On the Road: Libraries Without Books

One of the library rooms at Ishak Pasha Palace

Some of us have been traveling of late, and we thought you might enjoy a few pictures from our journeys.

This blogger ended up at the easternmost end of Turkey. There she visited the amazing Ishak Pasha Palace on the Silk Road, below Mt. Ararat. Built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and currently being restored, the extensive complex included a grand dining hall, a mosque, and a harem. I, of course, was particularly taken with its library rooms (yes, if I understood correctly, those recesses are for books).

The Ishak Pasha Palace follows a plan related to that of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. There, at the opposite end of Turkey, I saw the serene library pavilion of Sultan Ahmed III. Again, it was without books, the manuscripts having been moved to the new Topkapi Palace Library in 1966.

One can only imagine what wondrous spaces these libraries were centuries ago, when animated by both books and readers.

Library of Sultan Ahmed III, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

View of a corner of the Library pavilion, Topkapi Palace

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