Y is for Yali.
No, not that mythical creature from Hindu mythology, but the gorgeous waterfront mansions lining the banks of the Bosphorus!
Derived from the Greek Yialos, meaning seashore, these 17th century mansions whose architectural styles can only be termed ‘eclectic’ were intended as summer abodes for the Turkish bourgeoisie, whose numbers swelled with the extension of the Ottoman empire. The size and grandeur of the Yali, proclaiming the owner’s social standing.
The facades were traditionally made of wood with panoramic windows and suspended balconies, and were generally painted a reddish brown. The later ones are paler with more elaborate detailing mimicking the spare-no-luxury opulence of European Baroque architecture.
These properties with cross-continent views are now prized pieces of real estate. Some reputed to be in the price bracket of over $100 million! If I ever return, I would be sure to seek out a Yali hotel – a modest one of course – at least for one night, and cruise down the Bosphorus in search of every famous water mansion in town.
The Bosphorus can be described as an avenue of water
surrounded by mansions one more beautiful than the other.
Believe me, if fate had granted you one of these,
you would never think of leaving to your last day.”
~ Alphonse de Lamartine</blockquote>
Happy travels to you dear people…no matter where life takes you.