|May 13th –
Sunday – Went to the English Church and at three to hear a sermon.
Mr. Washburn the American missionary resided here.
May 14th – Walked though the bazaars, after which took a kayak and were rowed by two men across the golden horn to Scutari, where we obtained horses and rode up the hill to get a view. It was very fine. Saw the Bosporus, the Marmora, the Prince’s Islands, Brusa; also had a fine view of Constantinople and the country around. Returned home just before sunset. The view as we were returning from Soutari was splendid. The first thing we saw upon landing at Stanbou was the Sultan’s caique pleasure boat. It was painted white, with red curtains and furnishings.
May 15th – This has been a fatiguing day. We crossed the golden horn and were conducted into the grounds of the seraglio and through some of the rooms of the kiosks and palace. The Babylonia was very old. There we saw a small library and a small room full of antique gems, said to be taken from Babylon. In another we saw the Sultan’s library, there was a book containing likenesses of all the Sultans. We saw some beautiful rooms. The walls were paneled with marble. From each window there was a fine view of the sea, the distant hills and the city around. The furniture of the rooms was beautiful silk damask. There were two chandeliers in one supported by India vases, also bookcases, cabinets and secretaries of India manufacture.
Leaving we visited a Turkish armory which was in the bold Christian Church
of Ireneus, taken by the Turks about 1200. There we saw all sorts of guns
with sabers; also battle axes and a number of pistols; also helmets and
coats of mail.
Near the old Greek Church we went into a museum, where we saw a mummy, various antiques from Egypt, India, China, etc. old arms and the bells of St. Ireneus and St. Sophia. We then aw the Mosque of St. Sophia – first went up stairs and looked down into the mosque at the Moslems at their prayers. Here we saw columns from the temple of the Sun at Baalbak and the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. Theses support a position of the building. It is a very large edifice. The Mosque of Ach _____ is also noted. In the Court of this Mosque we saw hundreds of pigeons. Near by we saw the tomb of the Sultan after whom the mosque is called, and the tomb of his wives. Form here we walked to the hippodrome where we saw an obelisk brought from Thebes; also the brazen spiral column which was taken from Delphi; then the pillar of Constantine which was formerly covered with brass.
From the Hippodrome, we went under the ground to see the 1001 columns said to be recently discovered. They extend for some distance under the city – I counted fourteen in one direction and twelve in another. Said to be the cisterns used in the time of the siege. Then came the Mosque of Sul _____ the Magnificent. It was copied after St. Sophia and I think the general appearance was more striking. The ceilings were frescoed. Upon coming out we visited the tomb of the Sultan and his wives; saw that of his favorite one - _________. Some of them were richly covered with silk or velvet embroidered in silver or gold. In one of these rooms we saw the plan of the manner in which the pilgrims entered Mecca. The men’s tombs had a head or crown dressed with a turban – those of the women were plain.