Day 4 - 16 April 2015
Hagia Irene ... the Byzantine Church of the Divine Peace situated in the Topkapi Palace ... a reminder of the hope of peace as a concept that is present in all the ages of history.
How happy I was to discover that I share an attitude with an ancient ruler of Turkey. The ruling sultan had to live in a high security zone behind the Topkapi Palace walls but the area between the inner and outer walls were filled with green grass, flowering plane trees and perfumed tulips, pansies, and hyacinths. Yes – bringing the natural world into every life was and is so important.
The kitchen area caught my attention – it would have been a hive of activity from sunrise to sunset. Four thousand people had to be fed every day – the sultan and his advisors, his many wives and children, visiting dignitaries, military guards, etc. From the busy kitchen filled with huge metal pots, the food was carried on covered plates by a long line of servers who silently passed the covered trays along from one to another – an historical conveyer belt. Fresh food was seasonal as it was considered essential for good health – another ancient concept that we are slowly rediscovering.