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Friday, December 31, 2004

The Fountain Magazine:Istanbul's Vanished City of the Dead: The Grand Champs des Morts

"Istanbul's Vanished City of the Dead: The Grand Champs des Morts

With a rich and varied architecture embodying centuries of history, Istanbul is one of the world�s most celebrated cities. Besides the splendid monuments of its classical, Byzantine, and Ottoman heritage, Istanbul�s cemeteries have also contributed to its renown. Historically, the vast necropolises of Ey�p, �sk�dar, and the Grand Champs des Morts in Pera have attracted the most notice. While the first two cemeteries still survive, the latter endures only as a memory�described in the pages of travel accounts, depicted on old engravings and maps, and tangibly perceptible in a scattering of funerary monuments that once graced its broad expanse. Yet, just over a hundred and fifty years ago, the Grand Champs des Morts existed as one of the world�s great necropolises. A realm where the living intermingled with the dead, it roused the interest and imagination of visitors to Istanbul, and, even more notably, in an age of reform and change, offered inspiration and a model for contemporary designers of cemeteries in Western Europe. "

More:The Fountain Magazine