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Patricia Daunt is a writer, and the wife of Sir Timothy Daunt, a former British ambassador to Turkey. She is a regular Cornucopia contributor, specialising in beautiful architecture and interiors, and a book of her articles, The Palace Lady’s Summerhouse: and other inside stories from a vanishing Turkey was published in 2017.
Her first opportunity to explore Anatolia was made possible in 1960 when she arrived in Ankara for a four year posting to the British Embassy. Over the last fifty years she has travelled widely, often on horse or on foot, acquiring a deep knowledge of the evolving civilizations of a country she now knows well. Over the years she has led parties of enthusiasts across Turkey introducing them to the inexhaustible wealth of the country’s archaeological and architectural treasures as well as indigenous plants and trees. Her abiding interest remains the archaeological site of Aphrodisias in Caria. Since 1993 she has been running the English Friends of Aphrodisias, a charitable trust which supports the projects of those English members of the international team working at Aphrodisias
On Christmas Day we lost a fine journalist and historian with a deep love of Turkey. An intellectual who wrote with great ease, loyal, funny – and often querulous – he inspired friends and students across the world. Here, Roger Norman sifts through the tributes, and opposite, Patricia Daunt recalls happy memories of a long friendship
Reassuringly inaccessible, Divriği has always taken time to reach – and its riches time to savour. Patricia Daunt on the historical figures who made the journey
No wonder Aphrodisias was the Emperor Augustus’s favourite city in Asia. Famed for its exquisite sculpture and unsullied surroundings, for Patricia Daunt it is the most beautiful site in the classical world
Patricia Daunt extols the palatial embassiess that adorn the heights of old Pera
A new capital called for new architecture. Ankara in the 1920s and 1930s produced a fascinating diversity of styles as the foreign powers dragged themselves away from the Bosphorus and settled reluctantly on the Anatolian plateau
This masterpiece of scholarship, from the Lincoln Professor of Art and Archaeology at Oxford University, presents a full publication of the first-century reliefs excavated at Aphrodisias in Caria and now exhibited in the Aphrodisias Museum
The Hôtel de Lamballe was home to a doomed princess and an asylum for mad artists before it became Turkey’s embassy in Paris. In 1945 the young Nevin Menemencioğlu came upon the elegant mansion when she was searching the city for a building where her uncle, the Turkish ambassador, could set up his mission. Patricia Daunt reveals the turbulent past behind its serene facade. Photographs by Jean Marie del Moral
It was only to stop a property dealer painting the selamlık blue that the Germen family acquired a Bosphorus yalı to look after. This pavilion, on a glorious stretch of the Anatolian shore, enjoys southerly views all the way to the Topkpapı and sunsets to die for. Patrica Daunt meets the latest owners of this former royal residence
At last there need be nothing between you and the Bosphorus. Patricia Daunt tells the story of how two architects created the Sumahan on the Water, breathing new life into an old Ottoman spirit factory. Photographs by Jürgen Frank
The whole of the Köyceğiz area is famous for its dwellings of woven wood. The best surviving ones are in Hamitköy, on the lake’s western shore. These unique primitive habitations, now abandoned for concrete apartments, probably date back to antiquity
Patricia Daunt and the photographer Fritz von der Schulenburg record a work in progress on Turkey’s western Mediterranean coast
The descendants of a grand Ottoman family have restored the lustre to one of the pearls of the Bosphorus. Patricia Daunt charts the fluctuating fortunes of the Ethem Pertev Yalı. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
When planning your next trip, why not be unfashionable and start with a few days in old Ankara before carrying on north, south, east or west. You will not be disappointed.
In the remote hills of the Upper Euphrates stands a masterpiece of Islamic art whose entrances are a riot of medieval sculpture. The Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği – the only single building in Turkey to which Unesco has given World Heritage status – was built in the 13th century and is now in precarious condition. Cemal Emden captures its glory in photographs, Patricia Daunt marvels at its extravagant beauty, and Daniel Shaffer tells the story of the mosque’s unique carpets
Minutes from the Mediterranean, Lake Köyceğiz is a beautiful backwater lost in time. Cornucopia devotes 40 pages to the lake, its people, its unique basket houses and the house that Ali Rıza Pasha built. Text by Patricia Daunt, photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
The Camondo family, once dubbed ‘the Rothschilds of the East’, amassed a fortune in Turkey before moving to Paris in 1869. There, in the rue de Monceau, they established an exquisite collection of 18th-century French art, which was bequeathed to the nation in 1935. Today the Musée Nissim de Camondo is all that survives of this magnificent but short-lived dynasty.
In the 1950s, a palely beautiful summerhouse on the Bosphorus made tbe perfect playground for the cream of café society. Now its luminous, airy rooms, emptied of fuss and colour, reveal their natural beauty. Patricia Daunt uncovers the colourful past of Ratip Efendi’s yalı in Yeniköy. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
Built as a glittering prize, then closed through war and exile, this flamboyant survivor is one of the last of the great waterfront mansions of the Bosphorus. A dense cloak of creeper enhances the house’s aura of mystery and romance. Patricia Daunt returns to the Bosphorus to reveal the story of the brilliant Zeki Pasha, army reformer and gifted linguist, and his stylish summer retreat. Photographs by Jean Marie del Moral and Simon Upton
In the rain forests of Turkey’s Black Sea Mountains, where jackals howl and the River Fırtına (the Storm) crashes towards the Black Sea, live the Hemşinli people, who were here when Jason came in search of the Golden Fleece. In more recent years they prospered as bakers and restaurateurs in Tsarist Russia, returning to their beautiful, haunting country houses hidden in the hills east of Trabzon. In one of the treasured architectural stories ever published Cornucopia, Patricia Daunt visits one family and shares their memories of a Chekhovian rural life. Photographs by Simon Upton
The former embassies of Ottoman Istanbul have more of a consular role today but they still evoke the diplomatic rituals of their nineteenth century heyday. In the first of two articles Patricia Daunt traces the history of these spectacular winter palaces, and Fritz von der Schulenburg assembles a unique photographic record of the treasures they contain
When the summer heat made cool-headed diplomacy impossible, the ambassadors to the Sublime Porte retired to remarkable residences lining the Bosphorus. Patricia Daunt probes their rich diplomatic history, while Fritz von der Schulenburg captures the faded glory of the buildings and their grounds
The Çuruksulu Mehmet Pasha Yalı once saw diplomatic service as the home of the ambassador Muharrem Nuri Birgi. Successively remodelled in the past, today it is beautifully preserved, its restrained exterior and spacious interior evincing the classical age of Ottoman style, and its clifftop position providing timeless views. It is a house of memories, where only Freya Stark was permitted breakfast in bed, and where before Nuri Bey’s time the beautiful Belkıs Hanım held court in a cloud of pink gauze. Patricia Daunt explores. Photographs by Simon Upton
The Kıbrıslı Yalı is one of the largest old summerhouses to survive on the Bosphorus. Its rambling architecture mirrors the fluctuating fortumes of the statesman who gave the house its name, and his colourful heirs. By Patricia Daunt with photographs by Jerome Darblay and Simon Upton
Hekimbaşı Salih Efendi was the last physician to the Ottoman court. He was also a scholar and reformer. But plants were his passion, and the grounds of his yalı were filled with the scent of carnations. The gardens have gone, but the house lives on.
By Patricia Daunt. Photographs by Simon Upton
Six travellers set out on horseback to retrace the early part of the route taken in 1671 by the Ottoman traveller Evliya Çelebi on his way to Mecca. They rode for 42 days, from the Sea of Marmara to the city of Kütahya. As the dfiaries of three of the party show, the horses were willing, and children were thrilled to meet them – but it wasn’t all plain riding.
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