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The Genoese in Galata: 1453-1682 Author(s): Louis Mitler Source: International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol.

10, No. 1 (Feb., 1979), pp. 71-91 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/162479 . Accessed: 21/04/2014 03:17
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Int. J. Middle East Stud. 10 (I979),


Printed in Great Britain


Louis Mitler THE GENOESE IN GALATA: 1453-1682

On the morning of Tuesday, 29 May 1453, the warriors of Mehmet II poured through the shattered walls of Constantinople. Later in the day their commanding general, Zaganos Pasha, accepted the keys of Galata, the walled town standing on a promontory on the shore opposite the Golden Horn, signaling the end of Genoese domination. So ended the era of semiautonomy enjoyed by the former Genoese colony under the Paleologi, and a period of assimilation into the Ottoman world began. Yet this assimilation, however thoroughgoing, failed to obliterate the Italian character that Galata exhibits even today. This essay proposes to examine not only the physical remains and long-continued institutions dating from Genoese times but also the relations between the Sublime Porte and the Ligurian Republic during the 229 years after the conquest of Constantinople. Most of all, it focuses upon the unique socioeconomic and political entity that was the Magnifica Communita, an excellent example of the self-governed Ottoman minority that persisted until the era of Tanzimat. But whereas Armenians, Greeks, and Jews traveled and resided throughout the length and breadth of the Empire, the Galatans were confined to a narrow peninsula; the insignificance of their numbers and the relative unimportance of Genoa by that time have caused the history of Galata to sink into obscurity compared with other and more decisive aspects of Ottoman-Western relations. The origin of the name Galata is uncertain. Traditionally, it was said to derive from the Greek word for milk, gala, because the imperial goatherds pastured their flocks on the fine grass of the hills opposite the Byzantine Palace.1 Other etymologies suggested in the past have been that the name derived from a term for Galatians or Gauls (Galat, Kelt, Kal = Gaul) or that Galat was a Thracian root meaning peninsula or point.2 Cala, signifying a small bay in Italian, has also been offered (and rejected) as an explanation of the name.3 The famous staired street of Galata, resembling those running from the harbor in Genoa, a prominent feature of Istanbul until I948, render the etymology of calata (Genoese, staircase) the most likely derivation of those proposed.4 In fact, there is today a pier in the Inner Harbor at Genoa called Calata Darsana.5
Qelebi, Seyahatname (Istanbul, I896), I, 426 (hereafter Evliya). E.g., Galatz Point near Varna, Bulgaria, and Point Galataria on the Dardanelles. 3 I. H. Hardtmann, 'Historische Bilder von Bosphor,' Bosphore, 3 (1907), I6. 4 Jean Sauvaget, 'La Colonie Genoise de Pera,' Syria, 8 (1934), 252. 5 Calata, Ital., 'landing stage'; darsena from Turk. tersana, 'naval arsenal, especially that at Istanbul' (Redhouse S6zliiuii [Istanbul, 1968], p. 1152). o? 0020-7438/79/o018-0808 $0I.50 979 Cambridge University Press

1 Evliya

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Louis Mitler

Galata and Pera were the two European quarters of the city. In fact, until the early eighteenth century, the names Galata and Pera were used interchangeably, although by then the two were separate quarters, and as late as the mid-seventeenth century Pera and Galata were still popularly thought of as one district.6 The quarter of Pera standing on the hill behind Galata, called Beyoglu (Son of the Gentleman) by the Turks because the son of the Venetian bailo (minister) Luigi Gritti had a palace there, was a vineyard at the time of the establishment of Galata. We read that 'Aluigi Gritti se facceva chiamare Beyogly, che significa figliolo del Signiore.'7 But gradually, after the seventeenth century, the hill of Pera became the more fashionable district and the fortunes of Galata began to decline. Yet until recent times Galata continued to serve as the chief emporium and clearinghouse for foreign goods and was the Ottoman Empire's principal window to the West. Despite its relative commercial importance, Galata did not cover a large area. Although Evliya (?elebi extends the boundaries of Galata i 8 miles up the Golden Horn to the waters of the Kagithane, thus including the entire northern shore of the Golden Horn,8 most geographers limit the city to the area between the outer walls, the shore fronting on the Golden Horn, and the entrance to the Bosphorus. Later writers, on the other hand, have treated the areas outside the walls, the arsenal of Kasim Pasha (Turk., Kasim Pasa)9 or even the Tophane foundry, as part of the city. Small though it was, Galata was densely populated; a considerable town in comparison to other European cities of the time. At the time of the conquest, Galata was in every sense a European town and twenty-three years later the Christian element still predominated. But by the early sixteenth century the Muslim population of Galata had grown considerably. Indeed, a modern Turkish source estimates the population to have been 58.3 per cent Muslim and 47.7 per cent Christian and Jewish.10 There were even more Muslim inhabitants in the city by i590.11 On the other hand, Evliya tells us that by the reign of Murat IV (1622-1648) the three wards were inhabited by 60,000 Muslims and 200,000 'infidels.'12 Forty years later Galata contained nearly half of Istanbul's estimated 800,000 population. Yet during the period of Ottoman decline population growth was quite gradual so that by the early twentieth century the population in Galata-Pera, now an integral part of Istanbul, had increased by only about one-third to 600,000, or i50 inhabitants per hectare.13
6 Pietro

9 Jean de Thevenot, L'Empire de Grand Turc, in John Knox, ed., A New Collection of Voyages: Discoveries and Travels (London, 1762), p. 74. 10Omer Lutfi Barkan, 'Tarihi Demografi Arattirmalar, ve Osmanll Tarihi,' Tiirkiyat 11Bailo Moro, 'Lettera: Relazione Venete,' in Eugenio Alberi, Relazioni degli Ambasciatori Veneti al Senato durante il Secolo XV-XVI, 3 ser. (Florence, 1863), III, 334.

8 Evliya, I, 426.

della Valle, Viaggi (Bologna, 1672), pp. 21-22. Francois-Alphonse Belin, Histoire de la latinite de Constantinople(Paris, 1894), p. I26.


10 (1952), 207.

Evliya, I, 43I-433.


Istanbul Rehberi (Istanbul,

1934), p. 190.

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The Genoese in Galata, 1453-1682


The transition of Galata from a fortified Italian harbor town to merely another crowded quarter of the former Turkish capital was a process spanning some 800 years, some 480 years of this period being under Genoese preponderance. When the Paleologi reestablished the Greek Empire at Constantinople in 1261, Galata was already an important colony. The Genoese had aided the Paleologi against their Venetian rivals in the struggle to regain Constantinople from the Latins and on 13 March I261, by the Treaty of Nymphaion, Michael VIII Paeleologos reaffirmedthe alliance and ancient privileges of Genoa and exempted (1261-1282) the Genoese from the payment of any customs dues.14 In 1267, in order to discourage Venice from further naval aggression in the Aegean and the Greek Archipelago, Emperor Michael allowed semi-autonomy to the Galatans. It was after 1261, under the restored Byzantine Empire, that Galata reached the zenith of its prosperity. By the Statuti di Peyra (Statutes of Pera), granted in 1304, the colony's status as imperiumin imperiowas reconfirmed and the podesta or mayor-governor was accredited as minister in residence to the Byzantine Court. Soon, however, even the Byzantine insignia began to be omitted from the Galatan coat of arms and Galata began to act as though it were a colony, independent of Byzantine rule.15 Although Michael Paleologos had torn down the sea towers when he bestowed the quarter on the Genoese, they restored their walls and tower with the pretext of Venetian aggression in 1446 and continued both urban and defensive construction until the eve of the Turkish invasion so that by the early fifteenth century Galata had taken on the aspect of a Western European town.'6 Commerce flourished in the 1440s as the Genoese dependencies of Caffa and Amasra on the Black Sea and Chios on the Aegean made Galata the marketplace for the riches of the Levant. Yet the increasing aggressiveness of the Ottomans, who were gaining the ascendancy in the Eastern Mediterranean, made the future of these colonies uncertain. When Mehmet II besieged Constantinople in the spring of 1453, and the impending doom of the city became apparent, the canny merchants decided upon what the historian Mantran calls a doublejeu.17 Not only did the citizens of Galata not summon aid from their home city, but they cooperated with the Turks and kept them appraised of the military movements within the Byzantine capital, and it was probably a renegade Genoese who assisted Zaganos Pasha in bringing his fleet overland from the Bosphorus to the Golden Horn.18 Other Genoese, however, fought loyally for Byzantium. The Genoese conduttiere Giustiniani sought to break the Turkish blockade with an armada from Chios and later, together with a number of his countrymen, led the defense
4 Francisco Balducci Pegolotti, Della Practica della Mercatura (Genoa, 1766), III, 83. 5 Vincenzo Promis, Statuti della Colonia Genovese di Pera (Turin, 1871), p. 28. 16 Pegolotti, Della Practica, III, io. 17 Robert Mantran, Istanbul dans la seconde moitie de XVII siecle (Paris, 1962), p. 74. 18 Richard Franz Kreutel, ed., Leben und Tdten der Tiirkischen Kaiser (Vienna, 1971), pp. 98-101.

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Louis Mitler

of the beleaguered city. Some loyal Galatans warned Giustiniani of the final onslaught by a message wrapped around an arrow,19but his meager intelligence came too late and the city was overwhelmed and the conduttiere was mortally wounded. Although Giustiniani died on Chios some days later, the Galatans spitefully insinuated that he had fled his post and 'died of shame.'20 Despite this calumny Giustiniani and his eighteen children were later beatified by the Catholic church. The merchants immediately surrendered the colony to the Turks and obtained a treaty granting all the rights and privileges formerly enjoyed under the Paleologi. Thus, the first treaty of capitulations concluded between a Western power and the Sublime Porte seems not to have been that concluded between FranCois I and Siileyman I in 1535, as is so often stated, but rather that between Mehmet II and the Galatans, confirming the Genoese as protectors of the Catholic religion in the Empire.21 Although Alexandros Paspatis doubts the authenticity of the document22and Sauli does not refer to it in his work on Galata,23Soderini, envoy of the Doge of Genoa, forwarded his own Italian translation of the treaty to the Signoria on 30 August 1453, and the document was recorded in the Great Book of Galata.24The privilege was renewed in I613, 1617, 1624, and I652, and it may have been one of these renewals kept at the Palais de France that Fran9oisAlpoonse Belin, the nineteenth-century French historian of the Levant, later exhibited in the Capuchin Archives at Pera.25 By their double dealing and the surrender of the keys of the city to Zaganos Pasha by the elders, Basilano Pallavicino, Marchesio de Franchi, and Nicolo Paglianizzi, the Genoese had obtained from the Turks a magnanimous document but were to be disappointed when, contrary to the terms of the treaty, the town was sacked.26 On 3 June the sultan commanded that the height of the fortress tower (Torre di Cristo [Turk., Galata Kulesi]) be reduced by 7.5 m. and that an inventory be conducted of all houses and goods that had escaped looting.27 On the basis
19 Ismail Hakki Uzuncarqili, Osmanlz Tarihi (Ankara, I96I), II, 485. i Kreutel, Leben und Tdten, p. 16. 21 Nasim Susa, 'The Capitulatory Regime of Turkey: Its History, Origin and Nature,' Ph.D. diss. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, I933). 22 Alexandros G. Paspatis, Poliorkiatis Konstantinopolis (Athens, 1890), p. 205. 23 Lodovico Sauli, Della Colonia dei Genovesi a Galata (Turin, 1831), II, 47. 24 Giovanni Mauri, Relatione dello stato della Cristianitd di Pera e Constantinopoli, ed. Eugene Dalleggio d'Alessio (Istanbul, 1925), p. 26. 25 The most authoritative version of this treaty is Eugene Dalleggio d'Alessio, 'Traite entre les Genois de Galata et Mahmet II (ler Juin, I453): versions et commentaires,' Echos d'Orient, 39 (Jan., 1940), 161-174. 26 Accounts of the sacking are found in Francesco Sansovino, 'Presa di Constantinopoli l'anno 1453 a 29 Maggio,' Letter, Vatican Archives, I453, f. 345v; and Nicholas V, 'Constantinopolis a Teucis obsessa,' Papal bull, Vatican Archives, Registro veneto, ff. 133


27Vakiflar Umum Miidiirliiiug, 'El Akarat fi Dar el-Feth-i Galata,' Fatih Vakfi (Ankara, 1938), ff. 167-228.

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The Genoese in Galata, I453-I682


of this inventory, Mehmet imposed a 2-5 per cent capital tax upon the nonMuslims.28

Now that Galata was subject to Ottoman authority, the office of podestai was replaced by the Council of the Magnifica Communita, as Genoese citizens as well as their representative body were called in Italian sources, under the authority of the voyvoda (a Slavic term meaning general) or chief of police, and the kadi (Muslim judge) of Galata. The Genoese Republic, however, continued to send a representative or resident to the Ottoman court. Although the Byzantines had distinguished among the Genoese podesta the (exousiasis), the Pisan counsul (ephoros),and the Venetian bailo (epitropos),29 Ottomans frequently confused the Genoese minister with the bailo since they applied the term balyos indiscriminately to all Western ambassadors, and occasionally the judge whom the Genoese elected from among their number as arbiter of their commercial disputes was confused with the 'serene minister' in Turkish accounts and documents.30 Unmistakable references to the 'Ill.mo Residente di Denova,'31 however, attest to the presence of such a minister at the Porte until the mid-sixteenth century when Genoese inclination toward a Hapsburg alliance engendered a diplomatic rupture with Turkey. A Genoese 'plenipotentiary' was received at the court of Siileyman I in 1558.32 This minister had direct access to the Divan and even to the sultan himself33 and resided in Galata, although later he moved to Pera with the other foreign representatives.34 One of the last notices we have of this official is the statement that the Genoese 'ambassador' attended the funeral of the apostolic nuncio, Monsignor Hobbman, on 14 August I679.35 Thus, after the conquest, Galata remained the entrep6t for most Turkish foreign trade whereas the Muslim quarter became merely the terminus for the commerce of the interior.36The Genoese, however, never regained the extensive privileges they had enjoyed under the Byzantines37 for whereas Galata had formerly enjoyed a semi-autonomous status, the quarter and its inhabitants were now assumed into the Magnifica Communita di Peyra, an entity that, in the course of time, became something more than a millet38 and less than an inde28 Sauli, Della 29 Nicephoros

Colonia dei Genovesi a Galata, p. 172. Gregoras, Byzantina Historia (Bonn, I855), III, 26. Johann von Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches (Budapest,
p. 525.


Sauli, Della Colonia dei genovesi a Galata, p. 82. 32 Roberto Lopez, La Storia di Colonie Genovesi nel Mediterraneo (Bologna, 1938), P. 45. 33 Marino Sanuto, Diarii (Venice, I879-I903), p. 346. 34 Francois Petis de la Croix, Memoirs (Paris, 1684), p. 17. 35 A. Gasparo, Bishop of Spiega, 'Letter, Sept. 20, 1679,' Propaganda Fidei, Scritture
Riferite, v. 477, ff. 201-202.

Franz F. Babinger, Mehmet der Erobererund seine Zeit (Munich, 1953), p. 27. 37Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte, III, 68. 38 The Magnifica Communita functioned like a millet (i.e., a semi-autonomous nonMuslim community within the Ottoman Empire). Originally millet (Arab., milla) was

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Louis Mitler

pendent colony.39 All Latins (i.e., Roman Catholics) were placed under the civil authority of this body. Yet, although its jurisdiction was restricted to the internal affairs of the Latins and the administration of the churches, the Magnifica Communita, by binding the Catholic community together, enabled the quarter to long retain its distinctive character. Genoa was unable to assert itself politically against the Ottoman giant for by 1461 the power of its fleet in the Aegean had been broken and Turkish forces were beginning to overrun the Greek peninsula. In 1471, when the emissaries of Genoa remonstrated with Mehmet II for having broken his treaty by depriving Galata of its autonomy, he ironically reminded them that 'I did not take Galata; your elders freely gave it to me,'40 and shortly thereafter Mehmet seized the Black Sea port of Amasra from Genoa claiming that the town had forfeited its previous immunity by the piracy of the natives.41 In 1475 the Turks annexed the important Genoese trading post of Caffa in the Crimea, striking still another blow against hegemony of the Genoese Republic in the Levant. The breakup of the Genoese Caffan community occasioned the influx of numerous refugees into Galata, about seven hundred families, which settled around the churches of Santa Maria and San Nicola, giving the district the soubriquet of 'Little Caffa.' These Caffan families continued as a separate community until the mid-seventeenth century, and they enriched the churches with their treasures and miracle-working icons, the most famous of which is the Virgin of Caffa, today at San Pietro (San Pietro e Paolo), with another icon of similar origin at the Orthodox church of Panagia Kaffatiani (Virgin of Caffa). Together with the Genoese Caffans came the Karaim Jews (readers or strict interpreters of the Torah), from whom some authorities derive the Turkish name for a large section of Galata (Kara-kby [Turk., black village or Karai village]).42 A third influx, Moors expelled from Spain, accompanied these Christian and Jewish migrations and many of these settled in Galata, where they were given the Church of San Domenico, which they converted into the Arap Cami (Arab

In the early sixteenth century Genoa began to lose its favor with the Porte when it sided with Charles V in his struggles against the Turks, and its famous admiral, Andrea Doria, later doge, seized and sacked Tunis in 1535. Diplomatic retaliation was slow, since the Galatan Genoese no longer formed a separate
any divinely inspired religion but later came to signify a nationality or a minority group. Enzyklopaedie des Islams (Leiden, 1936), III, 573.
39 Eugene Dallegio d'Alessio, 'La Communaute latine de Constantinople au lendemain de la conquete ottomane,' Echos d'Orient, 36 (I937), 309. 40 Kreutel, Leben, p. 35. 41 Sad-ed Din ibn Hasanjan, Cronica degli originie progressi della casa ottomana (Tajut-Tavarih), (Vienna, 1649), I, 471. 42 S. Sisman, 'Istanbul Karaylar,' Istanbul Enstitiisii Dergisi, 3 (1957), 99; Abraham Galante, Histoire des Juifs d'Istanbul (Istanbul, 1942), II, I77. 43 'Hiiseyin bin Ismail Ayvansarayl,' Hadikat-ul Cevami (Istanbul, 1864), II, 30.

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The Genoesein Galata, 1453-I682


entity and because the Turks practiced the principle of toleration of the 'submissive' infidel, whatever his nationality. From a cultural and economic aspect, however, the Genoese were still a community distinct from the other native Levantines, the Periotti or People of Pera. In fact, Galata offered more economic and personal security to its residents than did the mother republic, rent in the late I540s by the struggles between the Dorias and Fieschis and by involvement in the Hapsburg wars. On the other hand, the flourishing condition of Galata during this period is attested to by Bailo Bernardo Flavgirio (or Flaugiero), who returned to Venice on 2 September 1549 after a mission of thirty-nine months,44 and by the envoy Canalli.45 Although Galata continued as the hub of foreign commerce, the ambassadors and the wealthy merchants soon began to build on the more healthful heights above the town. During the mid-sixteenth century, stimulated by outbreaks of the plague, the various embassies began to move to Pera, first the French, then the English.46 Fire also contributed to the diplomatic exodus because houses were now being constructed in the frame style of the Turks, and conflagrations became a constant occurrence. Many buildings were consumed in the fire of 18 January I554.47 Finally, Genoa's foreign policy began to have repercussions in Galata and in 1558 the ambassador, Francisco de Franchi, failed to secure an alliance with the Porte which resented Genoa's alliance with Spain48 and the activities of its admiral Andrea Doria against the Turkish navy. In 1566 the Turks seized the island of Chios, cutting the last of Genoa's Levantine routes and depriving the republic of its one remaining Near Eastern possession, spelling the end of Genoese influence in the Near East. The influence of the churches, and indirectly of the papacy, on Galata's social life continued. The visit in I58I of the apostolic nuncio, Pietro Cedulini, bishop of Lessina, and the resulting report despatched to Gregory XIII indicate the existence of a flourishing Catholic community with seven churches open for devotions, the principal ones being San Giorgio, San Giovanni, San Benedetto, and San Francesco, and with fourteen friars who officiated 'secondo la devozione dei cristiani.'49 A German visiting Galata eight years later also gave a similar account of the Latin churches.50 44'Relazionedi Messer Bernardo nel 1552fattanel Flavgirio,Bayloa Constantinopoli eccelentissimoConsiglio,'VaticanArchives,Missioni, armadioLXVI, ff. 2-53. 45CarloBartolome,'Relazionede Messer Canalliretornatodal Gran Turco,' Vatican Archives, Missioni, armadioXV, 99, ff. 57-78. 46 deJerome Maurand:voyagede Antibesa Constantinople, JeromeMaurand,Itineraire
I544 (Paris, 1901), p. 204. 47 Mehmet Cezar, 'Istanbul'da Yanglnlar,'TurkSanat

I (1963), TarihiArastirmalar, 327 ff. 48 C. Manfroni,'Le Relazioni fra Genova,Bizanioed i Turchi,' Atti dell SocitdLigure,
28 (1899), 762.

49Pietro Cedulini, Visita della Chiesedi Constantinopoli sotto la Santa Memoriadi XIII (1954), f. 145. Gregorio 50ReinholdLiibenau, Beschreibung der ReisenReinhold Liibenaus (Konigsberg, 1914),
p. 219.

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Louis Mitler

Foreign visitors, who usually lodged there, still found Galata culturally distinct from the rest of the town. An Englishman, writing in 1586, calls it a 'Colonia of the Genovesis,'s1 whereas Ogier de Busbecq, the Hapsburg ambassador, calls the Galatans simply Genoese.52 But ethnic groups other than Italians were now becoming numerous in Galata, and in 1588 a German noted that the dwellings of the local Genoese were clustered around the great central keep or Tower (Torre di Cristo), while the Greeks 'and others' resided near Galata Ambar (Kurshunlu Mahzen).53 But as the number of Levantines increased, Western Europeans continued to desert the seashore for the heights of Pera. The original English Embassy which had been located on the seashore was moved in 1596 to Pera by Ambassador Edward Barton,54and the ownership of the house was transferred to the company of English merchants.55An Englishman visiting the port the same year inaccurately noted the existence of 'four or five popish churches' and 'two or three monasteries of Romish friars,' whereas by that time there were at least ten Latin houses of worship in the quarter.56 The Genoese, having lost their diplomatic representation in 1558 and the right to navigate under their own flag in i58i, now passed under the 'protection' of the French through a capitulatory treaty granted by Henry IV in I597. Nonetheless, they began to enjoy imperial favor once again. The English diplomat John Sanderson, reported to Sir Robert Cecil on 28 August 1596 that 'the fondigo [privilege of operating a clearing house or depot] of the Genoves is again granted' and that the sultan's mother had freed all debtors from prison.57 The quarter had begun to take on a dilapidated aspect and the only restorations conducted were those undertaken by the Ottoman government. For example in i635 while Murat IV was absent at the siege of Erivan, his deputy governor, Bayram Pasha, took the occasion to conduct extensive repairs of public buildings and whitewash the walls of the Tower.58 But fires continued to be the greatest single cause of material destruction. In I639 San Francesco burned to the ground.59A serious fire burned a number of houses and damaged a few churches in 1642.60 On 16 April I660, a great fire broke out near the harbor. Eleven churches were destroyed in this worst conflagration to date, which destroyed three-fourths of the district.61


John Sanderson, Travels of John Sanderson in the Levant (London, 1931), p. 8I. Ogier Ghislain de Busbeck, Turkish Letters (Oxford, I927), p. 136. 53 Michael Herber, Aegiptica Servitas (Heidelberg, I6Io), p. 360. 54 Sanderson, Travels, p. 184. 55 Fynes Moryson, Itinerary (London, 1617), I, 261. 56 Sanderson, Travels, p. 73. 57 Ibid., p. 130. 58 Evliya, I, 429. 59Eugene Dalleggio d'Alessio, 'Recherches sur l'histoire de la latinite a Constantinople,'
60 61

Echos d'Orient, 25 (1926),

Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte,X, I13. Mustafa Naima, Tarih-i Naima (Istanbul, 1866), III, 457.

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The Genoesein Galata, 1453-I682


As a result of the decrease of Genoese population, the loss of Genoa's prestige and naval power, as well as the disastrous fires, by the I64os the official functions of the Magnifica Communita had decreased until at last the Franks ceased to use the podesta's house for official business, turning it into a block of flats called the Eici Hanl. During the winter of i665 there were antiforeign disturbances incited by a series of Ottoman reversals in the 1645-I664 war with Venice, and the diplomats and merchants, mostly Italians, who had continued to live in the Muslim section of the city sought a safer residence on the north side of the Golden Horn.62 Hostilities with Venice, however, brought another temporary revival of favor toward the Ligurian Republic, and in I669 the right to navigate under the Genoese marine flag was once more granted the Galatan merchants.63 Three years earlier, despite the outraged representations of the French, Marquese Giovanni Agostino Durazzo had succeeded in reopening relations with the Porte64 and in reestablishing the post of Genoese resident. In 1671, however, the newly appointed resident, Messer Giustiniani, killed himself. Whether his suicide was motivated by personal troubles or whether he feared a dire punishment from the Turks for his complicity in the circulation of false coins is not known.65 After Giustiniani's death Genoa sent Conte Fieschi, the last Genoese resident at Galata, who was forced to leave in 1675 having spent only three and one-half years in office. Before leaving, Fieschi had to borrow from the local merchants to pay the Turkish peshkesh or emolument for his brief appointment.66 The indifference of the Genoese signoria, the illiberality of the Galatan merchants, and Turkish hostility caused by Giustiniani's extensive counterfeiting prevented the sending of another resident in his place.67 After Fieschi's departure it seemed that Galata was doomed to one disaster after another. In i680 another great conflagration broke out at Kiirkcii Kapu and once more radically altered the appearance of the town.68 In 1682 the berat affirming the legitimacy of the Magnifica Communita was not reconfirmed by the Porte. In passing directly under the administration of the Muslim kadi, Galata had lost its last semblance of self-rule. The native Greeks were replacing the Italians as commercial and diplomatic intermediaries with the West, and the rise of the Phanariots, with their subsequent control of the office of head dragoman and of foreign ambassadorships as well as their virtual monopoly of the Black Sea grain trade, had deposed Genoa from its former status of 'most favored nation'. At the same time the decline of Venice made superfluous the cultivation of Genoa by the Turks. The effective
62 63

Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte, X, 113. Fran9ois Emmanuel de Guignard, Memoirs sur l'ambassade de France en Turquie

(Paris, I877), p. 279.

Richard Knolles, Turkish History (London, I701), II, i69. Ibid., p. 230. 66 Ibid., p. 255. 67 Mantran, Istanbul dans la secondemoitie du XVII siecle, pp. 521-522. 68 Ra?id ed-Din Tabib, Cami' et-Tavarih, ed. Ahmed Ate? (Ankara, 1957), I,
64 65


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80 Louis Mitler conquest of Crete in 1669 was the coup de grace to the power of the Venetian republic in the East, and it was no longer expedient to favor Venice's Ligurian rival as a counterbalance. The grand vizier, Kara Mustafa Pasha, a haughty and ambitious man, allowed his personal xenophobia to shape state policies and his hostiliy to 'infidels' to make itself felt as much in Galata as in Vienna where he conducted the abortive siege of 1683. From this time onward, Galata was fated to become assimilated into the Muslim mainstream as just another quarter of the Ottoman capital. Yet the physical appearance of Galata before the conquest and for several centuries thereafter remained that of a typical, fortified, north Italian medieval town with castles, walls, narrow circuitous streets, Gothic churches and convents, stepped alleys, and solid masonry houses. For unlike the half-timber homes of the Turks, examples of which still abound, the Galatan houses were stone and were without
projecting eaves because of the specter of fire.69

The seventeenth-century traveler, Evliya Gelebi, described Galata thus: From the seashoreto the Tower Gate on the north, an hour's ascent, there are Genoese stone buildings, row on row. The main roads are set out like a checkerboard[i.e., parallel],all of the public roadsnumbering , i60. Outside the castle are the great road along the shore, Voyvoda Street, Harbi [Enemy Infidel] Street, and Tower Door Street. They are all narrowlanes. The Molla Lane and Seyid Ali (elebi Lane together with Rustum Pasha's Inn are the work of Sinan the Architect. There are no vineyards or gardens in the town.70 The city was divided into three wards by the walls. The traditional explanation of the tripartite division of Galata was that it had been so partitioned by three rival Genoese 'princes.' Most of the walls were either razed or fell into decay early in the Turkish period but the central dividing wall was still standing at the close of the seventeenth century.71 Yet there is considerable disagreement as to the names and number of the gates. One source counts twenty-four gates, while another reports only four.72 But the perimeter of the wall is believed to have been only about 14,600 feet, running 200 feet from the Tower to the harbor. Its average width was 6.5 feet, counting the ditches, and it enclosed about 37 hectares of ground. It was guarded by towers at regular intervals, the present-day Yer Altl Camii (Underground Mosque) being the harbor fort.73 I have seen all that remains of it-a few coats of arms taken from the wall behind San Pietro and preserved at the Archeological Museum.74 Although today none
69 Ahmet

Refik, XVI. Hicri Asrznda Istanbul Hayatz (Istanbul, 1931), p. 59.

(author's translation). Evliya, for some reason, did not note the

Evliya, I, 431-433

two great orchards at San Benedetto mentioned below (ibid., pp. 427-429). 71 Pierre de Tournefort, Relation d'un voyage du Levant (Paris, 1717), I, 505. 72A. M. Schneider and M. I. Nomidis, Galata (Istanbul, 1944), p. I8; Maurand,
Itineraire, pp. 202-203.

M. de Launay, 'Notice sur les fortificationsde Galata,' Univers, Revue Oriental (Oct. I874-1875); J. Gottwald, 'Die Stadtmaurn von Galata' Bosphor, 4 (I907) 5-72. 74Tommaso Bertele, II Palazzo degli Ambasciatori di Venezia a Constantinopoli

p. 70.

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The Genoesein Galata, 1453-1682


of the arms have remained in their original places, John Covel, chaplain at the British Embassy, I669-I677, viewed coats of arms bearing the heraldry of the ruling doge and podesta when they were still on the wall.75 The Tower remains the most distinct and striking sight of Galata. Faced in stone rubble, standing on a base some 50 feet in diameter and Ioo feet high, it can be seen for miles from every direction. Constructed with the aid of Murat II in the I440s, the Tower was probably intended as a bastion against (I421-I45I) Venetian attack, since by that time the Byzantines were too weak to warrant such a defense and the Turks too strong to be deterred by such a fortification. But the Tower acted as a fire lookout from earliest times,76 and during the sixteenth century it served as a prison for Christian debtors, prisoners of the arsenal, and the slaves of Sinan Pasha,77 while another portion housed ships' supplies.78 Although it underwent major alterations, the Tower was restored to its early appearance in 1865-1866.79 Just under the Tower by Kapu Kule (Tower Gate) stood the house of 'a runaway Genoese Ambassador'80while under the wall behind the Tower was a small Muslim cemetery that ran from the quarter of Kasim Pasha to the presentday tunnels8 linking Galata with the upper commercial district of Beyoglu. Inside these fortifications, markets and business places were packed close together. The existence of a covered market whose roof of twenty domes was supported by sixteen columns is confirmed by a berat dated 993/1585. The covered market seen today, a work of strongly Turkish style with only nine cupolas,82 is probably a later structure.83 Nearby stood the famous fish market, still extant, patronized chiefly by local Italians and Greeks since the Muslims never acquired a taste for seafood.84 The Havyar Han, formerly a caravansary dating from pre-conquest times, and later an exchange, was another emporium.85 One hundred shops specialized in cured beef (Turk., pastzrma,Ital., pastrami)86 while others sold seamen's biscuits. The slaughterhouse, wheat depot (bugday emini), merchants of wine, olive oil, and other Mediterranean cooking staples were here together with apothecaries, cabinet makers, and various 'mechanics.' Here, too, were all the nautical tradesmen: sailmakers, carpenters, and manufacturers of ships' pumps.87 The waterfront was lined with shops selling ships'
75Frederick William Hasluck, 'Dr. Covel's Notes on Galata,' Annual of the British School at Athens, Vol. XI (1905), pp. 50-52. Arms on the walls are discussed in Ludovico Belgrano, Documenti Riguardanti la Colonia Genovese di Pera (Turin, I880), n. 43. 76 Ayvansarayl, Hadikat-iil Cevami, II, 57. 77 Fuat Carlm, Kanuni Devrinde Istanbul (Istanbul, 1964), pp. I63-174. 78 Evliya, I, 429. 79 Hiirriyet, Sept. 9, 1965; Sept. 29, I967. 88 Eremiya, Qelebi K6miirciiyan, Istanbul tarihi (Istanbul, 1936), pp. 6i-62. 81 Evliya, I, 424-426, 430. 82 Semavi Eyice, Galata ve Kulesi (Istanbul, 1969), p. 55. 83 Ahmet Refik, XVI Hicri Asrznda, p. I33. 84 (Lyon, Eremiya, Istanbul, pp. I6-19; Pierre Gilles, De TopographiaConstantinopoleos
1562), p. 9.


Christos Sebastou Byzantios, Konstantinopolis (Athens, 87 Eremiya, Istanbul, p. 38. Evliya, I, 562.


II, 56.

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iR -.\



/) ApGe

p/Te anisar

(I4) Azap Kap

(The Janissary Gate).

Quarters,streets and topographicalpoints: (GAL5) Karaky (todayKarakyches Square); (6) Golden Horn (C Pera ( us Boeaz); () Bosphor () (Cannon FoundryQuarter); (Vigne San Dominico (Stairs of Gal etits (22) ArsenalP (Tersane); -Champs (Christian Cemetery).

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The Genoesein Galata, 1453-1682


supplies.s- Wheat was ground in a large windmill, shown in Cristoforo Buondelmonte's drawing, in the quarter of San Dominico.89 There was a candle factory (mumhane) and a gunpowder factory (baruthane). The actual cannon foundry, today Tophane Square, stood somewhat outside the walls.90 Near Tophane were the dwellings of the pilots, many of them refugees from the former Genoese Black Sea colony of Amasra, absorbed into the Turkish realm in 1459.91 Although Evliya (elebi's report of 3,080 shops, largely kept by Greeks or Franks,92seems highly inflated, it is apparent that Galata was at the zenith of its commercial importance by the mid-sixteenth century when twelve major houses of commerce were established.93 In the markets the cantaro genovese (ca. 150 lbs.) was the official weight from earliest times, and the ducat was the most widely circulated currency. The spinning of gold and silver, a typical art brought from the Ligurian coast, was also practiced here.94 Like every northern Italian town, Galata had its Palazzo del Commune. It stood in Voyvoda Street, a structure built in 13I5 modelled on the Palazzo S. Giorgio at Genoa. The faCadeof the Palazzo was torn down early in this century to make way for streetcar tracks, but the rear portion, including a window with the Genoese coat of arms, remains.95Around the Palazzo are streets whose names recall typical Italian trades and institutions: Organcilar (Organ Makers) later corrupted into Yorgancilar or Quilt Makers, and Eski (Old) and Yeni (New) Lonja (Ital., guilds). There was even a Piazzetta occupying the space that is today Karakoy Square.96 Streets of steps like Yiiksek Kaldirimlar (High Pavements) torn down twenty-five years ago, reminded the visitor of the steps leading from the old harbor of Genoa. Evliya (yelebi, whose scandalized account of the numerous taverns demonstrates intimate knowledge, says that the harbor district was 'one big tavernjust like, Lord forbid, Leghorn' and with his usual hyperbolic data, he estimates the number of wineshops at i,o60. Here European proprietors catered to large numbers of Janissaries and other devotees of the Prophet as well as to Christian residents.97 Most of these grogshops were congregated together near the waterfront in the middle ward of the town, 'two hundred ruinous houses and taverns, one set on top of another.'98There were other taverns outside the main walls, the usual location for houses of ill repute in Europe.99The inn at which the German
88 89

Gilles, Topographia, p. 271. CristoforoBuondelmonte,Descriptio Urbis Constantinopolis (Leipzig, 1824); Fatih

Vakfz, f. 240. 90Eremiya, Istanbul, p. 39. 92 Evliya, I, 431. 91 Evliya, I, 445. 93 Vatican Archives, Relazione venete, 3 ser. I, 274. 94Pegolotti, Della Practica, III, 15. 95 Luigi Tommaso Belgrano, Documenti riguardandi la Colonia Genovese di Pera (Genoa, i888) in Atti della Societd Ligure di storia Patria v. 13, p. I I6. 96 98 Ibid., p. 431. 97 Evliya, I, 664. Ibid., plate 4.

99Mehmet Tevfik, 'Meyhane yahut Istanbul Ak?amlarl,' Istanbul'da Bu Sene, 5 (Istanbul, i886), 3 ff.

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Louis Mitler

knight Arnold von Harff stopped in 1498 must have been a sober lodging indeed since he makes no mention of either the frequent Italian feste or of the rampant prostitution.100In the mid-sixteenth century Galata was still the only place in the Ottoman Empire where venereal disease was widespread,101 the result of contact with Western Europeans. In fact, venereal disease is still popularly called frenki, or European sickness, by the Turks. But in spite of Galata's uproarious reputation, a sixteenth-century Venetian source reports that although most of the Turkish visitors were drunken and rowdy, the local Christians, and the Genoese in particular, were 'homini da bene, [chi] vivono civilmente' (respectable men who live politely).102This sobriety may, however, have been necessitated by the burdens of catering to Muslim vices rather than inspired by Christian virtue.103 The port district was not altogether given over to the infamous taverns and brothels. On the shore stood the house of the English Company of Merchants104 and nearby the house of the Turkish civil governor, the Voyvoda, from whom Voyvoda Street takes its name.105Although he had moved to Pera in 1596, Ambassador Edward Barton was ordered to return the embassy to its former location in Galatal06 and as late as 1670 English diplomats were still residing in the seaside villa of Arab Ahmet Pasha at Salipazar.107 Also on the waterfront were the customs houses and the three landing stages of Kara K6y, Mumhane, and Azap Kapu, from where most of the European merchandise was distributed throughout the Empire. Nearby stood the Mahzeni-i Sultani (Imperial Storehouse), a rectangular tower that guarded the harbor, to which one end of the chain that closed the Golden Horn during the siege had been attached.108 Also known as the Kursunlu Mahzen (Warehouse with the Leaden Roof) or Borgos Burcu and destroyed by fire in 1683, it was the main storage area of the community. Built by Genoese merchants in preconquest days, it was leveled by an earthquake and rebuilt in the reign of Beyazet II (1481-1512); it bore an inscription, no longer extant, seen by Evliya (?elebi.109 It is known today by the name of Yer Alti Cami (Underground Mosque). Murat IV converted the structure into a mosque, claiming it to be the burial place of Athrib bin Husayn.110The Turkish period also brought the construction of bathhouses in the harbor district: the Direklice Hamam (Bath of the Columns),1ll Bokluca Hamam, Karakoy Hamam, Kapl Ici Hamam, and KihlCAli Pasa Hamami built in 1583 by Sinan.112
100 Arnold von Harff, The Pilgrimage of Arnold von Harff (London, 1946), passim. p. 72. 102 Ibid., p. 119. 103 Franz Babinger, Hans Dernschwands Tagebuch (Leipzig, 1925), p. 102. 104 Sanderson, Travels, p. 184. 05 Eremiya, Istanbul, p. 156. 106 Akdes Nimet Kiirat, Ingliz- Turk Miinasebetlerinin Baslangifi (Ankara, I953), 107 Ibid., pp. 51-57. 108 Fatih Vakfi, f. 98, n. 9. 109 lo Ibid., p. 568. Evliya, I, 426. 112 Ibid., f. 95. 11 Fatih Vakfi, f. 98.

101 Luigi Bassano, Costumi et i modi particulari della vita dei Turchi (Munich, 1963),

p. 75.

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The Genoese in Galata, 1453-I682


The harbor was the scene of lively activity. On any day of the year Genoese galleons and Venetian brigantines could be seen anchored 'row on row' from Tophane to Kurk9ii Kapu flying the flags of their respective republics.1l3 Despite Galata's commercial importance, the problem of communication between the Old and New Cities was never satisfactorily resolved. During the siege a bridge on barrels was floated across the Bosphorus.114Shortly after the conquest of the city this bridge was removed but soon the need for a permanent connection between the two cities became evident and in 1504, according to a contemporary account, Beyazit II requested Leonardo da Vinci to design a bridge.11s After the dismantling of Mehmet II's pontoon bridge the only means of conveyance across the Golden Horn were the perama or rowboats, largely manned during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Christian slaves who carried passengers for one mangir (the lowest denomination of currency) and their horses for one ak9e (a small silver coin).16 Less fortunate were the Christian galley slaves who dwelt in the bagni (slaves' jail) just outside the walls of the Arsenal of Kasim Pasha. There were also the Christian galley slaves incarcerated in the Towerll7 but one could gain one's liberty by accepting Islam, and many of these 'renegados' rose high in Ottoman bureaucracy, to the disgust of their former countrymen. In 1598, Sanderson notes disapprovingly that the converted 'Ganuesi' Palaneva received five turbans and the rank of miiteferrika(chief of police) from the sultan.118A more prominent Genoese renegade was Cicaldazade (Zilkadezade) Sinan Pasha who died in I605 owning numerous Christian slaves of his own.119 The more illustrious prisoners, like the Spanish Ambassador de Sande, imprisoned in 1554, were interned in the Tower itself. Whether because of declaration of war, diplomatic rupture, or mere imperial displeasure,120foreign diplomats stood in constant danger of incarceration for Ottoman sultans tended to interpret the principle of diplomatic immunity quite broadly.121Even in time of peace, the house of the resident was far from secure; an armed guard was needed day and night to protect it from looting by the drunken hordes of Janissaries and from the other revelers loitering about the taverns, and whenever the resident was called to court a large guard was needed to convey him there. Even the churches were subject to intrusion by Muslim crowds-the organ

115 Frank Babinger, 'Vier Bauvorschlage Leonardo da Vinci um Sultan Bajezit I,' Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften(Gottigen, 1952).
117 Cornelis Desimoni, I Genovesi ed i loro quartiere in Constantinopoli nel secolo XIII (Genoa, I885), p. 269. 118 116 Bassano, Constumi, pp. 15-16; Nicholas de Nicolay, Peregrinations et voyages (Lyons, 1568), p. I 8.

114 Jean

Eremiya, Istanbul, pp. 38-39. Ebersolt, Orient and Occident (Paris, 1954), illus. no. 34.

119 Thomas Sherley, Discourses of Turkey (London, 1936), II, 4. 120 Bassano, Costumi, p. I76. 121 Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte, III, i68.


Travels, p. 157.

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Louis Mitler

music constituted a curiosity second only to the harbor taverns attracting further unwelcome throngs. Sultan Suleyman himself might pay a sudden visit to San Francesco, order a Mass said, and then laugh heartily at the unaccustomed ceremonies.122But although the Turks might frequent the European sanctuaries, Christians were forbidden to live near the new mosques constructed since the

Yet, these prohibitions notwithstanding, several typical Italian houses were built in the vicinity of Arap Cami124and the leading families of the Ligurian Republic had branches residing in Galata-although the transcriptions of their names in Turkish records render identification difficult. While the derivation of of names like Manoel, Angeli, Zori, and Zani are fairly obvious, there are other more ambiguous transformations such as 'Nasrani Korna' (Corna the Christian), 'Antun Paris' (Antonio da Parigi), 'Sara Polina bint Toma' (Sara Paulino, daughter of Tommaso), 'Duka Polniro' (Duke ? Poliniro). All of the above families were substantial landholders while one Manoel Sevarenko is cited as an early slumlord, the owner of 'eight ruinous houses' (sekiz siifli bab) at the time of the conquest.125 The Genoese were a mercantile people of a profoundly practical nature. The two centers of intellectual activity in Galata, therefore, consisted of the first interpreters' school for the preparation of European dragoman established in the Empire by the Ottomans themselves and, of courses, the churches. It was this school and not Galatasaray that served as the first Western educational institution in Muslim Turkey, the merchants having learned by experience to distrust
the native variety.126

The exteriors of these sanctuaries (with the notable exceptions of San Domenico and San Francesco) were drab, Gothic faCades, but all of these churches were rich in icons not only brought from Caffa but also ferried from Constantinople in I453 when the future of the Christian houses of worship there ceased to be secure.127 Massive San Domenico, the principal Latin Church at the time of the conquest, was built on the site of an old Genoese graveyard and dedicated by Dominican friars to Saint Dominic and Paul or to Saint Paul in 1225 or I228.128 The campanile, typical of northern Italy, clearly shows the church's Western European origins. The Turks who called the structure 'the Sculptured Church' (Nakkash Kilise) and the 'Imperial Church' (Kilise-i Sultani)129declared it to be a converted mosque founded by Caliph Abd-iil Malik during the seventhBassano, Costumi, p. 36. Ahmet Refik, XVI Hicri asrnnda, III, 30. 124 Schneider and Nomidis, Galata, p. 35; Bertrans Bareilles, Constantinople (Paris, I8i8), p. I28; Celal Esat, Eski Galata (Istanbul, I911), p. 14; Cornelius Gurlitt, Die
122 123

Baukunst Konstantinoples (Berlin, I912), p. 53. 125 Fatih Vakfi, ff. 218, I95-I99. 126 Sherley, Discourses, p. 15. 127 P. Vigna, Illustrazione Storica (Genoa, I864), p. I39 ff. 128 Belgrano, Documenti, p. I53. 129 Fatih Vakfi, f. 45.

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The Genoesein Galata, I453-1682


century siege and in 1475 they transformed it into the Arap Cami, or Arab Mosque, which it remains until this day. In reality, the seizure was a shrewd political move calculated to placate the hordes of Spanish Andalusian Moors who had sought refuge in Istanbul.130In fact, the Turkish sources of the period frankly assert that the Arap Cami was made into a mosque because 'it was the largest building in the town [i.e., Galata].' Although most of the typical Christian symbols and ornaments were destroyed, the religious frescoes and some Genoese coats of arms were found in the campanile during the restoration of the mosque in 1917. Over a hundred memorial stones were then removed to the Archeological Museum where they remain. But neither I nor Dr. Semavi Eyice found any traces of the paintings when we examined the building.131 San Giovanni Battista, built during the colonial period, was the second largest Latin church in the community. Called San Zani (Giovanni in Genoese) in Turkish documents, it was served by two priests paid two or three silver akge a day and included a small almshouse. The church and almshouse were victims
of the I66o fire.132

San Benedetto (San Benito in Turkish sources) was built on the site of the Byzantine convent of Hagia Maria by the Genoese in I420 for the Benedictine monks who were then transferred to the custody of the Franciscan Conventuals. A Greek neighborhood grew up around the churchl33 and in 1580 Monsignor Cedulini noted that 'no one' (i.e., no Latins) attended services there.134Perhaps as a result of its neglect the custody of the church and monastery was transferred to the Society of Jesus in 1583 or 1609. Set in the middle of two large orchards,135 the monastery constituted its own kaza district, and had a library consisting of some I0,593 works and an organ which impressed Evliya ;elebi.136Its relative isolation from other buildings caused San Benedetto to be spared destruction in i660, but a later blaze consumed all of the original structure save the Gothic gate which did not collapse until 1958.137 Named after the patron saint of Genoa, the church and hospital of San Giorgio were converted from a Byzantine place of worship in the fourteenth century and later served as a burial place of many of the podestas and other leading citizens.138 Custody of the monastery and hospital was granted to the Capuchins in 1627.139San Giorgio burned in i660 but ten years later an edict issued by Sultan Mehmet IV commanded that the site of the church be restored
130 131

Osman Ergin, Fatih Akaret, Vakfiyesi (Istanbul,

1945), p. 397.

Eugenio Dalleggio d'Alessio, Le pietre sepolcrali d'Arab Giami (antica chiesa di S. Paolo a Galata) (Genoa, 1942), p. I60 ff. 132 Fatih Vakfi, no. 45, f. 202; doc. 318, f. 258. 133 Hasluck, 'Dr. Covel's Notes on Galata,' p. 58; Eremiya, Istanbul, p. 236.
134Cedulini, Visita, f. I6. 135 Eremiya, Istanbul, p. 40.

Evliya, I, p. 124; Eugene Dallegio d'Alessio, 'Le Monastere Saint Benoit,' Echos d'Orient, 33 (1934), 57; idem., 'Citerne de Saint Benoit,' Echos d'Orient, 33 (I934), 59.
137 138 139

Semavi Eyice, Galata ve Kulesi (Istanbul, 1969), p. 53. Belgrano, Documenti, p. 354. Pere Pacifique de Provins, Le Voyage de Perse (Assisi, 1939), p. 46.

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88 LouisMitler
to the Capuchins and that the Jews who had taken possession be evicted. Today the hospital bearing that name stands behind a chapel and a modern structure housing the German lyceum. After the confiscation of San Dominico, San Francesco became the largest Latin church in Istanbul. Built by the Conventual Friars in 1220-1227, it was restored on the eve of the conquest during the pontificate of Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455); the courtyard aptly bore the coat of arms of the Genoese family of Sarzana from which Nicholas was descended. Its rich exterior decoration was a source of admiration to Muslims and Christians alike.140 In 1639 part of the church and the adjacent chapel of Santa Anna burned; they were rebuilt but the disaster of I660 completely razed the original building,141and the humble church erected in its place in i670 was also doomed to burn in a 1696 fire caused by a public illumination at the birth of a son to Mustafa II.142The following year the Yeni Cami (New Mosque) was built on the site, this last being finally demolished in 1936. A portion of the wall of the original structure can still be seen adjacent to the Ottoman Bank. On a garden side of the convent143stood the chapel of Santa Anna. Santa Anna's importance lay in its custody of the relics of the True Cross, St. Andrew and other saints, and the strongroom where the Magnifica Communita kept its ecclesiastical treasure, the patents of authority from the sultan and the signoria,144 and where it held its meetings.145 San Sebastiano was another small parish church mentioned by Cedulini about which almost nothing is known146 except that it stood opposite San Francesco.147 In I63I Fra Mauri mentions this church or chapel but it was one of the many structures destroyed in the i660 fire.148 San Pietro e Paolo was one of the earliest churches built by the Genoese. Constructed in 1228 (although some authorities assert it to have been built as late as I414)149 as a private chapel, it was bestowed upon the Dominicans in 1475 as reparation for the seizure of San Domenico.150 After the dispersal of the Caffans in 1475 the famous icon of the Virgin supposed to have been painted by St. Luke was ensconced there.

A. Palmieri, 'Dagli archividei Conventualia Constantinopoli,' Bessarione (Rome,

p. 9, I30.


Benedetto Palazzo, 'La communaute latine de Constantinople en I6eme siecle, les eglises,' Le Flambeau, 41 (1950), 42. The most complete and authoritative work on the church of St. Francis is: Gualberto Matteucci, Un glorioso Convento Francescano sulle rive del Bosforo (Florence, 1967). 143 Giovanni Mauri, Relazione dello stato della Cristianitd di Pera e Constantinopoli,

Bulletindu Vicariat Apostolique du Constantinople, 4 (May, 1918),


p. 71.

Belin, Histoire de la latinite, p. 318. 146 Ibid., p. x65. Ibid., p. I87. 147Mauri, Relazione, p. 328. 148 Palazzo, Communautelatine, p. 6. 149 d'Alessio, 'Recherches,' p. 26. 150 Tahsin, Oz, 'Zwei Stiftungen Urkunde des Sultan Mehmets II Fatih,' Mitteilungen vom ArchdologischeInstitute des Deutsches Reiches, 4 (I935).
144 145

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The Genoese in Galata, I453-I682


It would seem that the miraculous nature of the Caffan icon lay in its ability to survive so many major fires, and one is led to wonder whether the sacred image seen by the French emissary de Monconys in 1648 is the same as the
image displayed today.151

In I497 the church was damaged by fire and subsequently repaired, but the title to the land was not bestowed on the friars until a donation was enacted under the residency of Angelo Zacharia in 1535. A sixteenth-century German traveler refers to the church simply as 'St. Paul' but noted it as one of the principal Christian places of worship in the town.152Destroyed in the 1602 fire, it was restored by a firman of Ahmet III which granted it special protection. Thus, when Saliha Sultan, Mehmet IV's favorite wife, ordered a number of adjacent Christian dwellings pulled down the earlier firman protected the church and monastery.153Unfortunately an imperial edict was not proof against the disaster of i660 and San Pietro e Paolo burned together with the rest of the quarter. Santa Maria Draperis5l4 was bestowed on the Franciscans in 1584 by the wealthy widow Clara Bartoldo Drappieri whose private oratory it had been.155 A principal repository of local ecclesiastical documents, its archive was described by Fra Mauri in I630. Burned in i660, Santa Maria Draperis was the first place of worship to be reconstructed the following year but because the requisite permissions and indispensable peshkesh to the relevant officials had been neglected the structure was confiscated in i663.156 Shortly thereafter the community was reestablished on the hill of Pera in its present location and a pilgrims' hostel, the Hospitium Terrae Sanctae, was constructed. Although designated as the Cathedral of Galata in 1296, by the sixteenth century San Michele was thought of primarily as a hospital or xenodohion.157 While the Archangel Michael had been designated protector of the colony and his image fixed on the Tower opposite the arms of Genoa, the Galatans soon reverted to veneration of the patron saint of the mother republic, St. George, to the neglect of the Archangel.158 Nonetheless, the modest building contained the throne and insignia of the archbishop of Genoa who also acted as vicar prepo151 Balthasar de Monconys, Journal des voyages de Constantinople par M. de Monconys (Lyons, 1665), I, 376. 152 Solomon Sweiger, Reissbeschreibung (Nurnburg, 1619), p. I33. 153Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, Constantinopolis und der Bosphorus (Osnabruck, 1967), II, 84. 154 The principal sources regarding St. Peter's (San Pietro) are R. Lonertz, 'Les etablissements Dominicans de Pera, origines et fondations,' Echos d'Orient, 30 (1935), and Vicar General, Order of Preachers, 'Cose della Missione dei Padri Predicanti in Constantonopoli', Rome, Registro dei Conti, i6oo-I680. 155 Pietro della Valle, Viaggi, p. 26. 156 Belin, Histoire de la latinite, p. 275. 157 Pierre Gilles, Topografia, p. 288. 158 L. Loyd, 'Colonia Commercale degli Italiani in Oriente nel Medioevo,' Ph.D. diss. (Turin, i866), II, 357; Raymond Ianin 'Les Sanctuaires du quartier de Pera,' Echos d'Orient, 31 (Jan., 1936), i8i.

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Louis Mitler

status for the colony. After it was destroyed by the order of Riistiim Pasha, a han was built on the site by the architect Sinan in 1544-1550.159 San Antonio or Santa Chiaral60was another Franciscan church built through the munificence of a Donna Marietta in 1390 or I437. Although the miraculous icon of St. Anthony of Padua was venerated by Christian and Muslim sufferers alike who frequently passed the night in the church, the structure was converted into a mosque by Grand Vizir Kemankesh Mustafa Pasha in i606,161 and apparently the adjacent almshouse and hospital were destroyed. The present magnificent church of the same name is a nineteenth-century edifice located in Galatasaray (Pera). In I39I Armenian emigrants from Caffa constructed their own sanctuary, St. Gregory (Arm., Surp Krikor Lusavoretz), the oldest Armenian church in Istanbul, under Genoese patronage.162 In 1436, with permission of the signoria, a Caffan merchant named Gozmaz (Ital., Cosimo) bought the land on which the church was built and sponsored extensive repairs.163 Richly decorated with tiles brought from Europe in the seventeenth century, this sanctuary was destroyed by 'urban renewal' in I958.164 The foundations of yet another church seen in 1584 by Pierre Gylles (or Gilles)165may have been the remains of a place of worship of which we have no written record, but they were more likely the ruins of a church burned by Morosini during the Venetian sack of the city in I296.166 Finally, there are references to the sanctuaries of Santa Catarina,167 and San Clemente,168 the locations of which remain unknown. Although the northern shore of the Golden Horn retained its distinctive Western and even Genoese character long into the era of Turkish rule, some authorities object to the very phrase 'the Genoese of Galata' when applied to the post-1453 period: 'After the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, one can no longer speak of the Genoese of Galata. The Magnifica Communita of Pera to which all foreigners in Constantinople belonged, succeeded the Genoese colony.'169 It is true that with the conquest Galata lost the semi-autonomous status it had enjoyed under the Byzantines and the second influx of Genoese, the Caffans, was assimilated into the Catholic community within the century, yet Galata continued to live a life of its own with a culture, architecture, commerce, language, and religion distinct from those of the Ottoman world surrounding it.
159For the plan of San Michele see: Ernest Mamboury, Constantinople: Tourists' Guide (Istanbul, 1926); Gilles, Topographia, p. II. 160 Belin, Histoire de la latinite, p. 330. 161 Ibid., p. 349. 162 Lukas Inciciyan, Cogragya (Amaranots Piwzandean) (Venice, 1794), V, I83. 163 Ibid. 164 Oktay Aslanapa, Kiitahya Qiniler (Istanbul, 1949), p. 63. 165 Gilles, Topographia, p. 334. 166Mitrofan Vasilevich Levtchenko, Byzance, des origines a 1453 (Paris, 1949), p. 275. 167 Belin, Histoire de la latinite, p. 218. 168 Ibid., p. 3I7. 169 Eugene Dallegio d'Allesio, personal communication (Athens, 1972), my translation.

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The Genoesein Galata, I453-1682


But in I682 an era that had begun with the heroic death in combat of a Giustiniani ended with the ignominious self-destruction of a countryman of the same name. Soon after the I660 fire the growing disaffection of the Turkish government toward the community began to manifest itself as permission to rebuild the ruined churches was repeatedly denied and those churches that were in the process of reconstruction were pulled down. At the same time internal dissension within the Communita and even among the Catholic religious orders had begun to manifest itself in mutual slanders of and appeals to both the Turkish Porte and the Genoese Signoria and it became apparent that this fragment of Italy in the Levant could no longer maintain its economic, cultural, and social identity in splendid isolation.170 Later, Western authors frequently criticized the Genoese for their accommodationism vis-a-vis their Turkish overlords but it was only this policy of conciliation that enabled the Genoese community to survive as long as it did in so precarious a situation. What is remarkable is that Galata was able to continue for so long as a distinct town within a town and that despite the disasters of fires, confiscations, razings, and the 'urban renewal' many of the 'Eastern Genoa's' physical remains are still visible today.

KY. I668), p. 42.

Paul Rycaut, Present State of the Ottoman Empire (London,

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