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Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Mystery of the Bosphorus

When the crossing the Bosphorus bridge from the Anatolian side to the European side, you cannot help but notice a very delicate house gently located on the slopes of Ortakoy just by the Bosphorus. You cannot help but begin to think... I wonder who lives here? They must be very wealthy, maybe loyalty? After all such a view is not something everyone can in the city can afford.

These were the very thoughts I had myself this summer when I was in Istanbul. Although the morning travels were hectic, crowded and uncomfortable, when about to reach Ortakoy in the bus, I would push around to find a room by the window to admire this beautiful house; thinking one day I want to live here. 

Little did I know this was the house of Bruno Taut, a German Jew, an inspirational architect who worked in what is now the Mimar Sinan Guzel Sanatlar Akademisi (Mimar Sinan Academy of the Fine Arts). He lived both in Japan and Turkey after having fled Nazi Germany. Many of his building projects in Turkey are in Ankara (the new capital of the Republic) and Trabzon. When he arrived in Turkey in 1936, the new Turkish Republic was only 13 years old, thus there was a need of European architects to help construct the new country. 

Taut's stay was brief in Turkey, but one can argue he had one of the biggest influences. He died due to his severe asthma in Istanbul, year 1938. He wanted to be buried in the country that opened her arms to him. It still remains a mystery why he was buried in Edirnekapi (a Muslim cemetery) despite him being Jewish. This reflects the beauty of Istanbul at that time where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together under the beautiful oriental city of Istanbul. 

The Japanese and Turkish influences can be seen in the Bruno Taut house

The House as seen from Ortakoy, above is the start of the Bosphorus Bridge

This peculiar house stands on two tall plints and hover over the steep slope it is located on. The house connects with the greeny and the blue of the Bosphorus. 

Who knows maybe one day I will get to live in this house. 


  1. Hi Gulce,

    sorry if I’m using a comment for this kind of message, but I couldn’t find a contact form or email address in your website :\

    My name is Nikolai, i am helping out marketing agency to find bloggers suitable for their campaigns, and your blog (travelspaceandarchitecture.blogspot.nl) looks like a perfect fit for what they’re looking for.

    Do you think you could be interested in receiving offers about advertisement on your website?

    1. Hello Nikola,

      I have been trying to get in touch with you for quite sometime now. I have sent you a message sometime ago but I am not sure if it has come through.

      My email is go57@kent.ac.uk, please feel free to reach me from here.

      I am looking forward to hearing from you,
      Gulce Onganer