The Fountain of Sultan Ahmed, Constantinople, Turkey


This photochrome print of the Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) is part of “Views of People and Sites in Turkey” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The fountain was described in the 1911 edition of Baedeker’s The Mediterranean, seaports and sea routes: Handbook for Travellers as having been “erected in 1728, the finest sebil [fountain] in the city, with a well-preserved timber roof.” The rounded towers at the angles covered with grilles would have allowed kiosk attendants inside to provide cups of water to passers by. Located on the southwest side of the seraglio of the Topkapi Palace, the fountain is near the political heart of Constantinople, being also close to “the Aya Sophia and the Ministry of Justice, which was the meeting-place of the new Turkish parliament in 1908-9.” It replaced an earlier Byzantine fountain on the site, which had been a social meeting place for centuries. Such fountains were the local water source before households were connected to a central supply and served the faithful before prayers. There were still 1,600 Ottoman fountains in Istanbul at the start of the 20th century.

Publication Information

Detroit Photographic Company, Detroit, Michigan

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Print no. "6033".

Last updated: September 27, 2013