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 Üsküdar

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Location : The Papal States, Italy

PostSubject: Üsküdar   Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:12 pm


Üsküdar (ancient Greek Chrysopolis (Χρυσόπολις), medieval Scutari(on) (Σκουτάριον)) was a city in Bithynia founded in the 7th century BC,[citation needed] in a valley leading down to the Bosphorus shore, by the inhabitants of the Greek colony of Khalkedon and was first known as Chrysopolis (city of gold), perhaps because it was a wealthy port, or because of the way it shone when viewed from Byzantium at sunset.[citation needed] According to an ancient Greek geographer, the city received the name Chrysopolis because the Persian empire had a gold depository there or because it was associated with Agamemnon and Chryseis' son Chryses. An eighteenth-century writer speculated that it received the name because of the excellence of its harbor. The city was used as a harbor and shipyard and was an important staging post in the wars between the Greeks and Persians. In 410 BC Chrysopolis was walled by the Athenian general Alcibiades.

As its larger and more important neighbor across the Bosphorus grew, the town became a toll-booth for the Bosphorus and later became the first point of defense of Constantinople against the Ottoman armies. The name Skutarion came from the Roman soldiers stationed there, who were known for their thick leather shields (skutari). To no avail, however; by the time Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453, Üsküdar had already been in Turkish hands for 100 years.

In the Ottoman period Üsküdar was one of the three communities outside the city walls of Constantinople (along with Eyüp and Galata). The area was a major burial ground, and today many large cemeteries remain, including Karacaahmet Mezarlığı, Bülbülderesi Mezarlığı, and a number of Jewish and Christian cemeteries. Karacaahmet Mezarlığı is one of Istanbul's largest cemeteries. Bülbülderesi Mezarlığı is said to be the favored burial place of the Sabetay community, including the educator Şemsi Efendi; this cemetery is next to Fevziye Hatun mosque, also said to be a center of Sabetay culture.
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