CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS ;
MOSQUE OF BUYUK DJAMI, SCUTARI.
This epithet " Buyuk," or great, was conferred upon it, to distinguish it from the
lesser mosques which adorn Scutari. It is known by the smallness of its dome, and by
the balcony or gallery which runs round the outside. It stands on the edge of the
water, near the scala, or landing-place for passing caiques. Beside it is the usual
fountain, covered with the common aquatic birds, which the considerate charity of the
Turks renders so tame, that they mix undisturbed with the bustle of the passengers. On
the right is seen the distant summits of the cypress which fill the great cemetery.
FOUNTAIN NEAR THE BABA HUMMAYOUN,
OR GREAT GATE OF THE SERAGLIO.
After climbing through various narrow, winding, steep, dark, and dirty streets, which
form the great interior of the avenues leading through the city, the stranger emerges near
the summit of one of the seven hills; and here the town assumes somewhat of a new and
spacious character. He enters an irregular but open and extensive area, which was the
" Forum Augusti" under the Greek empire, and which the Turks have not yet entirely
choked up with narrow lanes. Here he walks through wider, more level, and better-
paved streets, and sees, almost clustered together, the mosque of Santa Sophia, a noble
kisla, or barrack, the opening of the Atmeidan, a beautiful fountain, and the Baba
Hummayoun, or great entrance into the seraglio.
The fountain, somewhat similar to that already described, was erected by Achmet III.
in the beginning of the last century. It is crowned with domes, and ornamented with
the usual arabesque sculpture, but it is particularly distinguished by bearing sundry
poetical inscriptions composed by the imperial builder of it.
Between the fountain and one entrance to the mosque of Santa Sophia is seen that of the
seraglio. This gate, distinguished by its lofty arch, was therefore called Baba Hummayoun,
or "the high door,'' by the Turks, which the French translate into "Sublime Porte:"*
the term has become a designation for the cabinet of Turkish diplomacy, as before noticed.
The gate was originally erected by Mahomet II. when he entered the Christian capital, and
converted the residence of the priests of Santa Sophia into a palace for himself. It con-
* Cettc porte dont lempire Ottomane a pris iiorn.—Toubn.