Kuruçeşme – beauty on the Bosphorus

Come and check out the streets of KurucesmeAnother small suburb tucked away on the edges of the Bosphorus is Kurucesme (Kuruçeşme). The name translates as dry fountain, and it is believed to have been named for a 17th century fountain attached to the Tezkireci Osman Efendi Mosque. At one time the area was an industrial zone where coal and sand were stored. These days it is a quiet, leafy suburb that contains a lovely selection of churches in a very small area. My starting point was Kırbaç Street, which like many of the streets in this area immediately rises inland from the coast road. The Surp Harç Ermeni Kilesi is located on the left hand side a way up the street and I was able to walk through the grounds. It is small but imposing stone rectangular church, built in 1881 by a Master Garabet, a member of the talented Balyan family of architects.


Grounds of Surp Haç Armenian Church








A bit further up the road, opposite a small roundabout that looks lost in a large intersection, is Hagio Demetrios.

Hagio Demetrios, Kurucesme, Istanbul.An Orthodox Armenian Church, it is the original home of the theological college now located on Heyebeliada. The structure I entered was built in 1798 but the janitor suggested the church itself dated back 400 years. It’s quite possible an earlier structure had existed on the same spot.

Interior of tunnel leading to the holy springThe church proper is only open for Saturday services, but I was able to visit the small chapel above. Being forbidden to take photographs did not detract from the room filled with Madonna and child paintings, a large triptych and a basin at the base of one wall with two taps where you can fill your cup with water. I ducked through a low door and walked the length of the 40 metre tunnel to the source of the water, the Hagios Sotiros ayazma or Holy Spring. So much water has run down the walls of the tunnel that they have calcified, making it look and feel like being in a natural formed cave.

When I exited the church, I turned right and made my way up the winding steps leading around and behind the church and came out further up the hill. To my left the road was even steeper, so I headed a little way back down to Alayemini Street. Lined with old konak houses this is where I now want to live.

My new favourite street - Alayemini StreetAnd it has nazar for luck!I wonder what's hidden behind these windows!

I bet this placce has plenty of stories to tell.

Back down on level ground I continued along the coast road, past glorious old abandoned houses. At the point where Kuruçeşme meets Arnavutköy I came to the Church of Ioannis Prodroos (St John the Baptist). Only visible by standing across the road and waiting for a break in the traffic, the church boasts an unusual round wooden turret. A bell tower stands separately to one side of the building.


I ended my walk by looking over at the famous Galatsaray Island, musing that my seat on the water’s edge will most likely be the closest I ever get to it.

View to Galatasaray Island, IstanbulIf you enjoyed this post, check out my new category “Discover Istanbul” (see drop down Category menu on the right hand side towards the top of this page). I’m sure it’ll inspire to you to go exploring!

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About Goreme1990

I’m Lisa Morrow, the person behind www.insideoutinistanbul.com. I was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up a leafy middle class North Shore suburb. After finishing high school I went to Sydney University but failed to find my niche. After working as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter, I went overseas. Once there I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. My three months stay in the small central Anatolian village of Göreme changed my life. On my return to Australia I earned a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder. After several false starts I moved to Turkey and lived there for ten years. In 2017 I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, but continue to travel regularly to Istanbul. In addition to my blog I've written a travel narrative memoir called "Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom: Adrift in Istanbul" and two collections of essays, "Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City" and "Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries". I have a regular segment on San Francisco Turkish radio and in early 2017 I released an audio walking tour called "Stepping back through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk", through VoiceMap. In addition I write for various international and Australian magazines and websites, as well as for this blog. A full list of my published articles, with links, can be found on the Writing on Turkey and Writing Beyond Turkey pages.
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