the island’s two hills. A path leads up to the monastery from the meydan at the waist of the island.

Published in Suggested Itineraries

This includes the temporary exhibitions of the Museum and the Adaevi, the cultural enterprise of the Islands Foundation. The Çınar Museum Grounds opened on 31st July 2010 with two exhibitions, following three- months of preparation. Ada Sahillerinde Bekliyorum (From the Shores of the Islands) and Adalılar (Islanders)exhibitions were open for one year.

Published in Suggested Itineraries
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