This is actually Titian’s Supper at Emmaus, a far too early time in the year to be showing it (this occurs after Jesus has been dead for a while as he reappears to console his disciples), but I’ve never really liked the Last Supper scenes that would be appropriate for Good Friday, so here we are instead.



The day in the church cycle when darkness falls. Usually a nighttime service where the candles are extinguished and lamps doused one by one. I thought the time suited these photos of the beautifully austere Hagia Irene in the grounds of the Topkapi Palace, one of the few Byzantine churches never converted to a mosque, although it hadn’t been used as a church for some time.


All photos March 2018



It was the last day of our trip to Istanbul and we headed to the old Greek Orthodox and Jewish communities of Balat for hilltop views and brunch,


painted houses and peeling walls that could belong in Seville or Sicily,


the former Greek Orthodox boys’ school that now teaches only a handful of girls,


a Byzantine church (St Mary of the Mongols) which was locked but where the caretaker left a family lunch and insisted on addressing me politely as Monsieur when he gave me candles to light by the church door,


and then the cast iron, gold-clad Bulgarian Orthodox Church of Sveti Stefan (St Stephen)


after all this and a few views of the sea, it was time to find a hipster cafe, sit down with chilli-spiced brownies and watch the show of vintage cars blaring 70s pop roll by,


before strolling home past crumbling homes and pretty greengrocers.


All photos March 2018.


A day on the town


A trip to the hammam


and the next door mosque


Walking along to Istanbul Modern we saw this hunting lodge-like building that could have belonged in Germany, and this mosque, which was sadly closed. (A lot of them seem to be undergoing restoration at the moment.) At least the Tophane fountain couldn’t be closed.



Saw this and a lot of smog and decided to give Istanbul Modern a miss – it was clearly going to take a bit more brainpower than we had that time (although I would recommend it as from the peep inside they did have some very fresh art)

and wander on instead to some gardens overlooking town and an Art Deco apartment.

Saturday browsings in Istanbul, March 2018.