Friday, April 5, 2013

Goztepe Park and tulips

Yes, another tulip post. I'm sure this is how my hubby secretly feels, despite the fact that last weekend, I managed to convince him that he really wanted to go see the flowers at Goztepe Park on the Asian side. :)

I'd never been over to Goztepe Park before, and after seeing how impressive it is, I'm a little sad that we don't live closer so that we could enjoy it more often. It might be the nicest park in the city. One chunk of it is a rose garden (which they were tearing up when we were there) while another chunk of it is your average city park with benches and winding pathways. This section had most of the tulips, but of course, those only last about a month out of the entire year. Then, farther on as you walk toward Bagdat Street, the park changes -- most of the flower beds give way to an (English-style?) hedge garden, and there's a huge pirate ship for kids. They're also in the process of building tennis courts and a fountain.

Anyway, to the tulips...

Most of the tulips I've seen in Istanbul have been the full-bodied ones, as in the photos above. I think it's fair to say that this is the shape most people think of when they think of tulips. But Goztepe Park also had some of the pointed tulips that are most commonly associated with the Ottomans -- and these are the type of tulips I most often think of when I think of Istanbul. While they're not all that common in gardens, you see the pointed tulip used everywhere in design, from a motif on historic Ottoman tiles to Istanbul's 2020 Olympic logo.

Across the street from the garden we spotted a beautiful traditional-style Istanbul house -- a konak. "The wooden houses of Istanbul, built in large part in the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century, are of two major types: the konak and the row house. The konak, the older building form, is a single family town house surrounded by a garden. These gardens form an essential part of the spatial and architectural programme." There aren't a lot of these types of buildings left, which is a shame as they're so lovely.

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