Monday, January 9, 2012

Fountain of Inspiration

Throughout Turkey, there are beautiful Ottoman era fountains, called çeşme. Marble or mosaic tile fountains are named after prominent figures who funded the projects, because Sultan/Pasha such and such expected goodwill of the people in return. The bigger or fancier the fountain, the more prayers a benefactor received. In theory anyway.

For city dwellers, clean water was a blessing in itself in those times. Water came from underground spings or aqueducts that might have been miles and miles from the fountain.

With the advent of indoor plumbing, many fountains fell into disrepair. Some were demolished. You know how it goes. Discovering some of the small fountains tucked into older neighborhoods of Istanbul now might require a treasure map.

My favorite fountain is nothing like the grand one in the picture above, and it is no where near Istanbul. It's a little hole in the wall on a steep path, a straight pipe mortared into a crack in the mounain, no inscription or dedication. A little plaque above reminds: No washing up allowed!

The water is ice cold, even in summer. Travellers stop to drink or refill their bottles, if they're lucky enough to know it's there. I never went up there in the winter, but many years later, that little mountain spring was inspiration for the beginning of my new WIP, Mist of Kavala.

So my reminder for the new year to all my bloggy friends: Remember the small moments.

More reading:

The Ottoman fountains of Istanbul

Istanbul fountain restoration continues Hurriyet Daily News


Sarah said...

Wow! It's so cool to read about the small things that inspire people. Great post, Carolyn!

LTM said...

oh, really??? That's totally cool. An wow. I bet that's some good water... :D <3

Old Kitty said...

Oh it's such a shame these architectural treasures have been left to the elements and/or destroyed. Awww!

May this little oasis of water that has inspired you continue for an eternity! Take care

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