78 CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS ;
to the capital. Its fate was soon after sealed by Mahomed IL, who completed his line
of approach by seizing on and rebuilding the castle on the European shore.
The Asiatic castle stands, somewhat elevated, on a low promontory, which, with a
village around it, it covers. Near it is the Guyuk Sou, or Sweet Waters of Asia,
frequented as one of the favourite scenes of Turkish enjoyment. The neighbourhood
on both sides the Bosphorus, possesses springs of great celebrity. They are called
by the Greeks ayasma, or " holy wells," and held in high repute for the sanctitv
and efficacy of their waters, their spiritual and physical qualities healing all diseases
both of mind and body. Within the cavity which covers the well, there is a shrine
dedicated to the patron saint, at which the pious are constantly seen, by boats passing
along the Bosphorus, offering up prayers and vows for the forgiveness of sins, or the
recovery of health.
Rising from the low and alluvial soil below, is the beautiful and romantic eminence
of Kandeli. This lovely hill projecting into a promontory, commands an extensive
view on both sides, up and down the strait, nearly to its opening at both seas. 1
the favourite residence of the rich Armenians, who, retiring from the dismal obscuritv
of their shops in the bazaars, or the cell-like offices where they are engaged in the city
and confined all day, indulge here in airy and splendid mansions, an evening repose in
more than Asiatic luxury.
OUTER COOLING-ROOM OF THE BATH, NEAR PSAMATIA KAPO
A district of Constantinople is called Psamatia, from a miracle of the Greek church.
During one of those verbal and frivolous controversies which divided it, a priest
reproved by a young child for some unsound opinion. He replied, he would hold if
till convinced by a sensible miracle that it was wrong. The child was immediately
seized by an invisible hand, and held suspended in the air over the heterodox priest,
till he confessed and recanted his error. This. miracle, called in the Greek church
ypsomathea, or " the divine elevation," gave a name to the whole district, where
firmly believed at this day. It is one of the quarters inhabited by the Armenians, and
presents many indications of the wealth and industry of that thriving people.
It contains one of the principal baths of the city, in the luxury of which, Oriental
Christians, as well as Moslems, indulge. After the process we have already described
is gone through, the bather, purged from all corporeal impurities, and escaped from the
sensations of suffocation and dislocation, is led by the tellah to enjoy the luxury he ha^
in the opinion of many, dearly earned. Here, in an apartment reduced to a moderate
temperature, reclined at ease on a divan, his purified person slightly covered with
shawls, entirely divested of his clothes, and perfectly free from all pressure or restraint,