A Week of Celebrations in Istanbul.

We have had a very interesting week. Last Thursday we went to a lecture about the Crimean War victory celebrations of 31 January 1856, that were held in Pera House, Istanbul (the present British Consulate). The lecture was given by Dr Steven Richmond, of Istanbul Technical University, in the room next to the very same ballroom where the original celebrations took place. We learned that, to celebrate the ending of the Crimean War, the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, gave a fancy dress costume ball for more than 800 guests.

Dr Steven Richmond who gave the lecture.

A very special guest at the victory celebrations was none other than Sultan Abdülmecit himself. This was reported widely throughout Europe, as this was the very first time an Ottoman leader had ever visited a foreign embassy. Other guests included Ottoman ministers, British, French and Sardinian officers, the Greek Patriarch, the Armenian Archbishop and the Jewish Chief Rabbi. It was a very splendid occasion, and no one failed to notice that the Sultan and his entourage all drank champagne, along with the other guests.

This is one of a pair of exquisite chandeliers in the ballroom at Pera House. The Chandeliers were originally meant as a gift to the Tsar of Russia from Queen Victoria, and were actually on their way when the Crimean war broke out. They were quickly diverted to the embassy in Istanbul, where they remain to this day.

We came across these Peruvians on our way to Pera House.

Last Saturday we went to David's pre-school Fun Day. Everyone had a great time, and there was lots of food and plenty of activities for the children.

All the little girls wanted their faces painted.

The parents made an wonderful selection of typically Turkish food

A magician entertained the children on Fun Day.

On Monday we attended the Queen's Birthday Party. In past years this has been held at the British Consulate, but no more, due to the parlous state of Britain's finances. This year it was held in the garden of the parsonage, thanks to our dear friend Canon Ian Sherwood. It was such a fun evening. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera, so sadly there are no photos, but I can assure you that the evening was a great success and the Queen would have been proud.

Today is Paddy and Irene's 45th Wedding Anniversary. We wish them well and may they have many more years together!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely to catch up on your lives from the computer. Middle of winter and huge frosts here. Wayne busy watching soccer and All Blacks. What are you doing for summer holidays???? One year ago today we landed at Heathrow so close to getting over to Istanbul.



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