LIFE IN ISTANBUL IN 1582
In 1582, Ottoman sultan, Murat III, wanted to show the splendor and the power of the Ottoman empire and decided to show it through a festival on the occasion of the circumcision of his crown prince, Mehmet. The preparation of the festival for Mehmet, who succeeded as Mehmed III, was started one year before. The famous Hippodrome in Istanbul was selected as the place for having festival. All Istanbuls participated in the festival and there were exhibited the goods or products, which were made and sold by Istanbul guilds. Everyone who had talent contributed to the festival with showing their performances. From time to time, musicians, dancers, sportmen and all kind of demonstrators also performed in the arena of festival. Throughout the festival, fire crackers and fireworks were shown during the nights. This festival was lasted for 52 days and 52 nights. Everyday of the festival was described in Turkish and foreign sources. There are many copies of manuscripts describing festivals but there is only one which is devoted totally on this festival, that all the activities of the celebrations presented with 250 double page miniature paintings. These miniature paintings document the life in Istanbul in 1582 visually and reflect the different aspect of the Ottoman world and culture.
Reference: Nurhan Atasoy, 1582 Surname-i Hümayün, An Imperial Celebration,
Istanbul: Koç Bank Publications, 1997.
Some selected examples (please click on pictures to enlarge):