Heybeliada

Heybeliada means "Saddle Bag Island" a name that was given to the island because of the shape of its double-peaked hill. In ancient times it was known as Chalkitis or Chalki, from copper mines that are mentioned by Aristotle. Remains of them are still to be seen at Çam Limanı ("Pine Harbor"), the circular bay on the southern side of the island.

 

 

In Ottoman times, the islands of this little archipelago were called Kızıladalar ("Red Islands") because of the red soil that is common to all of them. Most guidebooks refer to them as the Princes' Islands.

Heybeliada has two important schools of rather different sorts. The older used to be the principal Theological Seminary of the Greek Orthodox Church. It is housed in modern buildings among the remnants of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, founded during Byzantine times, at a spot in the saddle between the two summits of the northern hill. The other, the Turkish Naval College, was founded in 1773 by the Ottoman Sultan Selim III. It is mostly at the water's edge near the landing stage but also occupies the site of another Byzantine monastery on a hill to the west. Within the grounds of the naval college is a cemetery that contains the tomb of Edward Barton, the second English ambassador from Queen Elizabeth I to Constantinople. The tomb originally had a long inscription in (very bad) Latin and Barton's coat of arms. According to Sumner-Boyd and Freely ("Strolling through Istanbul") the inscription was intended to mean:

TO EDWARD BARTON
THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND SERENE
AMBASSADOR OF
THE QUEEN OF THE ENGLISH
A MAN MOST PREEMINENT
WHO ON HIS RETURN FROM
THE WAR IN HUNGARY
WHITHER HE HAD ACCOMPANIED
THE INVINCIBLE EMPEROR
OF THE TURKS
DIED IN THE 35TH YEAR OF HIS AGE
AND OF OUR SALVATION 1597
THE 15TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER


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