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Istanbul’s Traditional Houses


Istanbul has a long tradition of wooden house construction.  The majority of its wooden houses date back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but these buildings are deteriorating fast.  Many have been destroyed by fire, largely because they were built so close together, and the remaining ones are suffering from lack of maintenance.


This beautiful yellow example stands close to Aghia Sofia, but even here you can see the signs of decay.


Despite the efforts of UNESCO and the German Archaeological Institute, the fate of the wooden houses of Istanbul looks grim. Studies have been carried out and detailed drawings have been made, but actual conservation is still needed.

Sadly, these remnants of the life of the old city may soon be extinct. 

Linked to Monday Mellow Yellow and Lingering Look at Architecture.

10 replies »

  1. I’ve walked past this house many times standing majestically at the top of the hill. It is sad to see its slow decay over time. Every time it visit Istanbul I wonder if restoration work will have begun. I am always disappointed.


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