A red book holding a historically significant image.
Inside this original red book are 10 separate images.
Welcome to a breathtaking journey through time as we unveil an extraordinary piece of history, a magnificent panorama of Istanbul that lay hidden for 140 years. This rediscovery takes us on a visual odyssey, captured from the iconic Galata Tower at the dawn of the twentieth century. Join us as we traverse the heart of Istanbul, from the bustling center of Pera down to the enchanting Bosphorus, stretching to the vastness of the Sea of Marmara. We’ll then navigate the scenic waters of the Golden Horn, passing by the bustling shipyards at Kasimpasa and Taskizak, before returning to the vibrant district of Pera.
A Glimpse of the Past
The panorama, a masterpiece primarily created to enthral the affluent tourists of its time, offers an awe-inspiring spectacle. This visual marvel encompasses a nearly 360-degree view of Istanbul, presenting a city steeped in history and culture. Among the architectural gems that grace this historic image are the iconic Topkapi Palace, the serene Blue Mosque, the majestic Hagia Sophia, the timeless Aqueduct of Valens, and the Beyazit and Maiden’s Towers. The fine Admiralty building by the dockyards is a testament to the city’s maritime legacy.
One cannot help but be drawn into the enchanting scene presented by the Golden Horn. Here, a harmonious blend of steamships, coastal sailing vessels, and petite boats congregate along the shores, evoking a vivid sense of Istanbul’s maritime grandeur.
My client asked me to restore the images, stitch them together, and colour the whole scene!
The Journey to Restoration
Our journey to unlock this remarkable panorama began with a rare red book, housing ten distinct images that held the key to Istanbul’s past. With painstaking effort and meticulous care, we embarked on a mission to restore these images, stitch them together, and breathe life into this historical marvel. The full-resolution, unstitched image, now widely available on the web, offered us a valuable reference point.
However, for this occasion, we were privileged to have in our possession a copy of the book, which we meticulously scanned to our exact specifications. The result? An image that spans an astonishing 80,000 pixels in width, rendering the panorama in unparalleled detail.
The task of seamlessly stitching together an image of this magnitude was no small feat. When the original photographers, Sébah & Joaillier, captured this iconic panorama, the tools we now take for granted did not exist. It fell upon us to painstakingly reconstruct the perspective and the architectural marvels that grace this historic city. With meticulous precision, we wove together the buildings and landmarks, ensuring a seamless and accurate representation.
To add the final stroke of authenticity, we embarked on a journey of historical research. Every hue and shade was carefully chosen to recolour the entire scene, drawing from references to all the landmarks present. Our aim was to breathe life into the panorama, ensuring that every detail resonates with historical accuracy.
Witness the Unveiling
After 140 years in the making, this historic panorama of Istanbul stands ready to transport you through time. It is a testament to the dedication, skill, and passion that went into its restoration. We invite you to immerse yourself in this epic work of art and share it with the world. Your support will enable others to witness the splendour of Istanbul’s past, captured in a moment that has been waiting to be rediscovered.
I hope you enjoy the panorama and please share to help others see this epic work of art 🙂
If you are a Historian, Museum or Historical Society and are looking for some unique content or help with a project please see my Special Projects page for more information and how you can hire me for my specialist imaging services