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Dick Osseman | profile | all galleries >> Istanbul >> Hans - Hanlar >> Karaköy Kurşunlu Han tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Karaköy Kurşunlu Han

This gallery is part of the North of the Golden Horn subgallery.

On several occasions I roamed the Karaköy area during my last visits. Partly because it’s nice in itself, partly because I felt it might suddenly disappear due to the whims of “developers” and the general tendency to do away with old or even ancient buildings and transform them into offices, apartments at high prices, and “upgrade” an area into what the modern tourist wishes to see. And almost invariably I would stand in front of a door to the Kurşunlu (roughly: with leaded roof) Han, and find it closed. Then, suddenly, in 2018 I found it opened. I took many pictures that I show here. Searching for information I came across a piece in Turkish that, to my astonishment, would translate in decent English. I corrected some obvious errors, and shortened the text, as follows:

“Genoese, Byzantine and Ottoman, Karaköy Kurşunlu Han is now lead-free. Because the slabs of lead covering the roof have been dismantled and sold. The historical monument of which Mimar Sinan designed the upper floor is waiting to be saved. The building was part of the Rüstem Pasha Foundation during the Ottoman period, and is mentioned as Rüstem Paşa Han. It carries the permanent traces of Genoese, Byzantine and Ottoman works. A large part of the lower floor of the two-story inn are the remains of Saint Michele's Cathedral, built by the Genoese in 1200 years. The Byzantines also made some repairs. The upper floor was built by Mimar Sinan, between 1544 and 1550, as a caravanserai. The building, which has been serving as a passenger inn for centuries, was transformed into a tradesmen center after the caravan trade stopped. However, this important historical monument, which attracts attention with its weariness as well as beauty, expects with durable patience the day when the repairs will be made. In particular, the deterioration of the roof sections is alarming. Some of the shops have cracked the arches and the ceilings on the top floor are leaking. So much so that some arches are ruined as if they were going to collapse at any moment. One of the obstacles to the restoration of the Kurşunlu Han in Karaköy Perşembe Pazarı is that it is in private ownership. There are mainly hardware shops and workshops, which are surrounded by concrete buildings, which are difficult to distinguish from the outside despite their size. Kurşunlu Han craftsman; "From time to time the stones fall from the roof walls.” The han's lead sheets of 2-3 cm thick, have been covering the roof of the building until recently. In the 1970s, thieves stole parts of these slabs. The innkeeper himself took out the remaining sheets. Briefly, Kurşunlu Han was left unleaded. Four doors of the original five-door structure were closed because of concrete buildings surrounding it. Moreover, a leaky reinforced concrete building was built in the inn. It has been a place for some films , lastly, some parts of Cem Yilmaz 's Coming Soon were filmed here. Another element that adds beauty are the vines hanging over the courtyard. According to the accounts, non-Muslims who run the inn in the Ottoman era sold very high quality wines from these grapes.
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