WITH THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR. «5
On the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, nearly opposite to Beshiktash, and the old
palace, he has erected a new one, displaying a taste very different from the former, and a
design equal in beauty and arrangement to any of those erected by European sovereigns.
It consists of a centre with two extensive wings. The long facade presents, not foundation-
walls of rude masonry supporting a barbarous superstructure of wood, with windows
darkened by dense blinds, like all the imperial palaces on the opposite coast; but a Doric
colonnade of marble is approached by spacious flights of steps of the same material; these
elevate stately fronts of sculptured stone, pierced by regular open windows, ornamented with
mouldings and architraves, and surmounted by cornices and balustrades. The centre is
a superb entrance of six Corinthian pillars, crowned by a noble pediment, enclosing a
sculptured tympanum. This central portion is the residence of the sultan ; the left wing
contains the harem of his establishment, and the right the various offices of his household.
The edifice stands on a quay of hewn granite, and forms the most noble and novel object
of all the buildings that line the shores of the Bosphorus.
The palace was commenced at the termination of the Greek revolution, and the
acknowledgment of their independence, when the sultan, conquering the feelings of
anger and vengeance, again received them into his favour. It was observed at the time,
that he showed not only an extraordinary placability of disposition towards his revolted
subjects, altogether extraordinary in one of his character, but conferred on them such
favours, that his enemies circulated a report that he was about to abjure the faith of
Mahomet, and adopt, among other European innovations, the religion of the Gospel.
It was remarked, that he had built his new palace near Istauros, the ancient " city of the
cross." It had been so called because Constantine, when he embraced Christianity, had
erected here a large golden cross, to commemorate the event of his conversion; and the
sanguine Greeks did not fail to seize on it as a proof of the same intention of the sultan,
that he chose the city of the cross as the site of his new palace, as if to record his conversion. That nothing might be wanting, a report at the time was circulated in the Fanal,
that a large aerial cross, like that seen by Constantine, had just appeared over the dome
of Santa Sophia—a certain indication that it was about to be purified from its desecration,
and again consecrated to the service of Christ, for which it was originally built.