A magnificent panorama of Constantinople (Istanbul) showing the Seraglio Point taken from Galata (Pera). This headland lies at the mouth of the Bosphorus, and is dominated by the sultan's palace (known as the Topkapi Palace), which occupied the whole of the tip of the promontory. The 15th century palace was the splendid residence of the Ottoman sultans and their court until the 19th century, but was replaced by other palaces built along the Bosphorus from the 1850s until the late 19th century. In the centre of the photograph is the Nuruosmaniye Mosque. Built in the 18th century, this was the first Baroque Ottoman mosque. The Turkish Baroque style remained in use until the 19th century and represents the gradual westernisation of Ottoman culture during this period.
Istanbul occupies one of the most beautiful sites in the world, uniting Europe with Asia. The historical combination of western and eastern cultures was a source of fascination for European visitors who arrived in ever increasing numbers on the steamships that were introduced in the 1830s. It was also in the late 1830s that the first bridge was built linking the land masses on either side of the Golden Horn.
This is the one of two panoramas of the city in the photographer's archive. The other is a more distant view taken from the Galata Tower.