SHOUTING DOWN THE HOUSE AT NEA ECCLESIASTICA
-A hotel replaces Nea Ecclesiastica – Sultanahmet——Drew this in 2017 from the hillside with my knees still weak from surgery and my heart breaking. The magnificent 9th Century Nea Ecclesiastica with its five gilded domes was a jewel in the crown of Constantinople, spared for its beauty by Mehmet the Conqueror before it was demolished by his son. Before 2017, the entire foundation was intact and much of the actual structure, as we can see, hidden by wooden houses. The woman in the window is screaming to spare the house, and the work foreman is reassuring her. Yeah, right.
LIVING IN THE RUINS
Across the street from the gaping hole of the new hotel is one surviving chunk of Nea Ecclesiastica. The family living in these ruins was very curious about what they had been and happy to learn.
-Houses built into a chunk of Nea Ecclesiastica – Sultanahmet -The family made me welcome and were curious about what it had been——Back in 2008 when I drew the doorway at the top of this drawing, the patriarch of this family (below at left) climbed up with a tray and a samovar to give me coffee. Nine years later, I was badly crippled, but was able to get this drawing since they made me so comfortable. I finished the drawing in 2018 from photos, after knee surgery.
Inside the ruin, an extended family lives cosily. Across the way, their neighbors are less fortunate.