28 August 2010

Traffic along Kennedy Boulevard, Istanbul

Posted by Callan Bentley

Another animated GIF, this one showing the ancient defensive walls that bound old town Istanbul (which is old town Constantinople, which is old town Byzantium), now ringed by a freeway and then the rip-rap-covered shore of the Bosphorus:

There’s a paved walking path between the freeway and the shore; that’s where I was standing to take these photos. Here’s about where the photos that make up this GIF were taken.

Exactly how old these walls are is unknown to me. There have been defensive walls at this site for 2800 years, but they have also been rebuilt and refortified (and blasted and repaired) many times since then. These may date to the extensive wall-building period under the Emperor Theodosius in the early 400’s CE.

The animated GIF conveys a little bit, I think, of what’s so charming about Turkey: the palimpsest of history. Modern drives past ancient. More to come on this theme in the months ahead as I continue to debrief my Turkey trip!