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Title: Narrative of Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the Seventeenth Century, Volume II, by Evliya, Çelebi, 1611?-1682?

Author: Evliya Çelebi
        Joseph Hammer-Purgstall

Release Date: February 28, 2017 [EBook #54255]

Language: English

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Produced by Turgut Dincer, Les Galloway and the Online
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F.M.R.A.S., &c. &c. &c.







Journey to Brussa.
Description of the Town and Fortress of Modania 2
Description of the Buildings of Brússa 4
The Public Officers of Brússa ib.
Description of the Imperial and other Mosques 6
The Mosque of Khodavendkiár, or Sultán Murád I. 7
The Mosque of Sultán Báyazíd I. ib.
The Mosque of Mohammed I. ib.
The Mosque of Murád II. the son of Mohammed I. ib.
The Mosque of Emír Sultán 8
The Colleges of Brússa ib.
The Convents, Imárets, Kháns, Fountains, Mills, and Sebíls of Brússa ib.
Praise of the Baths of Brússa 10
Description of the hot spring of Chekirgeh Sultán ib.
Description of the sulphurous hot spring (Gogurdlí Kaplíjeh) 11
Description of New Kaplíjeh ib.
Description of the Market of Brússa 12
Description of the bridge of Erghándí 13
Description of the Walks and pleasure-places of Brússa 14
A Dissertation on Mountains 15
Description of the Ice-worm 16
Language, Dress, and Manufactures of the Inhabitants of Brússa 17
The Climate of Brússa ib.
The Eatables, Beverages and Fruits of Brússa ib.
Visit to the Monuments and Tombs of the first Ottoman Sultáns 18
Short account of the Conquests of Osmán Khán 19
Conquests of Sultán Orkhán ib.
Visit to Sultán Orkhán’s Tomb ib.
Notice of Hájí Begtásh, the Great Saint ib.
Short account of Sultan Murád I. 21
Tomb of Sultán Murád I. Khodavendkiár ib.
Short account of Ilderím Báyazíd ib.
Short account of Sultán Mohammed I. 22
Short account of the reign of Murád II. ib.
Tombs of Ottoman Princes 23
Visit to the Tombs of Saints at Brússa 24
Journey to Nicomedia.
Qualities of a Mineral Spring 30
Pilgrimages of Nicomedia 33
Journey to Batum and Trebisonde.
Description of the Ancient Town of Sinope 36
Description of the Castle of Samsún 39
Description of the Castle of Onia 40
Description of the Town and Ancient Fortress of Trebisonde, the Capital of the Lezgians 41
Begs of Abaza Tribes 43
The Commanding Officers and Magistrates of Trebisonde ib.
Praise of the Poets of Trebisonde 44
Form and size of the Town, and description
of its Monuments ib.
Description of the Lower Castle ib.
Description of the Mosques 45
Description of the Scientific Colleges, Baths, Market-places, &c. 46
Description of the complexion of the Inhabitants of Trebisonde 47
Occupations, Guilds, &c. ib.
Description of the principal Arts and Handicrafts 48
Eatables and Beverages ib.
Walks of Trebisonde 49
Praise of the River Kosh-oghlán 50
Visit to the Monuments of Sultans and Saints ib.
Journey to Georgia and Mingrelia.
Description of Mingrelia 51
Journey to Azak (Assov.)
Description of the Land of Abáza 52
Specimen of the Abáza Language 58
Specimen of the Sadasha Abáza ib.
Journey to the Crimea.
Description of the Castle of Baliklava 67
Description of the Convent of Kilghra Sultán 70
Return to Constantinople 73
Expedition against Malta in the year 1055 (1645).
Station of Gallipolis 78
Siege of the Fortress of Canea 79
Cause of the Death of Yússúf Páshá 83
Journey to Erzerum.
Gebize 89
Praise of the Lake of Sabánja 91
The Station of Khandak-bazárí 92
Places of Pilgrimage at Bolí 93
Pilgrimage to Habíb Karamání 94
Pilgrimage to the tomb of the great Saint Koyún Bábá 96
Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Burhándedeh 97
Form and Size of Amasia 98
Inhabitants, Language, Dress, Provisions, &c. 100
Of the Walks, and Pilgrimages or Tombs 101
The Town and Castle of Nígíssár 102
The Hot-Spring of Nígíssár 103
Pilgrimages of Nígíssár 104
The Governorship of Erzerúm or Erzenrúm ib.
Pilgrimage of Mama Khatún 107
Description of the Fortress of Erzerúm 108
Description of the great river Euphrates 110
Of the Form and Size of the Fortress of Erzerúm 111
Praise of the Palaces of Erzerúm ib.
Of the Mosques ib.
Fountains 112
Of the Baths, Kháns, Market-places and
Markets 113
Of the Inhabitants, Climate, Products, &c. ib.
Genealogies of Erzerúm ib.
Description of Mount Egerlí 115
Praise of Balaam, the son of Baúr ib.
Pilgrimages; Tomb of Sheikh Kárzúní 116
Stations of our Military expedition to the Castle of Shúshík 117
Size and Form of the Fortress Hassan 118
Description of the Hot-baths 119
Size and Form of the Castle of Khinis 120
Description of the Hot-bath 120
Description of the Castle of Shúshek or Shúshík 121
Size and form of Magú 122
Description of our journey along the Aras to Persia 123
Curiosities of Uch Kilisse 125
Pilgrimage of Mohammed Sháh’s Tomb ib.
Journey from Nakhshivan to Tabriz.
Pilgrimage of Riza, the Son of Hossein Bikara 129
Description of the Capital of Azerbeiján, the ancient town of Tabríz 133
Description of the Mosques of Tabríz 134
Colleges of Tabríz 135
Praise of the Air and Climate 136
Account of the Persian Crown (Táj) ib.
Arts and Handicrafts, Provisions, Fruits, Beverages, Gardens, &c. 137
Account of a curious conversation 139
General Praise of Tabríz 140
Bad and reprehensible things in Irán 141
Pilgrimages and Visits in the town of Tabríz 142
Description of the Expedition we undertook with the Khán to Shám Gházán 143
Description of Merághá 144
Description of Aján 145
Places of Pilgrimage at Erdebíl 147
Journey from Tabriz to Erivan.
Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Shems Tabrízí 149
Description of the Town of Eriván (Reván) 150
Description of the important town of Genje 154
Pilgrimages (or Tombs) of Martyrs ib.
Description of the Castle of Shekí 156
Account of the Tribe of Ettels 157
Pilgrimage of Ashár-bábá 158
Praise of Mount Caucasus ib.
Description of the Town of Shamákhí 159
Description of the Fortress of Bakú 162
Description of our journey from Bakú through Georgia 163
Description of a Whale with ears like an Elephant 164
Description of Derbend the Gate of Gates 165
Size and figure of the Castle 166
Description of the Iron Gate ib.
Buildings within the Castle 167
Pilgrimages 168
The Pilgrimage of the Forty ib.
Journey to Georgia.
Description of the Castle of Serír-ul-Allán 169
Tomb of Emír Sultán 170
Description of the old town of Kákht ib.
Description of Georgia or Shúshádistán, viz.: Betlís 171
Size and Figure of the Fortress 172
Products ib.
The Hot-baths of Tiflís ib.
Description of the Castle of Kúsekht 173
Description of Súrán ib.
Specimen of the Georgian Shúshád Language ib.
Genealogy of the Georgian Kings 173
Description of the Stronghold of Akhaska, Sultán Selím’s conquest 174
Khas or Revenues of the Sanjak Begs 175
Number of Ziámets and Timárs ib.
Form and size of the Castle of Akhachka 176
Castles of Georgia belonging to the Province of Chaldir 177
Stations of the Journey from Akhaska to Erzerúm 178
Castles in the neighbourhood of Erdehán ib.
Journey to Erivan in the year 1057 (1647).
Journeys on our return 185
Journey to Baiburd, Janja, Isper, Tortum and Akchekala’a.
Form and size of the Castle 188
Description of the River Jorúgh 189
Pilgrimages ib.
Description of the Castle of Tortúm 190
Size and Shape of the Castle 191
Account of our Inroad into Mingrelia 195
Of the Language of the Mingrelians 197
Moral Reflections 198
Account of our return from Erzerúm to Constantinople in the month of Zílka’deh 1057 (1647) 199
Our journey to the Castle of Kumákh ib.
Description of the Castle of Kumákh 201
Description of the Castle of Erzenján 202
Praise of the Eatables and Beverages 204
Pilgrimages ib.
Description of the strong Castle of Shín or Shábín Kara-hissár 205
Description of a Lion 207
Praise of the Alum, called Solomon’s Alum 208
Description of the Castle of Ládík 209
The Walks of Ládík 210
The warm baths of Ládík 211
Description of the Lake of Ládík ib.
Pilgrimages of Ládík 212
Description of Merzifún ib.
Description of the Baths 213
Praise of Pírdedeh ib.
Products 215
Pilgrimage to the Saints of Merzifún ib.
Journey from Merzifún to Koprí 216
Description of the old town and great bridge of Koprí 217
Description of the town of Gumish 220
Praise of Sheikh Bárdákli-bábá 225
Form of the Castle 227
The Pilgrimages of Karánjí-bábá Sultán ib.
Description of Angora 229
Praises of Hájí Bairám the Saint 231
The Eatables and Products ib.
Pilgrimages 233
Description of the town of Beg-bazárí or Bebek-bazárí 239
Journey from Beg-bazárí to Constantinople 240
Description of the tomb of the great Saint Akshems-ud-dín 241


Note 1, p. 16.It is a journey of two days from Brússa to the top.

The summit is easily reached in nine hours, on horseback, the journey having been accomplished in that time by the Translator, in the company of Mr. Stratton, the British Minister, and B. Bielfields, the Prussian Chargé d’affaires, in the year 1804. Evliya evidently places the time necessary for rest, and Turkish indolence, to the account of the length and difficulty of the road.

Note 2, p. 197.The inhabitants of Tortúm all assembled to form the Istikbál (solemn meeting.)

See Morier’s Travels, First journey through Persia. Bushire to Shiraz: “At two o’Clock we came to Ahmadiéh, at half past two we passed a small fort called Khosh Aub, where a large body of people were waiting our passage. (In the Journey this is the first notice of the Istakball, which so frequently recurs in the future progress of the mission, as an honorary assemblage called forth to receive a distinguished traveller, and to conduct him in his passage.) They were all armed with pikes, matchlocks, swords, and shields; and gave us two vollies as a salute. They then advanced to us and being announced by the Arz-Beg, wished us a prosperous journey. They were answered by the usual civility “Khosh amedeed, you are welcome.” As we proceeded our party was headed by the soldiery. They were commanded by a man on horseback, all in tatters, who with his whip kept them together, and excited them with his voice where he wanted them to run. Two of the chosen of the village performed feats before us on their lean horses, and helped to increase the excessive dust, which involved us. This party kept pace with us, until we were again met by a similar host, the van of the little army who were waiting our reception at Borazjoon: these also fired their muskets.”

Note 3, p. 211.The river Khalliz.

This was no doubt originally called Halys, which seems to have formerly been the name, not only of this river, but of the whole Kizil Irmák.





Praise be to God! for before all things it is the duty of men and genii to praise him, who made the heavens and all the wonders therein, Angels and Eden, Húrís and Rizwán the guardian of Paradise; who created roses and daffodils, nightingales and murmuring fountains, pearls and corals; the moon and the radiant sun: greetings also be to Ahmed the prophet, who by his family accomplished his divine mission! Praise be to the Creator! who out of nothing called me into existence and destined me to obey him, imposing on me the duties of Islám, the prayer, fast, alms and pilgrimage. In accomplishment of this sacred duty, I, his lowly servant Evliyá, left my family, and, with the desire of performing the pilgrimage, first tried my strength by commencing, in the month of Moharrem 1040, a journey on foot through the environs and quarters of Constantinople; the account of which is contained in the first volume of these travels. My ardent wish was to see Jerusalem and Baghdád, Mecca and Medina, Cairo and Damascus, according to my dream related in the introduction to the first volume of these travels, when the prophet appeared to me in the night, and I, by a slip of the tongue, said to him, instead of the usual form, Shifá’at yá ressúl-allah (Intercession, O envoy of God) Siyáhat yá ressúl-allah (Travelling, O envoy of God) and he, graciously smiling, granted my wish.

“Whatever God willeth, he prepares the means for its accomplishment.” Thus ten years after this dream, when I came to the house of my friend Okjí Zádeh Chelebí, I found that preparations were made for a journey to Brússa. He invited me to be his companion according to the maxim, “First the companion, then the road;” and said,2 “Let us spend a fortnight in visiting all the remarkable monuments at Brússa: the tombs of the Ottoman Sultáns, particularly that of the great Saint Emír Sultán, and by this visit illuminate our hearts.” I accepted this proposal as a divine inspiration, saying, “in God’s name!” to which all present responded, giving us their best wishes for a prosperous journey.

For the first time then, without the knowledge of my family, I set out on this journey, in the year 1050, accompanied by twenty friends in a boat of Modania, leaving the town of Constantinople, the place of my birth, with the intention of seeing other towns and villages. The present volume gives an account of this journey, which I undertook in consequence of the verse of the Korán, “Travel therein safely day and night,” and describes all the hardships I underwent; for according to the tradition of the prophet; “A journey is a fragment of hell.” We weighed anchor at Emírgúneh, on the Bosphorus, and called at Findiklí to take on board as passengers some clever ship-builders; and in the morning on the first Friday of Moharrem of the year 1050, the boatmen finding the time favourable for sailing, unfurled the sails and weathered the point of the Seraglio; laying the ship’s head towards Brússa, the object of our voyage. All the passengers were in high spirits, and some of them implored the Lord’s assistance for a happy voyage by singing spiritual songs. Some Musicians encouraged me to accompany them in their strains, and so, after having preluded awhile, I fixed on the measure girdánieh, and sung three tetrasticks and one sumáyí of the compositions of Dervísh Omerbesteh. Several of the boatmen accompanied us on their instruments, chokúr, with such effect, that water came into the mouths of the hearers with delight. Amidst these amusements we came to the island of Heibelí (Prince’s Islands), eighteen miles distant from Constantinople, and nine in circumference; it contains a famous Convent which is visited every year by many boats from Constantinople. The inhabitants are all wealthy Greeks, captains and masters of ships. The public officers are the Bostánji-báshí (of Constantinople) and an officer of the Janissaries. From hence we weighed anchor with a brisk gale, the vessel cutting the waves with a rapidity as though fire was bursting forth from it, and after five hours’ sailing landed happily on the coast of Modania.

Description of the Town and ancient Fortress of Modania.

It was built by a Greek Princess called Modína. Here I was first enabled to perform my Friday’s prayer, which I did with great devotion, and then went forth to view the town. It is the port of Brússa, and forms a safe harbour, being closed against the wind from seven points and open only to the North. The anchorage is excellent. At the head of the harbour stands the custom-house, the lease of which amounts to a million aspers. The town is built by the sea-shore,3 on a low rocky ground. Prince Orkhán, with his father Osmán’s permission, conquered this town in the year 721 (1321) and destroyed the walls in several places, that it might no longer afford shelter to the infidels. It is governed by a Voivode, subordinate to Brússa, the chief seat of the Sanjak of Khodávendkiár. The judge is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers a day. His annual revenue amounts to two thousand piastres. This appointment is sometimes given to the Mollá of Brússa as Páshmáklik (pin-money). The houses are all faced with brick. There are three mosques (jámí) and seven mesjids, three kháns, one bath, two schools for boys, and two hundred small streets; but no room for reading the Korán or tradition, because the greater number of the inhabitants are Greeks. There are fine gardens producing superior figs and grapes. From the excellence of its vinegar, it has acquired the name of Dárkhill (vinegar-house). South-east of the town we passed on horseback continuously through gardens and the cultivated field called Filehdár. The river Nílúfer, not fordable in the beginning of spring, is a clear stream, which issuing from the mountains Rúhbán, Ketelí and Castel, waters the valley of Fillehdár and disembogues into the White Sea. The main road crosses it over a handsome bridge, each arch of which resembles the arch of heaven; its name, as well as that of the river, was received from its builder the Princess Nílúfer, daughter of a Sultán (Orkhán): after continuing our journey among gardens and vineyards for two hours, we reached the town of Brússa, the emporium of silk, the ancient capital of this country (Bithynia).

The town of Brússa having been built towards the North on natural rocks has no ditch, but on the side of the head fountain (Búnár-báshí) and the quarter of the Mills, it has a deep one, which at the time of the Asiatic rebellions of Kará Yazijí, Kallender and Sa’íd Arab was filled up. Some of the stones of the walls are of the size of the cupola of a bath, and some bear Greek inscriptions on them. The town is protected against southerly and easterly winds from its being situated at the foot of Mount Olympus. The houses have a northern aspect and look over the plain of Filehdár. The fortress, the circumference of which is eleven thousand paces, has six thousand battlements, sixty-seven towers, and four gates, viz. the gate of the head fountain, the prison-gate, the hot-baths’-gate to the west, and the gate of the fishmarket. This stronghold was besieged more than once by the Seljúkians, who came with an army of twenty thousand men; the siege lasted between seven and eight months, the besiegers retiring only on the approach of winter. Osmán the founder of the Ottoman dynasty besieged it three times, but was compelled on the last occasion by an attack of the gout to retire to Iconium. He sent his son Orkhán with Sheikh Hájí Begtásh, who renewed the siege, and built two great towers, one at the side of the hot-baths (Kaplijah),4 and the other on the side of the head fountain (Búnár-báshí), which took seven months to complete. Orkhán posted himself at the hot-bath, his nephew Timúr-beg, at the head-fountain, and Yalabánjik-beg at the mountain’s side. It surrendered in 722 (1322) after a year’s siege, and Osmán died at the moment he received the news. Orkhán his successor entered Brússa with Hájí Begtásh, there fixed his residence, and buried his father’s body in the castle. Osmán conquered seventy towns during the lifetime of his father Ertoghrúl. His first conquest was in Kojá-Ilí by Akcheh Kojá. Near Nicæa at the castle of Wáilakabád, he begat his son Orkhán on Sheikh Edebáli’s daughter, who was related to the prophet, so that the Ottoman Sultáns are Seyyids or Sherífs on the mother’s side. Sheikh Túrsún their first divine was a relation of Sheikh Edebáli, and said the first prayer from the pulpit in Sultán Osmán’s name. Brússa soon became populated by mussulman colonists from all quarters.

Description of the Buildings of Brússa.

The interior of the fortress contains two thousand houses, and many high palaces, but no gardens, there are seven quarters and as many mosques, one bath and twenty shops. The mosque of Sultán Orkhán is one hundred and ten feet square, with a mináreh of one story. Sultán Orkhán lies buried here, and the large drum called Orkhán’s drum is suspended in this mosque; it was used during Sultán Orkhán’s reign. The palace in the castle was the residence of the early Ottoman Emperors to the time of Mohammed II., who removed to Constantinople; Sultán Murád I. having previously resided at Adrianople. Since Brússa has had its own Bóstánjí-bashí (like Constantinople) the streets of the castle are paved with large stones, and in some places stones are found with inscriptions of the time of the Infidels, by which may be ascertained how long the houses have been built; they are all built of stone, faced with brick, and have a kind of sexangular chimneys to let out the smoke, which look very well. In some places also grow cypress-nut trees and vines, and from the elevation of the ground, the air is very wholesome.

The public Officers of Brússa.

The first is the Páshá of the Sanják, Khodavendkiár, appointed with a revenue of 618,079 aspers kháss. There are four hundred and twenty fiefs called ziámet and one thousand and five tímárs. The feudal militia is commanded by an Aláï-beg, Cherí-báshí and Júz-báshí, and assemble at the Páshá’s command in time of war. The Páshá leads five hundred men of his own. The judge (Mollá) is appointed with 500 aspers, and is promoted from hence to the posts of Adrianople and Constantinople, it is a high office, valued annually at forty thousand piastres.5 Seven Náíbs (deputies) in the town are subordinate to the Mollá. The five other districts are those of Kíná, Fileh, Abolonia, Castel, and Chokúrjeh. The civil officers are, a Chokádár of the janissaries, a chamberlain (Kápújí-báshí); the commanding officer of the janissaries, the colonel of the armourers (Jebejí), the officer of the Sípáhís (Kiayá-yerí); the Muftí, the head of the Sherífs, the inspector of the silk, of the custom-house, the Voivode of the town and the provost, who all have power of life and death.

The lower town was fortified in the time of Mohammed III. the conqueror of Erla against the Anatolian rebels Kará Yazíjí, Kalender-oghlí, Delí Hassán, and Jennet-oghlí, but it is not very strong; it extends from East to West to the foot of Mount Olympus for the length of one farsang and the breadth of half a farsang. The circuit is fifteen hundred paces, the walls are not very high. There is but one ditch near the gate of the Tátárs and no where else, and there is no need of it, because if an enemy were to dig approaches, water would rush up in the trenches. Guns and falconets are mounted on the towers, which are fired on festivals; there is no other garrison than the doorkeepers, but there are six thousand guards in the town. The gates are of iron and above each are towers whence grenades and stones may be thrown on the besiegers. The gate of the Tátárs opens to the East, that of Filehdár to the North; and that of Hassan Páshá towards the Kiblah. There are twenty-thousand large and small houses built in the ancient style; the most conspicuous of all is the ancient residence of the Emperors, in the upper town or fortress, it has three baths and three hundred rooms, but no garden on account of the narrowness of the place. There are in the whole town one hundred and sixty-six quarters of Moslims, seven of Armenians, nine of Greeks, six of Jews, and one of Copts. The quarter of the Meskins (Lepers) is a separate quarter leading to the road of Sultán Murád. The upper part of the town with Mount Olympus rising in the background is beautiful when seen from the plain of Filehdár, an hour’s distance from it, and I can truly say that I have seen nothing like it during my travels. Brússa is a very devout town, abounding with Divines, expounders of the Korán and keepers of tradition, who are found no where else so numerous, excepting at Baghdád. Mount Olympus at the back of the town on the south side is a mine of living water, no less than one thousand and sixty well-known springs flow from it, and supply water in abundance to the palaces and houses. It abounds also in all kinds of flowers, particularly in syringa (Erghiwán), the annual assembly of Emír Sultán held in the season when the syringa is in perfection being much celebrated. The inhabitants being fair, the air good, the water full of holiness, contribute altogether, to render Brússa one of the most delicious spots on earth.


Description of the Imperial and other Mosques.

There are in all one thousand and forty places of worship, three hundred and fifty-seven of which are mosques of Sultáns, Vezírs, and other great men. The first is the great mosque Ulú-jami’í built by Ilderím Báyazíd, on an airy elevated spot of Brússa, it is supported within by large square pillars, the bases of which are gilt and painted to the height of a man, with inscriptions, such as, Yá Hannán, “O all gracious!” Yá Mennán, “O all merciful,” Yá Diyán, “O all faithful!” Yá Hassán, “O all beautiful!” and other names of God. The letters of these inscriptions are three cubits high; nineteen cupolas covered with lead and crowned with golden crescents are supported by these pillars. The twentieth cupola is placed on the centre of the mosque, and is left open so that light and air may enter, but birds and animals are shut out by a grating of brass wire. Directly beneath this cupola is a round basin of water, wherein fish are swimming and whence the Moslim community take the water necessary for their ablutions. The pulpit made of black nut is skilfully carved and chiselled with flowers and arabesques of all kinds. It must be absolutely seen, for it is so wonderful that it cannot easily be described, and has no equal any where except at Sinope on the Black Sea. The mahfil or place where the Muëzzins repeat the proclamation of prayer, is painted with great art. The mosque is lighted by glass windows on the four sides, and the floor covered with carpets which are not found elsewhere because this mosque is so richly endowed. It is nightly lighted by seven hundred lamps, and is crowded with people at all hours, because no less than seventy lectures are read here on scientific subjects to two thousand scholars. The distance from one of the side-gates to the other is three hundred and fifty feet, and from the Kiblah to the mihráb one hundred and eighty feet; it has three gates. On the left side, the gate of the Emperor’s oratory (mahfil), the gate of the Kiblah (opposite to the mihráb), and on the right side, the gate of the Mehkemeh. Outside of the Kiblah-gate is a stone bench; it has no great courtyard like other mosques, but a small one, in the centre of which the Muftí Abdul-azíz Efendí has built a basin with water-pipes.

On the right and left are two high brick mináreh, and at that of the Mehkemeh-gate is a fountain (jet d’eau), the water of which comes from Mount Olympus, but it is now in ruins, the pipes having become decayed by age. When it rains the water collects in the basin of this fountain on the top of the Mináreh, and the birds flock hither to drink. In short there is no more holy mosque than this in Brússa; it is the Ayá Sofía of Brússa, and has therefore been described the first, but the first consecrated in chronological order, was that of Orkhán in the upper castle.


The Mosque of Khodavendkiár, or Sultán Murád I.

On the west side of Brússa at half an hour’s distance, in a separate suburb called Eski Kaplijah is Sultán Murád’s mosque, built in a peculiar style, because the architect was a Frank. The lower part is devoted to worship, the upper devoted to science, is distributed into rooms for students, so that each may follow the Imám’s directions at prayer. The length from the Kiblah to the mihráb is one hundred feet, and the breadth seventy feet. On one of the columns appears a falcon, which having been recalled by Sultán Murád I. and not obeying, was by his curse changed into stone. This mosque has one gate, and a mináreh one story high, but no courtyard.

Description of the Mosque of Sultán Báyazíd I.

It is a small mosque, situate on the East side of Brússa, surrounded by fields and gardens, and not much frequented on account of its distance from the town; it is one hundred and fifty feet long and one hundred in width, in the old simple style, and remained unfinished during the war of Timúr, but was completed by Mússa Ilderím’s son.

The Mosque of Mohammed I.

This celebrated and elegant mosque, known by the name of Yeshil Imáret (the green building) entirely built of marble, stands upon a hill on the East side of Brússa, and has two cupolas without columns, one hundred and eight feet long and eighty feet in width. It is impossible to give an idea of the mihráb (altar) and minber (pulpit) because the carving is beyond all conception; the only gate is also ornamented with such elegant arabesque carvings, that they could not be represented finer even by the pen on Chinese paper. The stone-cutter who worked this gate, spent full three years on it, during which he received forty thousand ducats from Mohammed I. as is generally reported; in short, there is no mosque of more elegant and exquisite workmanship in the world. The reason of its being named the green building, arises from the cupola and the mináreh being covered with green fayence which radiates like emeralds in sunshine. Tall plane trees surround the outside. I saw no finer mosque in Brússa, and other travellers say no where else.

Description of the Mosque of Murád II. the son of Mohammed I.

On the west side of the town is a certain suburb composed of this mosque and its appurtenances of colleges, kháns and gardens. The builder was Murád II. the son of Mohammed I. and father of Mohammed II. who died at Adrianople and was buried here. It is a holy mosque and has two cupolas. From the gate8 of the Kiblah to the mihráb the length is one hundred and fifty feet, the width sixty. The (mihráb) altar, (minber) pulpit and station of the Muëzzins (mahfil) are in the ancient simple style, built in the year 850 (1446). Tall plane-trees adorn the courtyard. Many Princes of the Ottoman family are buried here.

The Mosque of Emír Sultán.

This mosque is built on a mound and is the last of the Imperial Mosques which I visited.

On the east side of the town is the mosque of Monlá Arab Jebbárí, a small mosque built after the model of the great mosque Ulú-jami’í, its fine situation invites the people to pray there. The mosque of Uftádí Efendí is in the inner castle. Of the Mesjíds or small mosques (where Khutbeh is not said on Fridays) it is the principal. The Mesjíd Zeiniler, the building of the Muftí Abd-ul-latíf, where I read the Korán from beginning to end in one day, without interruption. Here the Mollá Khosrew composed his famous book. At that time two hundred lead-covered mosques and seven hundred minárehs might be seen from Kází-yailá, a height half way up Mount Olympus.

The Colleges of Brússa.

The colleges are those of Orkhán, Ilderím, Murád, Mohammed I., Emír-sultán, Issa-beg, Kássem páshá, Joneid, Kadrí, Tenárí, Zein-ud-dín Háfí, Báyazíd-páshá, and Hamza-beg.

The Convents, Imárets, Kháns, Fountains, Mills and Sebíls of Brússa.

There are three hundred convents, the most handsome of which are, that of Mevlana Jelál-ud-dín containing eighty cells for Dervíshes, and a place for the dance (sima’a). That of Emír-sultán entirely covered with lead, which stands on a high hill. That of Zeiniler of the sect of Na’amán Ben Thábet. That of Uftádí Efendí, in the inner castle, of Khalvetí dervíshes. That of Abdál Murád Sultán of the Begtáshís, men fervent in piety, who bareheaded and barefooted with open breasts, wait upon the Moslims who frequent this delightful walk; it was built by Orkhán and possesses more than a thousand kettles, pans, and copper vessels; visitors perform their devotions here. That of Sheikh Kílí near the camel-driver’s station, the dervishes are Begtáshís and very poor, having no endowment, it was built by Sultán Orkhán. That of Abdál Sultán Mússa built by the same. That of Ak-bi’ík Sultán of the order of Begtásh. That of Abú Ishak Kasúlí who is buried at Erzerúm within the gate of Tebríz. That of Gulshení; seventeen Convents of Khalvetís; nine of Kadris; three of Nakshbendís; one of Rúfa’áïs; one of Kalenders, and one of wrestlers.


The Imárets (dining establishments for the poor) are those of Murád I. Ilderím Báyazíd, Emír Sultán, and that of Mohammed I., called the green one.

There are one hundred and eight kháns; the principal one is the rice khán, which has iron gates, a large stable, worthy of Antar, with two hundred cells; the silk khán, of the same size, where the inspector of the silk resides; the custom of the silk is let for three hundred purses a year; the butter khán on the gate of which is suspended a cask, which, being filled with búza, was once drank out by a single man who had laid a bet that he would do it. There are also seventy kháns called Mujerred Kháns for unmarried people. The cáravánseráï of Alí Páshá was built by Sinán the famous architect, and has doorkeepers.

The fountains of Brússa amount to the number of two thousand and sixty, every one of which vies with the spring of life. The Muftí Azíz Efendí himself built two hundred, his name appearing on all of them, with an inscription begging for a fátihah from those who drink. Besides these public fountains, each of the twenty-three thousand houses has its own supply. From certain springs water-courses pass from house to house, along the streets, and carry water to many basins, water-pipes, baths and gardens. The town being built at the foot of Mount Olympus, and the houses rising in rows one above the other, the water naturally flows to them. There are seventeen fountains, from which this large quantity of water is derived, the principal one is that called Búnár-báshí, which rushes out of the rock in several places on Mount Olympus and spreads itself over the town. The head fountains of Súnderlí, of Chatál Kainak, of Kepíz, of Náshí Dersí, of Sobrán, of Arejlí, of Chárshú, of Bellor Kainak, of Samánlí Kainak, the latter obtained the name of straw-boiler, because it issues from Mount Olympus, flows for some distance underground, and comes out again at another place, which is proved by the re-appearance of straws that have been put into the upper part of the stream; the Sheker Kainak (sugar-boiler); the Selám Kiassí Kainaghí; the Királ Kainak (king’s boiler); the Murád-dedeh Kainaghí; in short there are seventeen large fountains which yield the clearest and coldest water; but the channels decaying in the course of time, the keepers of the aqueducts, at night, throw horsedung into them, by which the openings are obstructed and the purity of the water is spoiled; they would not dare to do this in the day-time because they would be punished for it by the public officers.

The Water-mills are an hundred and seventy, which succeed one another from the head fountain (Búnár-báshí) to the fish-market and all the way down from Balabánjik; also in the valley of Eghzándí, at the tanners, the quarter of the lepers, the foot of the Castle, the gate of Hassán Páshá, &c. The establishments for distributing water (Sebíls) are six hundred. Although here, as at Brússa,10 there is such abundance of water that these establishments are superfluous, yet the generosity of the Ottoman Sultáns provided them for the distribution of iced water in the summer months.

Praise of the Baths of Brússa.

The cleanliness and elegance of the bath of Sultán Mohammed is beyond all description; the bath of Ainebegí-Charshú was founded by Ilderím Khán; the bath of Takht-ul-kala’; the bath of Kayaghán Charshú; the bath of Bostání, of the castle of the Cutlers, of Murád, and of Ilderím, have all two rooms each (Chifteh). There are besides three thousand private baths in the palaces, some of which are also devoted by the proprietors to public use. The hot-baths in Turkish are called Ilíjeh; in Arabic, Maíhamím; in Persian, Germáb; in Rúmelí, Kainarjeh (boiling); and at Brússa, Kaplíjeh (from [Greek: kapnos] smoke, which hangs over these hot springs;) in the Mogolic language they are called Kerensa, and in Europe, bagnio. These springs are impregnated with sulphur from mines which they pass through underground, and when mixed with cold water, are equally wholesome for bathing or drinking, but if drank to excess, it is said, they cause the teeth to fall out. There are many hundred hot springs at Brússa, which being neglected in the time of the Infidels, were not covered. The hot-bath of old Kaplíjeh, built by Murád I. has a great cupola covering a large basin ten feet square, on the four sides of which are washing-tubs, with two retired cabinets (Khalvetí), upon entering these the flesh feels soft as an ear-lap and all uncleanliness is boiled as it were from the body. To drink the water is a good remedy for palpitation and throbbing of the heart; but a certain method is prescribed to those using the baths, which if neglected brings on pleurisy.

The following are the rules to be observed:—First, take a common ablution at the edge of the basin, then wash the head with warm water, throwing some over the body preparatory to walking into the bath, till the whole body is covered, do not remain too long, and dress quickly upon coming out, in order to avoid catching cold; this precaution is necessary, and if neglected causes many ailments. The most powerful of all the hot-baths of Brússa is that of Murád I. the dressing-place being built in the old style is not cold.

Description of the hot spring of Chekirgeh Sultán.

The building is small, but its water is very useful in leprosy; lepers who have been afflicted for forty years, are cured if they drink and bathe here forty days. Persons affected with this disease lose their eyebrows and eyelashes, and their11 breath becomes infectious. God avert it from us! There are for this reason separate quarters for the leprous (Meskin) in all towns in Rúm.

Description of the sulphurous hot spring (Gogurdlí Kaplijeh.)

It is a small building, the spring is very hot and sulphurous; it is principally used as a remedy for itch and scab, and the waiters (Dellák) know how to treat people so affected. Those who can bear to be rubbed by them in the private cabinets for half an hour, will see within twenty-four hours a miraculous alteration; the skin peels off in black scales, and the body appears white as silver. In short, the suburb of old Kaplíjeh, where the above springs exist, consists of three hundred houses with gardens and hot springs, some for men, some for women, some for children, and some for old men. The inhabitants of Brússa, who are acquainted with their qualities, come here to stay a fortnight with their relations, and use the baths.

Description of New Kaplíjeh.

It stands near the town on a rocky place, and all the buildings are covered with lead, like those of old Kaplíjeh. It was formerly a small building, but Sultán Súleimán having been cured of the gout here, he ordered his Vezír, Sárí Rostem Páshá, to build a large bath. The travellers of Múltán, Balkh and Bokhara, say, that they have no where seen a bath so magnificent as this. Its dressing-room is a vast place covered with cupolas, capable of holding a thousand men; on its walls is written in Ta’lík letters, a Turkish verse, saying;

“In life on your apparel lay no stress
As every body must his body here undress.”

In the centre of this dressing-room is a basin, and in the middle of the basin a fountain. There are more than a hundred inspectors walking round in high pattens, besides clean waiters (Dellák). The interior basin (the bath itself) has a cupola which some say is one hundred cubits high, it is covered with lead, and pierced with six hundred glass windows; the basin is like a sea into which you descend by six marble steps; at its four corners are figures of lions and dragons, which spout the water from their mouths. In the cooling place (Súklik) is a fountain (jet d’eau) which reaches to the top of the house. On the side of the basin are eight large vaults, underneath each of them is a bathing trough of stone, where those who perform their ablutions can see those who swim in the basin. The floor of the whole bath is paved with variegated marble, as though enamelled by goldsmiths. It has two private cabinets (Khalvetí), in that on the12 right is a small basin, the water of which is extremely warm, but when mixed with that of a cold spring which is adjacent, a proper temperature is obtained. Though this hotbath is not in such good repute as the former, yet it is a pleasant place, where lovers delight with their beloved, especially in the long winter nights; when these baths are lighted with candles, a thousand tricks are played by the bathers, some diving, some swimming, some wrestling in the water, some swelling their aprons into sails, others spouting water from their mouths, some lying dead flat on the water, others joining hands and imitating the cries of boatmen, “Tírá Molá,” drive the water round like a whirlpool, which forces all those who are in the water to follow the quick rotation of it.

There is also a private hotbath, called Kainárjeh, which, with many others, I did not see, because I was a stranger, and only setting out on my travels.

Description of the Market of Brússa.

There are nine thousand shops. The Bezestán is a large building with four iron gates secured with iron chains; its cupola is supported by strong columns. It contains three hundred shops (doláb) in each of which merchants reside, who are as rich as the kings of Egypt. The market of the goldsmiths is outside the bezestán, and separate from it; the shops are all of stone. There are also the markets of the tailors, cotton-beaters, capmakers, thread merchants, drapers, linen merchants, cable merchants, and that called the market of the bride, where essence of roses, musk, ambergris, &c. are sold. The brains of the passers by are refreshed with the most delicious odours, and nobody is willing to leave it on account of the fragrance of the perfumes and the politeness of its merchants. These markets are established around the Bezestán, and the shops are arranged in rows. In each corner is a fountain supplying water out of two pipes. In the summer months the servants sprinkle the ground with water, so that the whole market resembles a serdáb or cooling place of Baghdád. The principal men of Brússa sit here during the hottest hours of the day. According to the descriptions of travellers there is no where to be found so pleasant a market place. The market of Haleb and of Alí Páshá at Adrianople are famous, but neither they, nor even those of Constantinople, are to be compared with the markets of Brússa. The saddlers, and the long market are the most crowded; and the one occupied by the sellers of roast meat near the rice khán is very elegant. None of the provisions at Brússa are sold by Infidels but all by true Moslims. The shops of the Sherbet-merchants are adorned with all sorts of cups, and in the summer-time they put flowers into the sherbet and also mix rosewater with it, which is not the custom any where else. The fruit merchants ornament their shops with branches bearing fruit. There13 are seventy-five coffee-houses each capable of holding a thousand persons, which are frequented by the most elegant and learned of the inhabitants; and three times a day singers and dancers execute a musical concert in them like those of Hossein Bikara. Their poets are so many Hassáns, and their story-tellers (Meddáh) so many Abúl-ma’álí. The one most famous for relating stories from the Hamzeh-námeh is Kúrbání Alí, and Sheríf Chelebí enchanted his hearers by those he told from the Sháh-námeh. Other story-tellers (Kissah Khán) were famous for reciting the tales of Abú Moslem the hatchet-bearer, which may be compared to the memoirs (Seir) of Weissi. All coffee-houses, and particularly those near the great mosque, abound with men skilled in a thousand arts (Hezár-fenn) dancing and pleasure continue the whole night, and in the morning every body goes to the mosque. These coffee-houses became famous only since those of Constantinople were closed by the express command of Sultán Murád IV. There are also no less than ninety-seven Búza-houses, which are not to be equalled in the world; they are wainscoted with fayence, painted, each capable of accommodating one thousand men. In summer the Búza is cooled in ice, like sherbet; the principal men of the town are not ashamed to enter these Búza-houses, although abundance of youths, dancers and singers, girt with Brússa girdles, here entice their lovers to ruin. The roads are paved with large flint-stones, a kind of paving not met with elsewhere; these stones are not the least worn by age, but they are dangerous for horses, who stumble on them because they are so hard and bright.

Description of the bridge of Erghándí.

A market for weavers is established on both sides of the bridge of Erghándí at Gokdereh (the valley of Olympus) the small windows of each shop look on to the torrent of Gokdereh, which flows beneath. The shops are covered with lead, and the bridge is shut in on two sides by iron gates pierced with loopholes. A part of the bridge is reserved for the use of strangers to fasten up their horses. There is no covered bridge like this, either in Arabia, Persia or Turkey. The name of this bridge, Erghándí, is derived from the word Erghalándí, which signifies, “it has been shaken,” and to which the following tradition is attached:—

In the time of Sultán Orkhán, a warrior, going early to the bath here, heard a voice, saying, “Shall I come out or not?” The soldier being a brave fellow, called out, “Come out,” adding a curse or two; when out broke from the place whence the sound came, a rich treasure, with great shaking and trembling of the earth (Erghálandí). The soldier, upon seeing such a quantity of gold coins, went and related the story to Orkhán, who advised him to spend in pious works, what14 Heaven had thus granted him. He took the treasure to his home, paid a tenth of it to the revenue, and then built this bridge, which took its name from the circumstance. There are forty-eight large and small bridges in and about Brússa. The streets and some of the markets are adorned with festoons of grapes, which grow here in great plenty, and others with tall plane-trees and willows. Brússa is truly a garden-town; the number of gardens is said to be forty-seven thousand, all abundantly supplied with water.

Description of the Walks and pleasure-places of Brússa.

Of these there are no less than three hundred and sixty-five, so that there is one for every day in the year. The finest is that of Búnár-báshí, where if you eat roast meat and drink of the water, you feel hungry again immediately; of such digestive power is the water: a mosque adorns this famous walk. The walk of the Mevleví-kháneh, or convent of Dervishes, built by Orkhán, where twice a week the Mevlevís assemble for their religious dances (sima’á), and afterwards take their pleasure in the fields. The walk of Abdál Murád Sultán is situate in a valley high up on Mount Olympus, whence the finest view of Brússa is obtained. The verdure is so luxuriant, that the earth seems covered with green velvet. There are plane-trees, willows, cypresses and box-trees, of an immense height, under the shade of which ten thousand men may procure shelter. Swings are fastened with ropes to some of these trees, where lovers and their beloved swing each other. There are benches for company and benches for prayer; it is a most delightful place, and extends as far as the eye can reach. The walk of Fissdíklí is adorned with pine-trees, and is a secluded but very pleasant corner. The walk of Karanfillí, on the way to Kaplíjah, is a resting-place. The walk of Kaplí Kiaya is a fine spot without any buildings, and surrounded by woods, and that of Abd-ul-múmen is above all praise. Outside of the town, to the east, in a chesnut-wood, half an hour’s distance from the foot of Mount Olympus, stands the fountain of A’ssá, which is said to have rushed forth by a miracle, when the great Saint Emír Sultán struck his staff (a’ssá) into the ground on this spot. The chesnuts are grafted trees, each not weighing above forty drachms. The walk of Sobrán is also adorned with chesnut-trees. The place of Ulumest is a convent for the accommodation of strangers. The pleasure-place of Kazí-yailá (the judge’s Alp) is situate half-way up Mount Olympus, and is ascended from below in five hours. The Okmeïdán, or archery-ground, is so pleasant a place, that it is beyond all description. The walk of the Monks’ mountain (Olympus) obtained its name from its having been the retreat of Greek Monks.


A Dissertation on Mountains.

God created one hundred and forty-eight mountains, as locks of the earth, which is held together by them when shaken by earthquakes; this is hinted in the verses of the Korán, “His (God’s) are the keys of the earth and Heaven;” and again, “and the mountains as pales”. According to geographers there are in the first climate, nineteen; in the second, twenty-seven; in the third, thirty-one; in the fourth, twenty-four; in the fifth, twenty-nine; in the sixth, thirty-six; and in the seventh, thirty-seven great mountains. The root of all mountains is mount Káf, thus designated by the verse of the Korán, “Káf and the glorious Korán;” it surrounds the earth and is reached by the Kalmúks beyond the ice-sea; they call it in their language Yaldarák Ták. If it pleases God, I shall describe it when I undertake that journey. Since the time of Alexander none but the Kalmúks have seen Mount Káf, they assemble every forty or fifty years to the number of seventy, or eighty thousand, in order to visit it. The Caucasus (Kúh-al-burz) faces the desert of Tartary called Heihát, the great mountain of Germany (Riesengeburg), and the mountain of the moon twenty farsangs beyond the equator, where the Nile originates. Mount Olympus was the first of these mountains which I ascended with a goodly company; we took litters, tents and all necessary preparations with us, and set out from Búnár-báshí ascending during five hours. The first height, Ghází Yailá, is so called because the Moslim victors (Ghází) had a station here during the siege of Brússa, which lasted a whole year. It is a pleasant spot with meadows and chesnut-trees, a small rivulet running through it is full of trout. From this place a full view of the town of Brússa is obtained. Five hours further on is the table-land called Sobrán Yailássí, a large plain with chesnut-woods; trout are also found in the lakes of it; we took a great many of them, and ate them fried with fresh butter; each fish seemed like one of the dishes Jesus multiplied amongst the people (six thousand men). Some hundred thousand sheep graze here, descended from the forty thousand sheep of Sultán Osmán: the shepherds are Turks, they brought us some sheep as a present, which we immediately roasted, and passed the night in the open air. Next day we mounted again in a south-east direction (Kibláh) the road lined with hyacinths, roses, basilicon, and other flowers, the scent of which perfumed our brains. We refreshed ourselves with water from the living spring, and came after three hour’s travelling to the place called Menzíl Bakajak, where we halted three days and three nights in the woods, delighting in fresh fish and roasted sheep. This place is called Bakajak, or look-out, because from hence on the nights previous to Ramazán they watch for the new moon, and, as soon as they see it, light a fire to give notice to the town, where the guns are fired to16 announce the commencement of the fast. This look-out is on the top of an isolated rock, which stretches towards the town like an elephant’s proboscis and hangs over so deep a precipice that nobody dares look down. From it the plain Filehdár, with all its villages, fields, and cultivated grounds appear, like a picture on paper. It is so steep and prominent that the great mosque, the castle and bezestán of Brússa seem as it were sinking into the base of the mountain, and from the summit cannot be seen at all. Rocks towering to the sky take the appearance here of many strange shapes, such as dragons, elephants and eagles. We mounted still further in the direction of the Kiblah through flowery meadows, where no tall trees were to be seen, and after five hours came to the station of Sultán Suleïmán’s fountain-head. A delightful spot with a spring of water so cold that a man cannot take out of it three stones in succession. There is here a large mass of rock the size of the cupola of a bath, which vibrates on being touched, and also many rivulets containing trout of one or two becas each. These rivulets and brooks being frozen in the winter, the head ice-man, (Kárjí-báshí) sends two or three hundred persons to cut the ice, which, transparent as crystal and brilliant as diamonds, is used in summer to cool their sherbet by the inhabitants of Constantinople and Brússa. Some hundred ass-loads are every day embarked at Modania for the use of the coffee-houses, Imperial kitchens, and the Imperial Harím; for the Vezírs, the Kází-askers, and the Muftis.

Description of the Ice-worm.

This is a worm, which is found in the midst of ice and snow as old as the creation, but is difficult to find; it has forty feet, and forty black spots on its back, with two eyes as red as rubies, all ice, without a tongue, and its interior filled with an icy fluid; it shines like a diamond but melts quickly away, because it is all ice. In size, it is like those cucumbers which are sold for seed at Lángabestán, sometimes larger, sometimes smaller. The ice-worm I brought to Sultán Ibrahím was smaller than a cucumber. It is an aphrodisiac, sharpens the sight, and makes a man as healthy and vigorous as a new-born child. It is rarely found, and falls but to the lot of kings! It is said that on the Caucasus they are of the size of dogs, with four feet, living and walking among the ice and snow. Faith be upon the teller! I have not seen them.

Above the station of Súleimán vegetation ceases and the mountain is barren. Kulleí Jehán, the tower of the world, is on the topmost peak of the monk’s mountain (Olympus) whence beneath your feet the clouds may be seen passing over the town. It is a journey of two days from Brússa to the top; being so very high it is entirely barren; the mountains of Cútahía are seen from the south17 side; the mountains of Sogúd from the East, and from the west side the mountains of Galipolis, beyond the White Sea. The summits of the Seven Towers and of the Minárehs of Sultán Ahmed, may be discerned from hence when the sun shines on Constantinople. From its height, it is so much exposed to the wind, that if men did not cling to, or shelter themselves behind, the rocks, the wind would blow them away like cotton. On the highest spot is a burying place, the four sides composed of immense stones; it is the tomb of Sa’dán the son of Landha, who is said to have taken refuge here from fear of Hamzah. Near it is a deep dark cave which leads to seventy or eighty small cells, where Monks resided in the time of the Byzantine Empire; on some of them are inscriptions in Greek and Latin, two thousand years old. People who come to the top also write their names in this place. We again mounted our horses and came after ten hours ride, ascending and descending, to the Victor’s height, Ghází Yailá, from whence, after another ride of ten hours, we arrived at Brússa.

Language, Dress, and Manufactures of the Inhabitants of Brússa.

There are many thousand rich merchants and learned divines who dress in sable pelisses. Being in Asia, the language is related to the Turkish, hence they say Ahmed Chepú instead of Ahmed Chelebí; Memet Chepú instead of Mohammed Chelebí; Assmíl instead of Ismaíl; Jafár instead of Ja’fer, besides some words and expressions entirely unknown; young men of the town however speak with great purity. Their principal occupation is the cultivation of silk, the manufacture of velvets and other stuffs of Brússa called Sereng and Chátma, it is also famed for the manufacture of cushions for sofas.

The Climate of Brússa.

The longest day is fifteen hours: the inhabitants are fresh-coloured on account of the healthy air, but as Mount Olympus intercepts the southerly winds, the air is dull and heavy when they blow. The youth are numerous and have been celebrated in many a town-revolt (Shehrengíz). The women are exquisite beauties, with well-arranged teeth, and well-arranged words; their hair curled and dressed in tresses is celebrated in the poetical expression Kessúí merghúleh. The men attain a very old age; in short the pleasant advantages which this town affords are not to be met with elsewhere. The people are of a graceful stature, silver bodies, cautious, and so eloquent that when they speak they never fail to produce the greatest effect on their hearers.

The Eatables, Beverages and Fruits of Brússa.

The first is white bread of the kind called Súmún, which is as good as the best18 of Constantinople; then that sort of bread called Chákil, like white roses; the Gozlemeh, the Kerdeh, a kind of roast mutton dressed over a stove (Tennúr). The sheep which are very fat come from Mount Olympus. The white Halvá of Brússa is also celebrated.

The beverages are the delicious water of the head fountain Búnár-báshí and seventeen other principal springs; excellent coffee from Yemen, very good búza, the sherbet Khanedán-beg (smiling Prince), that of Tírelí-oghlí, Karan-fillí and Shujáb.

The fruits are forty-day pears, exquisite grapes, apricots, cherries, and chesnuts famous all over the world. These chesnuts, weighing forty drachms each, are put on spits with the meat, the juice of which penetrates them; they grow so succulent that it is almost impossible to leave off eating them till one dies. The seven day mulberries are also famous. The plain of Filehdár is laid out in mulberry plantations, because the chief product of Brússa is silk, which is said not to be equalled by the Persian silk of Shirwán.

The manufactures are those of ruby-coloured velvet, like that made at Genoa, Brússa linen of different colours, aprons called Kirk-kalem, purses of silk, silken nets, and finally cushions of cut velvet called Chátma munakkash katífeh.

Visit to the Monuments and Tombs of the first Ottoman Sultáns.

The Seljúk family arrived in the country of Rúm (the Asiatic provinces of the Roman Empire) in the year 476 (1083). They first allied themselves with the Danishmend family, and occupied with them the districts of Malatia, Cæsarea, Alayeh, and Konia. The Seljúkians took up their residence in the latter town, while the Danishmend family resided in those of Sivás and Erzerúm. Melek Ghází died at Nigissár and is buried there; Ala-ud-dín the prince of the Seljúk family, called Toghrúl-beg, the ancestor of the Ottoman family from Mahán was a relation of his, and created him a Beg; he made some inroads from Konia on Nicæa, Brússa and Nicomedia. Ertoghrúl-beg, who was invested with drum and banner, had not yet the right of striking coins and of the Friday prayer, he was buried at Sogudjek near Nicæa. His son Osmán-beg was the first absolute monarch of the Ottoman family whose name was struck on the coin, and prayer said by Túrsún Fakíh, 699 (1299). He married the daughter of Sheikh Edebálí who became the mother of Orkhán, and through whom the Ottoman Sultáns are related to the prophet. Until the time of Mohammed II. these princes were called Beg. Mohammed II. was the first called Sultán by Akshems-ud-dín and whose name was struck upon coins. Selím I. was then proclaimed servant of Mecca and Medina by Kemál-páshá-zadeh, and Ebúsúd Efendí the famous Muftí19 added to the title of Sultán Súleimán, that of Sultán of two lands, and Khakán of two seas, because he had conquered Baghdád and Rodos, but if he lost either of them he was to lose the title also.

Short account of the Conquests of Osmán Khán.

He conquered the castles of Bílejik, Ainegol, Kara-hissár, Inogí, Iznik, Kopru-hissár, Elibád-hissár, Castel, Kítah, Bígha, &c. Osmán-beg reigned twenty-one years after the death of Sultán Ala-ud-dín, and died at the age of sixty-nine, after having reigned twenty-six years, at the moment Brússa fell into the hands of his son.

Conquests of Sultán Orkhán.

The Castles of Yází, Kogreh, and in Rúmelí, Yanbolí, Galibolí, Moderní, Kojá Elí, Iznikmid, Belakabád, Brússa, Taraklí, Goinek, Karassí, Bálikersí, Bergama, Adremyt, Ashlúna, Rodosto, and Búlair; the last was conquered by Súleimán-páshá, Orkhán’s son, who lies buried there.

Visit to Sultán Orkhán’s Tomb.

Sultán Orkhán died in the year 771 (1369), he is buried with his father Osmán beneath a cupola in the mosque of the inner castle; he died, after a reign of forty-one years, at the age of sixty-four; he was a mild monarch, a father to the poor, and a warrior in the ways of God. The divines of his time were David Kaissarí of Caramania, he was named Kaissarí because he was brought up at Cæsarea, he commented on the text of Mohay-ud-dín Arabí and was a second Taftazání in mystic science. He was the first Professor (Muderris) of the College which Sultán Orkhán built at Nicæa. Molá Ala-ud-dín commonly called Eswed Khojá (the black master) who commented doctrinally on the work Moghní-ul-lebíb and also on the book, Wikayit. Molá Jenderelí Kará Khalíl, who was first created Kází-asker of Anatolia by Orkhán. Molá Hassan Kaissarí, one of the greatest Jurisconsults; he wrote a good commentary on Andalusian prosody, he was a disciple of Mohay-ud-dín, and completed his education at Damascus.

Notice of Hájí Begtásh, the great Saint.

When young he never mixed with other boys but sought retirement and scorned all worldly pursuits. He refused to accept the dignity of Sultán which was offered him by his father, who died a Prince in Khorassán. Forty years long he did nothing but pray and fast, and arrived at such a degree of perfection, that in the night, during his sleep, his soul migrated from his body into the world of spirits, and he became filled with the mystic science of spirits, and divine knowledge.20 One Day the men of Khorassán asked him to perform a miracle as a proof of his sanctity; he then performed many miracles, and was acknowledged by all the great men of Khorassán to be their superior. My ancestor, the pole of poles, the Sultán of learning, the fountain head of science, the chief of the Sheikhs of Turkistán, Khojá Ahmed Yessúí Ibn Mohammed Hanefí, was his disciple, and hinted that he had received from him even the gift of direction to bliss (Irshád), and of true Dervishship, which Gabriel brought from Paradise, with its symbols, the crown, the habit, the carpet, the lamp, the table, and the banner, to Mohammed the true fountain-head of all Dervishship. The prophet delivered the direction to Imám Alí, from whom it came to his son Hossein, who bequeathed it to Imám Zein-ul-ábedín, who left it to Ibrahím Almokerrem, who when in the prison of Merván handed over to Abú Moslim, the crown and gown, carpet and table, lamp and banner, the symbols of Dervishship. From him they came to the Imám Mohammed Báker, then to his son Imám Ja’fer, and to his son Mússa Kázím, and from him to Ahmed Yessúí the head of the Sheikhs of Turkistán, who being asked by his disciples to leave to them the aforesaid symbols, never consented till Hájí Begtásh made his appearance, who became by the possession of it, the pole of the poles (Kutbal-atkáb).

Hájí Begtásh of Khorassán was the son of the Seyyid Ibrahím Mokerrem, who died in the prison of Merván, as it has been just said, and there is no doubt of his descent in direct lineage from the Prophet; the history of Ain Alí gives, however, the following genealogy: Seyyid Mohammed Hájí Begtásh, the son of Seyyid Músá Nishabúrí, son of Seyyid Ishak Essákin, son of Seyyid Ibrahím Mokerrem El-askerí, son of Seyyid Mússa Ebí Sebha, son of Seyyid Ibrahím Elmurteza, son of Imám Músa Alkázim, who had thirty-seven children. Hájí Begtásh’s father left Khorassán after his father’s death and established himself at Nishabúr, where he married Khatmeh the daughter of Sheikh Ahmed and by her had Hájí Begtásh. While yet a boy he was distinguished for his devotion, and was entrusted to the care of Lokmán, one of the disciples of Ahmed Yessúí, from whom he learned the exoteric and esoteric sciences. Lokmán had been invested with the religious habit of Imám Ja’fer by the hand of Báyazíd Bostámí. With this habit Lokmán invested Hájí Begtásh. This is the crown or turban which has twelve folds in remembrance of the twelve Imáms, and the white abbá with sleeves like a jubbeh, which is worn by the Dervishes of the order of Begtásh. By order of Ahmed Yessúí he accompanied Mohammed Bokhara Sáltik with seven hundred men, Shems-ud-dín Tebrízí, Mohay-ud-dín Al-arebí, Kárí Ahmed Sultán, and other pious men and Saints into Rúm, where the Ottoman dynasty took its rise.


Hájí Begtásh instituted the new militia called Yenícherí, and having established his seven hundred disciples in the towns conquered by Sultán Orkhán, he sent Mohammed Bokhara Sárí Sáltik into Dobrúja, Wallachia, Moldavia, Poland and Russia. The seven hundred convents of Dervishes, Begtáshí, which actually exist in Turkey, are derived from the seven hundred disciples of Hájí Begtásh. Hájí Begtásh died in Sultán Orkhán’s reign, and was buried in his presence in the capital of Crimea, where a Tátár princess raised a monument over his tomb. This monument having fallen into decay Sheitán Murád, a Beg of Cæsarea of Sultán Súleimán’s time, restored and covered it with lead. If it please God we shall describe it in its proper place. Sheikh Seyyid Ahmed Ruffa’í, buried at Ladika near Amasia. Sheikh Hassan Rufa’í, buried at Tokát near Sunbullí, was the nephew of the former. Sheikh Geigli Bábá was a Dervish of the Begtáshís. Sheikh Kárá Ahmed Sultán a Persian prince, who when on his travels came to Sultán Orkhán, was initiated by Hájí Begtásh, and is buried at Ak-hissár. Sheikh Abdál Mússa Súltán, and Sheikh Abdál Murád, both of Sultán Orkhán’s time.

Short account of Sultán Murád I.

He gave caps (Úskúfa) to the janissaries, embroidered with gold; built a mosque at Bilejk, another mosque at Brússa and a convent for Postín Púsh Bábá. He was assassinated in the year 791, after the battle of Khassova, by Milosh Kúblakí. A cupola is erected over the spot, which was renewed by my gracious Lord Melek Ahmed Páshá.

Tomb of Sultán Murád I. Khodavendkiár.

He is buried on the west side of Brússa near old Kaplíjah, beneath a large cupola. His arrow, bow and quiver are suspended over his tomb, with the bloody garment in which he was killed, which fills with awe all who enter this monument. He was seventy years of age at his death, and had reigned thirty.

Short account of Ilderím Báyazíd.

Besides numerous conquests in Anatolia, he passed seven times in one year from Anatolia into Wallachia, and from the rapidity of his movements obtained the name of Ilderím (lightning). He besieged Constantinople, and established a judge there and seven hundred Mussulmán houses, from the Flour-hall (Ún-kapán,) to the Rose mosque, also the tribunal of Sirkejí-tekkieh. In the year 805, following bad advice, he waged war against Timúr, and was taken prisoner by the Tátárs after a long struggle on foot, his horse having been thrown down. Brought into Timúr’s presence, he was well received, but Timúr asking what he would22 have done to him had he been taken prisoner; Báyazíd answered, that he would have put him into an iron cage and carried him to Brússa; Timúr being enraged, ordered Báyazíd to be put into an iron cage, intending to carry him into Persia, but he died on the third day of a violent fever.

His son, Mohammed Chelebí pursued Timúr’s army towards Amasia, and had tents made of the skins of the slain Tátárs, beneath which he sheltered himself from the sun. The field of the above defeat is called to this day, in derision, Táshak-ová-sí. He took his father’s corpse from the enemy, and buried it in the mosque he had built at Brússa. Sultán Murád IV. when he visited this tomb gave it a kick with his foot, saying: “What, do you lie here like a monarch,—you, who have destroyed the Ottoman honour, and have been made prisoner by the Tátárs?” At the moment he kicked the coffin, he cried, “Oh! my foot!” and from that day was attacked by the gout, which carried him off. He lived sixty-seven years, and reigned fourteen; he was a great Emperor, but could not war against fate.

The Divines of his time were Sheikh Sheháb-ud-dín Sivássí, who composed a valuable commentary, and is buried at Aya Solúk (Ephesus); Khosb-ud-dín of Nicæa, who contended much with Timúr; Simánezadeh Sheikh Bedr-ud-dín Ben Mahmúd Ben Abd-ul-azíz; the Mevlená Fakhr-ud-dín the Persian, buried at Adrianople; Sheikh Abd-ur-rahím Ben Emír Azíz Merzifúní, and the Sheikh Pír Elías, who is buried at Amasia.

Short account of Sultán Mohammed I.

He first shared the Empire with his brethren Súleimán, Mússa, and Issa Chelebí, whom he subdued in one year and became absolute monarch. He built Yerkoí (Gimgera) on the banks of the Danube. He died in 824, and lies buried beneath a painted cupola before his mosque called the green building, (Yeshil Imáret), he was forty-seven years old, and had reigned seven years. He was the first who sent a Surreh, or present of money, by the caravan of pilgrims, to the poor of Mecca and Medina. He finished the old mosque at Adrianople, the foundations of which had been laid by his brother Mússa, and built a cupola near Philippolis over the tomb of Ghází Mohammed Beg, at the place called Kúnis.

The divines and learned men of his time were Kara Shems-ud-dín Semaví, famed for his works and travels, who was exiled from Brússa to Zaghrah in Rúmelí, where he is buried. Sheikh Abd-ul-latíf Mokadessí Ben Abd-ur-rahmán Ben Alí Ben Ghánem.

Short account of the Reign of Murád II.

The soldiers having revolted, dethroned him under the pretext that he had23 grown too old, and put his son Mohammed II., who was only thirteen years of age in his place; but being found incapable to hold the reins, the janissaries again displaced Mohammed II. sending him to Magnesia, and recalled old Murád to the throne. Afterward in the year 855 they deposed Murád II. for the second time, and Mahomed II., then twenty-one years old, obtained absolute sway, and took up his residence at Constantinople. His father died the next year (856) at Adrianople, but was buried at Brússa. He lies in more magnificent state than any of the Sultáns buried at Brússa, his tomb being covered with a golden stuff. He was thirty-nine years old when he died, and had reigned twenty-eight years. He built the mosque Ujsherfelí at Adrianople, two other mosques, a Dar-ul-hadíth, a Bezestán, and the bridge of Erkeneh with a mosque. He was the first who assigned a salary to the Seyyíds or Sherífs.

The Divines and Sheikhs of his time were Zekeriah Khalvetí, the disciple of Pír Elías, who is buried near him, and Sheikh Abd-ur-rahmán Ben Hassám-ud-dín, commonly called Gumishlí-zádeh; he was the son-in-law of Pír Elías, and having had the honour of kissing the hands of the three sons of Murád II., he foretold to Mohammed II. that he would conquer Constantinople, and establish the true faith there.

Tombs of Ottoman Princes.

Ala-ud-dín Páshá, son of Osmán, who died in 804, lies near his brother Orkhán; Shehinshah, son of Báyazíd, Governor of Brússa; Mohammed, son of Báyazíd, and eight princes, brethren of Sultán Selím I. whom he killed when going to war against Prince Ahmed, are all buried near Orkhán; also their brother Ahmed, who was strangled by Sultán Selím, and sent hither. Ahmed’s son Murád fled into Persia to Sháh Ismaíl, where, at the end of three years, he died, and was buried at Erdebíl near Sháh Safí. Two of his brothers, who had been spared at the intercession of the Ulemas, died soon after at Constantinople of the plague, and are also buried here. Korkúd, who, persecuted by Selím I., was taken at Tekkah in a cavern with his governor Piáleh and killed (909), is buried beneath a private cupola near Murád II. Prince Hassan, the son of the latter and brother of Mohammed II., and who was strangled soon after his brother had ascended the throne, also lies buried here near his father; so also does the unfortunate Jem, brother of Báyazíd II. He left a cup, which, on being emptied, filled itself again, an ape who played at chess, and a white parrot, which was dyed black by Sa’dí the poet of Jem, and presented to the Sultán, saying the words, “We belong to God, and return to him.” In the year 1074 (1663) at the time I, poor Evliyá, was on my journey to Vienna, Prague and Lúnjat (?), I conversed with many monks and patriarchs, who all agreed that Jem was the son of a French princess, who being taken24 by Mohammed II. at the point of the Seraglio, became the mother of Báyazíd and Jem. The three brethren of Mohammed I., Issa, Mússa and Súleimán are buried beside their father Báyazíd at his mosque. There are many hundred princes and princesses buried at the mosque of Sultán Murád II. at Brússa. Chelebí Sultán Mustafa, the son of Súleimán I., who, on the invidious report of his enemies, was strangled by his father, also lies buried in the tomb of Sultán Murád II., though some pretend that he is interred on the east side of the courtyard gate of Eyyúb, but that is another Mustafa, who was killed by his father Súleimán, he having had two sons of that name. The first six Ottoman emperors are also interred at Adrianople, at the heads of their coffins a particular kind of turban is placed, with folds and farthingales, after the fashion of Mahán, the town of Khorassán. The art of folding them has descended from father to son in one family, from the time of the Seljúkians. Mahommed II. wore the Urf (a kind of round turban), and the conqueror of Egypt wore the Selímí; may it last for ever!

Visit to the Tombs of Saints at Brússa.

Sheikh Geiklí Bábá Sultán was one of the followers of Ahmed Yessúí, and came from Azerbeiján. He used to ride on wild roes in the woods, and load gazelles with his baggage after he had harnessed them. He planted a tree near the Seráï in the castle at Brússa, which has now arrived at a great height. His tomb at Brússa in the great convent was built by Orkhán.

Abdál Mússa, also a disciple of Ahmed Yessúí, came from Khorassán with Hájí Begtásh to Rúm. He was a companion of Geiklí Bábá, and was present with him at the conquest of Brússa, where he was buried in a convent.

Abdál Murád Sultán, one of the Saints lost in abstraction (Santons), who was present at the conquest of Brússa. He is buried in a convent facing the town on the South side, in a pleasant place, which is at the same time a pleasure garden for the inhabitants of Brússa. A sword, three cubits long is shown here from which Sultán Ahmed I. cut off one cubit’s length, which he placed in his treasury.

Molá Shems-ud-dín Mohammed Ben Mohammed Ben Hamza Ben Mohammed Fanarí, the sun of hidden things, and the moon of life, one of the first divines of Sultán Ilderím, has left works on seventy different scientific subjects, but by God’s will became blind at last. It is related that having opened the grave of his master Kara Ala-ud-dín, a voice was heard saying: “Art thou there? God deprive thee of sight!” and a whirlwind rising at the same moment blew all the dust of the grave into his eyes, by which he became blind. He was one of the divines who denied the verse; “The earth does not eat the flesh of the Ulema.” Aúz-páshá, Sultán Orkhán’s Vezír, having a spite against Fanárí, said,25 “May I see the day on which I shall perform the prayer for the dead over this blind Mollá’s grave.” This being told to the Mollá, he said “God Almighty can yet take away the sight of the Páshá, and give me back mine to perform prayer on his grave;” and it so happened that Aúz-páshá having had his eyes put out by command of Sultán Orkhán for a badly executed commission, Fanarí had his sight restored to him the same night, and performed the prayer of death on the Páshá. He died in the year 833, and reposes at Brússa near his college.

Shems-ud-dín Mahommed Ben Alí, called Emír Sultán, born at Bokhára, came first to Mecca, and then to Medina, where the Sherífs refused to give him the portion allotted to the Sherífs, though he was entitled to it by his descent from the prophet through Hossein. The Saint appealed to the decision of the prophet himself, and went to his tomb accompanied by his adversaries, where, having saluted the grave, a voice was heard, saying: “Health to you my child, Mohammed Ben Ali, go to Rúm with the lamp;” upon hearing which the Sherífs instantly threw themselves at his feet, and Emír Sultán undertook the journey to Rúm, whereupon a lamp suspended in heaven became his guide to show him the way, and was only extinguished when he entered the town of Brússa. He took this as an evident sign that he was to fix his residence there, where he had four hundred thousand disciples. The inhabitants of Brússa had seen the lamp for three days, and knew by that miracle that he was a great saint. They all became Dervishes under his direction. Báyazíd Ilderím not only walked on foot by the side of his stirrup, but also gave him his daughter Nilúfer Khánum in marriage. Ilderím having built the great mosque Úlújámí at Brússa, and having asked Emír Sultán whether it was not a perfect mosque, the Saint answered; “Yes, it is a very elegant mosque, but some cups of wine for the refreshment of the pious are wanting in the middle.” The Sultán replied with surprise; “How, would it be possible to stain God’s house with the liquor forbidden by the law.” “Well,” said the Saint, “thou hast built a mosque, Báyazíd, and, find it strange to put cups of wine therein; and thou whose body is God’s house, more excellent than a talisman composed of the divine names, or the throne of God, how is it thou art not afraid of staining the purity of this godlike house with wine day and night.” From that moment Báyazíd, repenting, left off drinking wine. When Timúr marched against Brússa the inhabitants being alarmed, inquired of Emír Sultán what was now to become of the town. The Saint said, “the commander of the town having recommended it to the care of Eskejí Kojá and Khizr, they must be informed of it.” Ilderím being defeated, Emír Sultán wrote a note which he sent by one of his Dervishes into the camp of Timúr, with an order to deliver it to Eskejí Kojá, that is to the chief of the tailors who mend old clothes.26 Having read the Saint’s note, he said, “Emír Sultán shall be instantly obeyed;” he stuck his needle in his turban, and before he could put up his things in his bag, all the tents of the camp were broke up by the power of his command, because this old tailor happened also to be a pole of poles, or great Saint. Emír Sultán died in the year 833 (1429), and is buried outside of Brússa to the East, beneath a high cupola; the gates are inlaid with silver, so also is the entrance, by which you descend six steps. The walls are covered with variegated china (Chíní). The four windows looking westward to the field of Brússa are brass; four others look towards the Kiblah into the yard of the mosque. The great number of suspended ornaments which adorn the interior of the mosque are equalled only by those of Medina; the silk carpets are richer than are found elsewhere. The tomb is encircled by gold and silver lamps, candlesticks, candelabras, and vases for perfumes and rosewater. On the coffin lay Koráns by the hands of Yakút Mostea’-assemí, Sheikh Bekrí, Abd-allah Krími Kháledí, Timúrjí Kúlí, Zehebí, Ibn Sheikh-dedeh Mohammed, Kará Hissári, Hassan Chelebí, &c. The coffin is covered with silk embroidered with gold, and at the head a large turban reposes majestically. Those who enter are struck with such awe, that many do not dare attempt it, but only look into it by the window at the head, and recite a Fátihah. On the south side of the tomb is a very elegant mosque, the four sides of which are laid out in cells for the poor, who dine here at the Imáret. When Sultán Selím I., after the death of his brother Ahmed, visited the tomb of Emír Sultán, a voice was heard, saying: “Enter Egypt in security,” which was interpreted as news of the conquest of Egypt, which Emír Sultán promised to Selím I., and on that intimation Kemál-páshá-zádeh instantly said a Fátihah.

The Muftí of divine secrets, the champion of mystic illumination, Sheikh Abd-ur-rahmán Ben Alí Ben Ahmed Al-bostámí, a great lawyer, who was also a good poet, is buried at Brússa. Sheikh Abd-ul-latíf Mokadessí Ibn Abd-ur-rahmán Ibn Alí Ibn Ghánem Al-anssarí, having visited the tomb of Sadr-ud-dín at Konia, the dead saint stretched out his hand from the tomb, drew the Sheikh to him on the grave, and ordered him to read the Súrá Yass. He then built the convent Zeiniler, where he is buried. There lived not a greater Saint than him in the time of Sultán Mohammed I.

Mevlana Mohammed Shah Ibn Mollá Yegán, one of the Úlemas of Murád I., buried at Zeiniler. Mevlana Yússúf Bálí Ibn Yegán, who wrote notes on the Telvíh. Mevlana Seyyid Ahmed Ibn Abd-allah who also wrote notes on the Telvíh. Mevlana Elias Ben Ibrahím, who wrote an abridgement of the Kodúrí Sheik Ak Bi’ík Sultán of the Dervishes Bairámí. Sheikh Uzún Mosslah-ud-dín, who died at Táj-ud-dín’s tomb at Brússa, after having read the Korán for the27 space of forty days. The pole of the spiritual world, the mine of divine science, Fanárí, a great divine of the time of Murád and Mohammed II., died 834. The Santon (Mejzúb) Abdál Mohammed on the great road. Sheikh Sultán Ramazán Bábá, buried in a pleasant meadow at Brússa in a convent of Begtáshís.

Sheikh Abú Ishak Kazúní, his name was Ibrahím, his surname Abú Ishak. His mother, Shehriár, was an Armenian princess and married to one of the princes of the white sheep (Baiandurí.) He was born in the year 352, in the month of Ramazán, and was the pole of poles in his day; he is buried at Erzerúm, inside the gate of Tebríz, beneath the same cupola with Murteza Páshá, who gave up Eriván to the Persians. When I visited this place the keeper was an old woman with a white beard, whose story is as follows. At the time of the rebellion of Abáza Páshá some of his Segbán came to the village Kánkoí, with the intention of ravishing a beautiful Armenian girl, she being aware of her danger, turned her face to heaven and said, “O Abu Ishak deliver me from these rioters, and I for the remainder of my life will watch thy tomb.” At that moment a white beard grew from her chin, and she thus escaped the pursuit of the Segbán. I have myself seen her three times. The chapel in memory of Kazúní, which exists at Brússa, was built by Ilderím; it is opposite to the burying place of the Camel-drivers.

Chekirkeh Sultán at Eskí Kaplíjah, before the monument of Murád I. Shádí Sultán near Emír Sultán. Abd-allah Efendí. Sheikh Emír Alí Efendí of the order of Khalvetís. Karaja Mejid-ud-din. Karanfillí-dedeh at Hassan Páshá’s gate. Sunbullí-dedeh at the Tátárs’ gate. Sheikh Alí Mest in the same place. Mollá Arab Jebbári at the foot of the mountain. Mollá Ashjí-dedeh, Hassám-ud-dín Chelebí, Kháliss-dedeh, &c. Mollá Khosreu Ibn Khizr, the author of the celebrated canonical work, “Durer-u-gurer;” he is buried near Zein-ud-dín Háfi. There is a small dark cell, wherein he composed this precious work, which I did not leave until I had finished the lecture of the whole Korán in it, as an offering to the blessed spirit of Mollá Khosreu. Sheikh Abd-ul-latíf Mokadessí the Imám of Ilderím Khán. Sáurimssakjí-zadeh Súleimán Efendí buried near the old Kaplíjah, he is the author of the “Mevlúd-námeh,” or hymns on the Prophet’s birth sung on his birth-day. Mollá Bagdádí-zadeh Hassan Chelebí Ibn Yússúf Albagdádí is buried at the convent of Zeiniler, where he lived and died. Mollá Hassám-ud-dín Hossein Ben Mohammed, known by the name of Kara Chelebí-zadeh, buried before the mosque of Emír Sultán. Sheikh Mohammed Uftádeh Efendí of the order of Jelvetís, buried in the mosque of the inner castle, with a large convent near it. Mollá Kemál-ud-dín known by the name of Karadedeh, born at the village Súvinsa near Amasia; he was a tanner, and did not begin to study until he was sixty years old, seven years afterwards he became Professor of the college28 of Murád at Brússa; he lived many years after this, and wrote a great number of books; the work “Dedeh-júngí” is of his composition. He is buried near Emír Sultán. The Muftí Azíz Efendí who was Sheikh-ul-Islám in Sultán Súleimán’s time, and being exiled to Brússa died there. Mollá Alí Ben Sáleh celebrated by the name of Vassí Alí, the author of the “Húmaiún-námeh” (the Turkish translation of Pilpay’s Fables). Sheikh Núr-allah Ben Ak-Shems-ud-dín, who having fled from his father to Brússa, accidentally killed himself with his pen-knife, and is buried near Zeiniler. Mevlana Abd-ul-ghaní Emír Sháh, his birth-place was Bolí and he is buried at Zeiniler.

There are besides, some hundred thousand great and holy men buried at Brússa. Many of their tombs I visited and said a Fátihah in remembrance of their noble spirits, but I do not know their names. In remembrance of those whom I have named, I said the Súra Yass, and recommended myself to their favour and assistance. I began my travels with visits to many great Saints, and said a Fátihah on behalf of all the Faithful. Health to you, and God’s mercy upon them all! During forty days and nights I enjoyed all kinds of pleasure at Brússa, and with my companions took leave of our friends on the 20th of Safer 1050; Okjí-zadeh Aghá accompanied us as far as the bridge of Nilúfer, from whence we reached Modania in four hours. Here we sent back our horses, embarked in a light boat, were tossed about by a stormy sea, and at last reached Bozborún with the greatest difficulty at the end of twenty-four hours. It was formerly a good harbour but was neglected because it did not afford sufficient shelter. There is a khán and a small mosque, some bakers and búza seller’s shops, and no other trace of good buildings, but it is surrounded with fine gardens. The walls of the mosque are covered with inscriptions by passengers complaining of this wretched place, there is no possibility of saying a word for it, because all who reach this point storm-beaten, have the same cause of complaint. The inscriptions are in different languages, all lamenting or cursing this place of Bozborún. One cannot refrain from laughing at some of these odd inscriptions, which are both in prose and verse. I was obliged to wait here two days, which I spent with ten or fifteen gay companions walking amongst the gardens and vineyards, which lie to the East, and eating pears. We walked about three thousand paces into the district of Armúdlí belonging to Brússa, from whence a Súbáshí is established here. It derives its name from the quantity of pears (Armúd) which grow on all the hills, in the valleys, gardens and vineyards. It is a village of three hundred neat houses, faced with brick, a mosque, a bath, three mesjíds, a khán and ten shops, the air is very pleasant. We spent a night here, and in the morning the boatmen advised us to make haste because the wind was favourable,29 which, God be praised, carried us out of this sad whirlpool of Bozborún. At cape Bábá-borún at the foot of Kátirlí-tágh we said a Fátihah in honour of Bábá Sultán, and beat up towards Constantinople. We arrived at last at Agios Stephanos (St. Stefano) which is ruled by a Súbáshí, under the Bostánjí-báshí of Constantinople, and by a guard of janissaries (Yassakjí Kúllúghí), it is in the district belonging to the Mollá of Eyyúb. In the time of the Infidels it was a large town, which was ruined at the siege of the Arabs by Omar Ibn-ul-azíz in the Khalifat of Súleimán Ibn Abd-allah. It is now a large Greek village of five hundred houses faced with brick. It has a convent, some small streets and two churches. We disembarked here and passed the night, walking next day along the sea shore for three hours to the garden of Iskander Chelebí, which belonged to the Defterdár of Sultán Selím II., who having died without children, the garden became an Imperial one. There is an Ustá or master with two hundred Bostánjí. The Muftí Hossein Efendí, who had been accused by his enemies of ambitious and dangerous schemes was first exiled to this place by Sultán Murád IV. and was afterwards seized by the Bostánjí-báshí, strangled and buried here. He is the first Muftí in the Ottoman history, who like the martyrs of Kerbela died a violent death; he could repeat forty thousand Fetwas by heart. We took horse here and rode along the shore in sight of our ship advancing by the aid of oars, with our baggage.

Thus returned I, poor Evliya, on the 25th Safer of the year 1050, to Constantinople, went the same day to my paternal house, and kissed the hands of my father and my mother. My father crossing his hands said: “Welcome, welcome, traveller of Brússa!” I was astonished to hear this as I had not told anybody where I was going to, but my father said: “In the night of A’shúra the 10th of Moharrem, when I was anxious about thy being lost, I performed many efficacious prayers, and read the Suna (Ena Atainak) a thousand times. The same night I saw in my dream that thou wast gone to Brússa to implore Emír Sultán’s assistance in thy travels. That same night I gave thee leave to go this journey, which may God bless! but now, my son, sit thee down, touch my left ear with thy right hand, and hear my paternal advice.” I did so, and he gave me many moral maxims, and much good advice on the manner of my travels, enjoining me to compose a faithful and detailed account of them; when he had finished he gave me a strong box on the ear, concluding his lesson with a Fátihah. I kissed my father’s hand, who then gave me twelve valuable books and two hundred well-coined ducats to provide for my travels, and gave me leave to set out for whatever place I liked. I then also kissed the hands of twelve great Sheikhs, and to my unspeakable joy obtained their blessings on my under30taking. This gave me great satisfaction, and the same week in the first days of Rebí-ul-evvel, I agreed with one of my relations Kúl Oghlí Mohammed Reis for a voyage to Ismíd (Nicomedia).


“May God bless and make easy the voyage, Amen!” On Friday at Yemish-iskeleh, after having performed the Friday prayer in the mosque of Akhí Chelebí, where I remembered the vision I had had there of the Prophet, whose hand I kissed, saying, “Siyáhat (travels)” instead of “Shifá’at (intercession) O prophet of God!” and having given thanks and prayed for health and faith, we embarked on our voyage, saying “In God’s name!” (Bis millah). With a fresh breeze we weathered the point of the Seraglio, passed Chalcedonia, the point of Tener-baghjeh and ran straight before the wind to Darija, a square castle on a chalk cliff eighty miles from Constantinople. This castle is built of stone, has one gate, which looks on the harbour, thirty houses faced with brick, one mosque, but no market or bath, and neither commander nor garrison. It is said to have derived its name from the children of Darius, who were imprisoned here in a cave; it was conquered by Mahommed I. in the year 827 (1423), is ruled by a Súbashí and belongs to the district of Gebízeh. Below the castle there are three hundred neat houses faced with brick, a mosque, a khán, a bath, and small streets; its harbour is the port of Gebízeh. At an hour’s distance from here the road to Erzerúm and Baghdád passes through mountains. The wind not being favourable we rowed to the passage where travellers to Konia, Haleb, Damascus and Mecca embark in flat-bottom boats to pass over to Hersek-dílí on the opposite shore, in order to save the going round the gulf which is eighty miles long, and at the end of which is situated Nicomedia. In the harbour of Gebízeh-dílí (the passage on this side) are two old kháns, two bakers-shops, a búza-shop, two grocers-shops and a fountain, erected by Mustafa Aghá the Bostánjí-báshí of Sultán Murád IV. 1048 (1638). Here we again embarked and after rowing three hours arrived at the mineral spring (Ichmesú), where we disembarked with all our friends, pitched our tents on the shore, and gave ourselves up to quiet and pleasure.

Qualities of a Mineral Spring.

In the month of July annually, many thousand men from Constantinople31 assemble here, and live merrily under tents during the space of forty days and nights, amusing themselves with firing muskets and guns. Sick persons drink of the water from the well for three days, which causes vomiting, and relieves the stomach of a quantity of offensive bile, while the lower evacuations cleanse the intestines of worms and similar matters. It is a white, clear water, with a slight bitter taste, and issues from a chalk cliff. The regulations prescribed for its use enjoin a three days fast as a preliminary, no meat or any thing salt must be eaten; on the fourth day the patient drinks a cup of water morning and evening, taking care to keep himself warm: he continues to drink the water for the next three days, taking for food chicken-broth without salt. When the water has had its effect fifteen times, further operation is stopped, by drinking soup seasoned with lemon-juice. After this regimen the patients embark and go to the hot-bath of Yalova directly opposite, where they rest themselves, washing and cleansing their bodies.

We then re-embarked, and after half an hour’s rowing arrived at the village of Ainehájí on the sea-coast, a Turkish village with a mosque and sixty houses. Eight hours further rowing brought us to the village of Zeitún-burní (Olive Cape) a port of Nicomedia, where the ships belonging to the Aghá of the Janissaries take in their cargoes; we were pleased with the cultivated appearance of the country on either side the gulf, and at the end of eight hours more came to the large town of Nicomedia. It was formerly a strong built and populous place, the ruins of which still remain; and is said to have been built by Alexander, to whom the foundation of Scutari is also ascribed; and the canal which was cut from the lake of Sábanja to the gulf on one side, and from the river Sakaria to the Black Sea on the other, causing Kojá Ilí and Nicomedia to be completely insulated; but that communication was choked up by Constantine, and Nicomedia ceased to be an island. It would be an easy thing to re-establish this canal, by which means wood might be procured at a very low price. Nicomedia was conquered by Sultán Orkhán in the year 731 (1330) and destroyed, in order that it should never again afford shelter to the Infidels. A large square tower of that period is still standing on the sea-coast, garrisoned by seamen, which is now a repository for wood and timber. When Orkhán besieged this town he gave the first command of his troops to Kojá Baí, to whom he said, “Isnim vár git,” (You have my leave, go,) which became the name of the town, by contraction of Isnim-git into Ismit. After the conquest of Nicomedia, and Kojá-Baí had subdued the adjacent country, it was called after his name Kojá Ilí and Nicomedia was made the capital of it; but by the order of Sultán Mohammed II., Nicomedia was added to Anatoli, and many times since has been given as Arpalik to Vezírs of three tails. The imperial Khass amounts to twenty-six thousand, five hundred32 and twenty-six aspers, twenty-five ziámets, one hundred and eighty-seven timárs. The judge is appointed with three hundred aspers a day, but his annual revenue may be reckoned at five thousand, and that of the Páshá at twenty thousand piastres. The port is much frequented by great merchants; its public officers are, a commander of the janissaries and Sipahís, a Muftí and Nakíb-ul-ishráf. The merchants, most of whom trade in wool, are richly dressed; the invalids of the janissaries (Otúrák) and Kúrijí are wealthy. The town contains three thousand five hundred elegant houses with gardens. The largest is the Seráï of Sultán Murád IV. which is appropriated to the Emperors, and guarded by two hundred Bostánjís; the next is the Seráï of the Páshá. There are altogether twenty-three quarters, three of which are occupied by Infidels, and one by Jews; and twenty-three mosques. At the old market is the mosque of the tribunal with one minareh; the mosque of Pertev-Páshá, with a leaden cupola and one mináreh, stands on the sea-shore, it was erected by order of Pertev-Páshá who was governor here for seven years in the time of Sultán Súleimán. It is an elegant, bright mosque built by Kojá Sinán. There is no establishment for reading the Korán or tradition. The best bath is also that of Pertev-Páshá, it is a fine building, there is good air and water, and attentive waiters. The bath of Rostem-Páshá, like the former, is Sinán’s work. The best khán is that of Pertev-Páshá with seventy fire-places. Besides the kháns, two hundred magazines for wood and other materials are in the port, one thousand one hundred shops of handicraftsmen, and forty coffee-houses, the most brilliant of which is that of the Serdár, famous for its waiters. This town has no stone-built Bezestán, but many valuable things are notwithstanding to be met with in the kháns and shops. Near the palace of the Emperor is the Imperial arsenal. The houses of the town are all on the side of the mountain, with the windows looking towards the sea. The streets are all paved with white stone. At the back of the houses the mountain is laid out in gardens. The inhabitants are healthy, the air and water being very good; their complexion is white. The woody mountains East of the town are called Aghá Danesí (sea of trees), an immense forest in which it is very easy to lose one’s way; here are trees towering into the skies, under which ten thousand sheep find shelter in their shade, which the sun’s rays cannot pierce. In these thick forests are many saw-mills and works which must be seen, for they cannot be described; they cut trees of one hundred cubits length, and the trees of Yalova are famous all over the world. At the end of the gulf are salt-marshes which afford pure salt, and are under the direction of a salt-inspector. The white cherries and red apples of Nicomedia are famous.


Pilgrimages of Nicomedia.

On the west side of the town is the tomb of Sheikh-zadeh Mohammed Efendí, a great Sheikh of the order of Khalvetís, and a great alchemist. He distributed food and clothes amongst the brethren of his order, though he never had any fixed revenue. I was entertained for ten days in the house of my relation Kúl-oghlí Mohammed Chelebí in this town; then embarked and went to the opposite shore only three miles distance, whence after a journey of thirty miles, we reached the port of Deal, the further side of which is called Gebízeh’s Deal, while this side is called Hersek’s Deal or tongue. The origin of this tongue of land is ascribed to a Dervish, who having been refused a passage by the ferryman, took up earth in his apron, and threw it into the water, where it grew out immediately into a point, on which he walked to the length of twelve thousand paces, to the great fright of the ferrymen, who saw that he was going to unite the two shores and stop their living. They ran after him, and did not desist from entreating him, till he left the remainder of the sea open, and entered their boat. He is buried at the Deal of Gebízeh, on the spot called Deal-bábá. At Hersek Deal is a large Khán for travellers who wait there for a passage; Hersek-oghlí Ahmed Páshá was Vezír to Mohammed II., and this Khán, built by him, bears his name. We set sail, and at the end of fifty miles reached the castle of Kara Yalaváj, built by a Greek princess, and named Kara Yalaváj-oghlí, who conquered it in the time of Osmán. The castle was destroyed at the siege, which was difficult and prolonged, the ruins still remain; in the time of Ilderím this castle was said to belong to the sanjak of Brússa. The judge is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers. There is a commanding officer of the janissaries and a Súbashi, the town has seven-hundred houses, faced with brick, and seven mihrabs. In the Market-place is a mosque with a minareh capable of holding a great number of people, one bath, three kháns and from forty to fifty shops, but the air being very heavy, agues frequently prevail. Its yoghúrd and fruits are excellent. Having visited all that was worth seeing here, we entered our chariots (araba) took a south east direction, and at the end of five hours arrived at Germáb Jihán-námah, a pleasure spot in the midst of thick forests, where we found a couple of hundred tents. We pitched ours and entered into conversation with the guests, who come here after taking a course of the purgative waters at Deal, to cleanse themselves in the hotbath, which was built in the time of Yanko Ben Madián. Helena, the daughter of Yanko, being leprous and exiled to these mountains, discovered by accident the marvellous quality of these waters; by bathing in them, she became cured of her leprosy in forty days, which was the cause of this building being34 erected. Her father built six cupolas, of which two are yet existing, with a large basin beneath, the water of which is extremely hot, but is pleasant when mixed with cold. These baths are frequented by a great many people in the cherry season. We remained here a whole week, after which we again started, and at the end of a five hours journey, came to the castle of Samánlí, which was conquered in Sultán Osmán’s time by Samánlí-oghlí from whom it took its name. Its castle is in ruins, and there are but an hundred and fifty houses with gardens, a mosque and three mesjids, belonging to the district of Yalova. The air is heavy. We embarked for the island of Heibelí, distant twenty miles, which is nine miles in circumference, and which we have already mentioned in our journey to Brússa. Six miles further on is the island Táshánlí, which derives its name (Hare island) from the infinite number of hares, found there; it is only one mile in circumference, and is uncultivated. The tree Rakíta (?) grows on this island. After rowing eight miles we came to the island of Búrgházlí with a strong but small castle, situate on the chalk cliffs by the sea-shore. The island is eleven miles in circumference, and is called Búrgház from its castle ([Greek: pyrgos]) it has three hundred houses with fine gardens and good wells, and is ruled by a Súbashí and Yassakjí, the inhabitants are all Greeks, and are rich masters of boats. The island abounds in goats and hares. Their wealth is ascribed by the author of the Taríkhí Yalován, to the loss of a richly laden Spanish fleet which was wrecked among the Prince’s Islands in the time of the Greek Emperors, the cargo of which being thrown on shore or fished up by divers, enriched the inhabitants of Kizilata (Prince’s Island), Heibelí (Khalki), Borgházlí (Antigone), Táshánlí (Platys or Oxia), and Kanálí (Proti). The latter island is eight miles in circumference, has a convent and a village of one hundred houses. Ten miles distant from it is Kizilata (the Prince’s Island), a cultivated island of twenty miles in circumference, with a village of two hundred Greek houses. It is called Kizilata or the red island, from the appearance of its mountains, and is near Scutari. On its four sides Daliáns (look-outs for catching fish) are established. These islands are seven altogether, ruled by the Bostanjí-báshí, and form part of the Captain Páshá’s province, who appoints the Súbashí and a Yassakjí. These seven islands are eighteen miles distance from Constantinople, in a line between Constantinople and Yelova. I passed seven days visiting these isles, the weather being unfavourable. At last the wind became fair, and I entered Constantinople on the first of Rebi-ul-ákhir, after a month’s absence, landing at Wood-gate. I kissed the hands of my father and mother, presented them with some gifts from Nicomedia, and received their benediction. Ketánjí Omer Páshá, an old and particular friend of my father having been named governor of Trebisonde, he appointed my father as his Kapú Kiaya or agent at Constantinople, and I accompanied him on the journey to his government.



In the beginning of Jemazi-ul-akhir, 1050, after having taken leave of my friends, I embarked at the Flour-hall in the ship called Kara-mursal of Fertíl-oghlí of Trebisonde, and in three hours time arrived at Yenikoí on the Bosphorus, which has been already described in the first volume. We there took in five hundred quintals of biscuit, and ten boat-loads of ballast. In seven hours more we reached the castle of Kavák, which was built by Sultán Murád IV. as stated in the first volume. Here we read a Fátihah for a prosperous voyage through the mouth of the Bosphorus, and, trusting in God, we sailed along the Asiatic rocks, and arrived at the harbour of Irva on the frontiers of Kojá-Ilí, a district with a Súbashí, a mosque, a khán, from forty to fifty magazines, and one hundred houses faced with brick and surrounded with gardens. The south and south-east sides are all gardens. We took in water, and advanced by rowing, along the Asiatic shore. At the end of thirty-six miles we came to Shila, a jurisdiction of Kojá-Ilí, here are six hundred houses faced with brick, with a garden to each, and a mosque at the head of the harbour. The small town of Kefken has a bath, some shops and a khán. One hundred miles further on we arrived at the island of Kerpe, which is twenty miles in circumference, but is uninhabited; it is but a mile distant from the continent of Kojá-Ilí. The small town of Kándria, with gardens, mosque, khán and bath, is in the mountains of Kándrí at four hours distance from the island. The river Sakaria here disembogues into the Black Sea; it rises from the mountains of Cútahia, goes to Kiva, a place belonging to the district of Nicomedia, and falls into the Black Sea near Kerpe. There being no wind we rowed ten miles further on, and came to Akcheshár, a Voivode’s residence in Kojá-Ilí, here is a judge with an income of one hundred and fifty aspers. It was formerly a fine town, but burnt by the accursed Cossacks in the reign of Ahmed I. There are now only six hundred Turkish houses, some faced with brick, and others of wood; on the market-place stands a brick-built mosque, forty shops but no Bezestán, a bath and three kháns, one of which was formerly covered with lead. The cultivation of the place is now in a very low state. It is the harbour of Bolí; on the shore are seventy magazines full of wood and timber. Mountain on mountain rises on the east side of the town, and gardens appear one above the other; the people are healthy on account of the purity of the air. We passed Ereglí (Heraclea) and the tower of the shepherds (Chobán Kúlessí) a small castle on a lime cliff, but not garrisoned.36 Near it is the statue of the builder, very like life. We passed the rivers Túfadár and Bárten, the last of which is a great river, where Egyptian ships enter to be loaded. The Castle of Bárten was built by the Genoese; and is situated at the end of a gulf eighteen miles in depth. We went from hence eighteen miles further north, and arrived at Amassra (Amastris) built by the Greek Emperors, the seat of a Voivode belonging to the sanjak of Bolí. The castle is a strong square building on a high hill, it was attacked at different times by the Russians, who were always compelled to retreat. It has no Dizdár, but a judge with an income of one hundred and fifty aspers, and a commanding officer of the janissaries. In the castle is a mosque and some mesjíds, but no dining or reading establishment. Amassra is situated on the east of Sinope, distant five days journey by land, and one hundred miles by sea. It is also on the east side of Heraclea, at a distance of four days journey by land, and fifty miles by sea. The climate and fruits of this place are much praised. On the east and west side are two excellent ports, the safest refuge in the world; at the eastern harbour is a bath, and good magazines. The river Kayú forms the frontier between the sanjak of Bolí and Kastemúní. It is forty miles from here to the harbour of Kadoz; at the distance of seventy miles is reached the point of Kerenbe, a cape like that of Sinope; on the rocks are some remarkable inscriptions.

The castle of Ainebolí was built by the Genoese, and is now the seat of a Súbashí, subordinate to Kastemúní; the judge is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers. There is a commanding officer of the janissaries, a Dizdár and garrison. The castle is a strong pentagon on the seashore; its gate looks to the east, the houses are all faced with brick, in the market-place are mosques and mesjíds, a bath and shops, it is the landing-place of Kastemúní, but has no good harbour. We rowed from hence till we came in sight of the cape of Sinope, and anchored before Shátir-koí, a pleasant village, where all the passengers went on shore. The high mountains (Balkán) are covered with tall trees, which afford excellent timber for the large ships that are built here. The inhabitants are all ship-builders. Sixty miles to the north, along the seashore, lies the village of Istefan belonging to Kastemúní; the houses are faced with brick, and seven miles beyond is the town of Sinope.

Description of the Ancient Town of Sinope.

Omer Ben Abd-ul-assíz, the nephew of Súleimán Ben Abd-ullah of the Ommiades, having laid siege to Constantinople without effect, also besieged this castle, but retreated without taking it. It was conquered by Úlú-Beg the Lord of Kastemúní, and again in the year 796 by Ilderím. As it is an extremely strong37 fortress, it was with difficulty taken after the third siege. It is a free fief entirely separated from Kastemúní; a Dizdár, Serdár, a judge, Muftí, and Nákíb-ul-ishráf, are the authorities of the place.

The inhabitants are a commercial people, being mechanics and merchants, with some Sheikhs and Ulemas. They commonly wear ferrájís of cloth and caftáns of Bogassin. The mountains on the east and Kiblah side of the town are laid out in gardens. The town of Kastemúní is three journies distant on the east side. Sinope is situated on a cape of the Black sea, which bears the same name. Opposite to it on the European shore of the Black sea are the rocks of Kilghra Sultán, and the Black sea appears between them like a straight, which widens towards Constantinople and Trebisonde. Sinope is five hundred miles distant from Constantinople, and lies on the west side of Samsún at four journies distance. The castle stands on a high hill with triple walls of Shedád (gigantic or cyclopean) and was built by the Greeks. It is seven thousand paces in circumference, and has six thousand six hundred battlements, and eight gates, viz. the sand-gate, the place-gate, the arsenal-gate, the new-gate, the hospital-gate, the gate of the inner castle, (Lonjá), the Oghran gate, and the gate of the inner castle towards the sea. All these gates are of iron and double. The lower part of the castle on the seashore is washed by the waves on the two sides, its form is an oblong square; viewed from the top of Mount Búzdepeh it appears like a ship’s deck divided into three parts. The commander is a constant prisoner, for the inhabitants are empowered by an Imperial rescript to kill him if he goes further from the castle than the distance of a cannon’s shot. The garrison consists of six hundred brave warlike men. In the time of Sultán Ahmed, on a dark night, the Cossacks took the town by escalade, and the great Vizír Nassif Páshá, was put to death for having concealed it from the Sultán. It was retaken from the Infidels and garrisoned with fifty additional men, and provided with one thousand quintals of powder, a great number of large and small guns, and other arms. From that period the watch has been kept nightly by two hundred officers and Chaúches, and after the music of sunset the guards, cry their “all’s well,” (Yeg dir Allah). The Infidels tried several times to retake it, but were routed and driven back in great confusion, and God be thanked! they have made no new attempt since the reign of Sultán Murád IV. The town is divided into twenty-four quarters, those of the Infidels are on the sea-beach; one thousand one hundred Infidels pay the tribute (Kharráj) and one hundred are exempted because they are employed in renewing the fortifications; there are five thousand and sixty ancient houses of stone, with slated roofs, facing the sea to the west. The oldest mosque is that in the castle of Ala-ud-dín which has a lead-covered cupola, and a mináreh38 one hundred paces long, in a fair proportion, with three gates. The mihráb and the place of the Muëzzins are of exquisite workmanship, but the minber is so elegant that angels alone could adequately describe it; I will make the attempt, but it will be like a drop in the ocean or a mote in the sun. It was composed by ancient masters of six different kinds of marble, which are so well put together that even the cleverest artists, such as Jemshíd would be unable to discover the joints. All the flowers and blossoms of the earth are here skilfully engraved and carved, so that in all Islám there is no minber to be compared with this, unless it be that of the great mosque at Brússa, which, nevertheless, cannot compete with it in the abundance of floral ornament; in short, all travellers and artists who behold this minber, place the finger of astonishment on their mouths, for it seems more like a supernatural than a human work. Being situated in the suburb of the Castle, it is always crowded with people whose prayers are put up to Heaven. The remaining mosques are the Súleimánie in the inner castle with one mínáreh; the new mosque near the gate of the Meidán (Almeida); the Ayá Sofiáh, an old mosque faced with brick, the mosque Kefelí outside of the gate of the Meidán, and that of Mohammed Aghá with a well proportioned mínáreh.

The Baths are as follows:—The bath in the upper part of the market is a double one, that of the lower is a single one like that on the sea-shore, Yallí, the building, the air and the water are equally pleasant and agreeable. There is the college of Sultán Ala-ud-dín and sixty abecedarian schools. When I visited this town, the inhabitants boasted, that there were two thousand boys and girls who had learned reading and knew the Korán by heart. There is an Imaret, a house for lectures on Tradition, and three for reading the Korán, and one thousand shops, full of valuable goods; provisions, the white bread especially, and beverages are good. The harbour is excellent, affording shelter for ships against all quarters of the wind; there is no better port in the Black sea unless it be that of Báliklava; the best water is found here, and the beautiful symmetry of the Turkish youth of both sexes is to be attributed to the mildness of the climate.

I visited the tombs of Sídí Belál Sultán, Súbhan Khojá, that of Jují Sultán, in the green monument within the Castle; that of Kází-Beg Sultán in the college of Ala-ud-dín, that of Bekir Khojá below it, that of Imrza Efendí at the Sand-gate, and those of Hamza and Emír Efendi near it.

South of the town is the high mountain called, Búzdepeh (ice peak) opposite to which the rocks of Kilghra are seen on the European shore; foxes, jackals and bears abound on this mountain. We spent three days in this town, then re-embarked and at the end of three miles came to Findíják-ághzí, whose inhabitants39 are all boatmen and ship-builders. The river Kizil Irmák here enters the sea, it rises from a mountain in the sanjak of Angora, passes under the bridge of Cháshnegvír to the castle of Osmánjík, and to Hájí Hamza near Túsia, it derives the name red river from its reddish colour. Higher up the river in the mountains are found cornelians large enough for handles of knives and daggers; no village in the neighbourhood is cultivated through fear of the Cossacks; forty miles further on we came to Báfra, the seat of a Súbashí subordinate to the sanjak of Jáník. The judge is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers a day; there is a separate Serdár (officer of the janissaries). The distance from Samsún is a day’s journey. Báfra lies south-west of Samsún and at two farsangs distance from the Black sea. The Kizíl-Irmák, which comes from the district of Gunánabád flows on the west side of Báfra, and near this place it is crossed by a bridge of fir-trees, which forms a wooden arch from one side of the shore to the other; it is well worth seeing. There are two mosques and two baths at Báfra, and the houses are all built of fir.

Description of the Castle of Samsún.

It was first taken from the Greeks, who built it, by Ala-ud-dín a prince of the Seljúk family, and afterwards by Sultán Ilderím; it is the seat of a voivode subordinate to the sanjak of Jáník. The judge’s provision is fixed at one hundred and fifty aspers. Order is kept by a commanding officer of the janissaries (Serdár Kiayayerí), and the commander of the castle, Dizdár, but there is neither Muftí nor Nakíb-ul-ishráf. The inhabitants are all packers and boatmen, no great rich men (Awán) but a number of Ulemás. Every body dresses according to his means. The distance between Sinope and Samsún is by sea one hundred and fifty miles, and five days journey by land. Sinope lies to the south of Samsún, which is a strong fortress on the seashore. In the time of Mohammed III. the conqueror of Erla, the Cossacks took this castle and destroyed the fortifications in some places, which, after they were driven away, were repaired, and the garrison strengthened, with great store of ammunition; it is now five thousand paces in circumference, has seventy towers, two thousand battlements and four gates. The river of Chárshenbe-Bazárí, which passes before Amasia, disembogues in the Black Sea on the east side of Samsún. It is a large river, not fordable, rises in the sanjak of Bolí, goes to Tokát, and then passes before Amasia; hence originates the proverb coarsely applied by the inhabitants of Tokát to those of Amasia; “you drink what we have defiled.” The water of Samsún is called bad, it is however clear and transparent. The houses are faced with brick and surrounded with gardens, it has a mosque and kháns, but40 no college or reading establishment, seven abecedarian schools, a bath, and a market, but no port. It is an open place but the anchoring ground good. The grapes and pears of Samsún are pickled (túrshí) and sent in casks to Constantinople; its cables, ropes and resin are famous. The town is situated on the edge of a gulf. We visited all that was to be seen at this place and then re-embarked with our companions.

Description of the Castle of Onia.

It was built by one of the Emperors of Trebisonde, was first conquered by Keikúbád of the Seljúk family, and afterwards by Orkhán. It is the seat of a Voivode subordinate to the sanjak of Jáník. The judge is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers: a Serdár and Dizdár are in possession of the military power, but there is no Muftí nor Nakíb-ul-ishráf. The castle is a square stone building on the seashore; the houses well inhabited, the mosques light, and the markets populous. Having seen all this we re-embarked, and proceeding a few miles with a favourable wind, came to Fátsha on the seashore, consisting of three hundred houses, a mosque, a khán and a bath. It is a ziámet belonging to Janík; the inhabitants are for the most part Greeks. The cape of Stephan is a sharp point advancing ten miles into the sea. The mountains are interspersed with well cultivated Greek villages. We passed it and came more northward to the castle of Wúna, built by the Genoese, and conquered by Úzún Hassan the lord of Azerbeiján, who took this castle together with those of Gumish Khání, Baiburd and Jánkha, at a later period it was taken by Mohammed II. It is the seat of a Súbashí from the sanjak of Janík. The castle is of a round shape, and stands on a hill by the seashore, but it is not strongly garrisoned; the gate looks to the east. It is ruled by a Serdár, and a judge with an income of one hundred and fifty aspers. It has mosques, kháns and baths. The inhabitants are known by the name of Wúna Greeks and Turks. It is a good port, where the largest ships can anchor at any time. We went from hence, straight before the wind, one hundred miles to the castle of Gíressin built by Constantine the founder of Constantinople. It fell into the hands of Úzún Hassan, was afterwards taken by the Genoese, and lastly by Mohammed II., who ordered his general Mahmúd Pashá to enter the castle in the night, the name of the castle is said to have originated from this order, “giressin” (thou shalt enter). It is on the frontier of the Pashalik of Trebisonde, to the Khass of which it belongs; its public officers are, a judge with one hundred and fifty aspers, a Serdár of the janissaries, a Dizdár of the castle, an inspector of the custom-house, a Muftí and Nakíb-ul-ishráf. It is situated on the seashore between41 Janík and Trebisonde, to the east of the latter. By the appearance of the ruins, it was a large town when in the possession of the Genoese, but it is now only a small one, with mosques and kháns, a bath and a market; the gardens yield fruit plentifully. Though the anchorage is excellent, yet the harbour affords no shelter against contrary winds. On the west side of it is a small island, where the Cossacks concealed themselves when they burnt and plundered this town, which is not defended by the Castle. As it belongs to the government of Trebisonde, some hundred men of Omer-Páshá’s suite took horse here and continued their journey to Trebisonde by land. We then steered our boat to the north, and arrived at the castle of Purpolúm, which is a small square castle, situated on a hill by the sea-shore, with a commander (Dizdár) and a garrison; the inhabitants are Greeks. We weathered the Cape of Zemreh, where villages are to be seen in the mountains. The castle of Kúrelí is a district belonging to Trebisonde. The castle is situated on a hill by the seashore. Further on we came to the station of Popolí on a great gulf, where traces of ruined castles are to be seen in many places. Further to the north is the castle of Kelpe, a district belonging to Trebisonde. The castle stands on a high hill by the seashore, and was built by the Genoese. The castle of Bozúr-búrní is a small square castle on a rocky cape, called the point of Bozúr, which was the name of a monk who built it. The castle of Akche-abád, a large district belonging to Trebisonde. The castle is a strong pentagon on the seashore, also built by the Greeks. Pulta Bazárí is the seat of a Súbashí and Naíb subordinate to Trebisonde. A fair is held here every week which is visited by many thousand inhabitants from the neighbouring villages; it belongs as Wakf to the foundations of Khatúnieh the mother of Selim I., the Súbashí is at the same time the Mutevellí or administrator of the Wakf. The port is one of the most celebrated in the Black sea on account of its safety. The torrent of Kalatímána, which rises in the mountains of Trebisonde, enters the Black sea near the harbour of Púlta. The valley of Seredere is enlivened by cultivated villages, whose inhabitants go in boats to the market of Trebisonde, to the south of which these places are situated.

Description of the Town and ancient Fortress of Trebisonde, the Capital of the Lezgians; God guard it from all mischief!

It was built by the Greeks and was conquered by Úzún Hassan, the Prince of Azerbeiján, but retaken by the Greek Emperors at the time of Timúr’s invasion, until, in the year 878 (1473), it fell into the power of Mohammed II. He brought forward an immense army by way of Jánkha, and gave battle to Úzún Hassan in the field of Terjián, where forty thousand of Úzún Hassan’s men were slain,42 and he himself fled to the Castle of Azerbeiján. Since the victory at Kossova of Sultán Murád I. no greater victory had been gained. Mohammed II. conquered the town of Trebisonde thirteen years before; its name was spelt Tarbefzún (joy increasing). Mohámmed II. fixed his residence here, coined money, had public prayer performed in his name, and remained here three years. He subjected the northern provinces of Georgia, Mingrelia, and Abaza, established his son Báyazíd here as commander, and went himself to his third residence, Constantinople. Báyazíd II. having ascended the throne in his father’s place, gave the government of Trebisonde to his son Selím I. who twice passed over to the Crimea, and heading the Tátárs led them against his father. Being defeated in battle, once at Varna, and once at Adrianople, he left his son Súleimán his Lieutenant at Trebisonde, and retired in disguise into Persia, where he played at chess with Sháh Ismaíl, then travelled over Baghdád, Meshhed, Mecca and Medina to Egypt, conversed there with Ebú Sa’úd Járehí, and Mezrúk Kafákí, who said “O Selím go into Rúm and Persia, and then come to Egypt.” After three years travel he returned to Trebisonde, from whence, keeping up secret intelligence with the janissaries and with Menglí Geraí Khán, he led a Tátár army against his father, whom he vanquished at Chorlí, and banished to Dimitoka, where he died at the village of Hawsa. Sultán Selím remained absolute monarch, and immortalised himself by the victories of Chaldir and Egypt.

Súleimán was brought up at Trebisonde, which has been the seat of four Ottoman Emperors. In remembrance of his youth spent here, he sent his mother to this place and raised it to a separate province, with the addition of the sanjak of Batúm. It is a Beglerbeglik of two tails, but was given more than once to Vezírs of three tails as arpalik, in the reign of Murád IV. and Ibrahím. The Khass of the Páshá consists according to the Kanún (law) of forty thousand aspers. Two Súbashí are attached to this place, and the Páshá may get, in a fair way, every year, nineteen thousand piastres, but if he is severe, even thirty thousand piastres. There are five sanjaks, viz. Jánkha, Batúm, Zír, Gonia, and Trebisonde, which is the chief place. The feudal officers are a Defterdár of the Timárs, a Kiayá of the Defter, an Inspector of the rolls (Defter-emíní), and a Kiayá of the Chaúshes; an inspector of the Chaúshes is also appointed here. There are forty-three ziámets, two hundred and twenty-six timárs in the sanjak of Trebisonde, and thirteen ziámets with seventy-two timárs in the sanjak of Batúm, altogether one thousand eight hundred well-armed men, besides a thousand Jebelis of the Páshá, so that the whole including the officers amounts to three thousand men. They hold villages and land on condition that they should go to war under the command of the Páshá, which if they do not they forfeit their leases.


Begs of Abaza Tribes.

The tribe of Jájlar, of Erlán, of Chándalar, of great Chándalar, of Kechilar, of A’rtlar, of Kámishlar, of Sújelar, of Bozúrúk, of Kúnassí, of Ashuflí, of Yokarúlí, of Jembeh, and of Súntija. There are seventy Abaza tribes, who have made obeisance since the time of Sultán Súleimán, and who every year in token thereof, send in a tribute consisting of boys and girls, camphor, candles, pelisses, and a thousand pieces of coarse linen for towels for the Imperial kitchen, to the Páshá of Trebisonde, who then renews the treaty of protection with them. Envoys come every year from Mingrelia with this tribute to Trebisonde, according to the constitution of Sultán Súleimán. The Judge, a Mollá with five hundred aspers, extends his jurisdiction to forty-one districts, and makes annually a revenue of eight thousand piastres.

The Commanding Officers and Magistrates of Trebisonde.

These are the Páshá, Muftí, Nakíb, and instead of the Serdár of the janissaries a Chaúsh of high authority, a Kiaya-yerí of the Sipáhís, a Súbashí, an Ayák Náíb, a Mohtessib, an inspector of the Custom-house and of the fish-market, a Sháh Bender or chief of the merchants, an inspector of the dyers, of the wine, and wax, in short seventeen public magistrates appointed by an Imperial rescript. The inhabitants also possess an Imperial privilege which allows them to kill the Jews who enter the town, the reason of their being thus empowered shall, if it pleases God! be detailed in another place. The town is situate on the eastern side of the Black sea and is surrounded by delightful gardens. The distance from Constantinople is exactly a thousand miles. The mountains of the Lezgís are towards the south and the east; the name Lezgí has been corrupted into Laz. Mohammed II. having conquered this town, colonized it from all quarters and rendered it a populous place; the inhabitants are Lezgís and Janissaries, who inherit this right from father to son. Their names are, Alí, Welí, Khodaverdí, Ja’fer, Peshír, Feslí, Memí, Meizer, Fakhzád, and Memet, with the word báshá added to the end, which is pronounced here páshá. The surnames are, son of Fertúl, Fodúl, Fazár, Kashúmbúr, Katráz, Kalafát, Kosdúd, Júndah, Alialí, Súrmenelí, Pípolí, Kashíd-bárí, Siámí, Jorkájí, Khángí-chíchú, Kotúzmeslí, A’álí, Gúnelí; the names of the women, Omkhán, Esma Khán, Rábieh, Assieh, Hánifeh, Afífa, Saikha, Fátima, Khúftí, Túntí, Gulshákhí, Mihrmáh, Khiva, Khúma, Zákhila, and Ánifah; the names of the slaves, Ússuf, Paiván, Kananan, Allah-kúlí, Rostem, Apártí, &c. These names were originally pure Arabic names, but are spelt in such a way by the Lezgians, that they appear quite strange. Many of the44 inhabitants of the order of the Dervíshes Gulshení wear necklaces of coral, jasper and turquoise. Both Prose and Poetry are cultivated to a high degree, and there are in our age no less than eleven poets, every one of whom is the author of a Diván or alphabetical collection of Ghazels (Odes).

Praise of the Poets of Trebisonde.

Ghanayí Efendí was Secretary to Tayem-Páshá, and afterwards to Melek Ahmed Páshá. He knew the dictionaries of Kamús and Shemií by heart, as well as the discourses of Urfí and Túzúlí. Ghanayí went with Melek Ahmed Páshá to his government of Rúmelí, and is buried at Sofía in the mosque of Dervish Mohammed Páshá 1021 (1612). Alí-jání succeeded to his father’s office. He left three volumes in verse and prose, in comparison with which Weissi himself is but a stammering child.

Form and Size of the Town, and Description of its Monuments.

It consists of two great castles between the edge of Mount Bozdepeh and the shore of the Black sea, and is divided into three parts; the first is the lower castle, the second the middle castle, and the innermost or tower castle, it is extremely strong being protected by mount Bozdepeh. The ditch is very deep, and seventy paces broad, all cut in lime-stone; inside this castle is a mosque, barracks for the garrison, magazines and storehouses. On the north side a gate leads to the middle castle, which is the only open gate; a second secret gate (Oghrún Kapú) is always kept closed. The middle castle is an oblong square enclosed by walls. The gate on the east side which leads from the tower or innermost castle is called the New Friday’s gate, the second gate is also at the end of the same wall. The tanneries are outside of it, and it is therefore called the tanner’s gate. In front of it flows a rivulet which rises in the mountains of Bozdepeh and the Lezgían mountains on the east, and passes through the tanneries into the sea; it sometimes swells into a furious torrent. In the centre of the tanner’s market is a large bridge built of stone by Úzún Hassan the lord of the castle, it lies to the east of Erzerúm. The third gate of the middle castle is on the western wall and is called the prison gate, where the malefactors and debtors are confined. From this gate you pass over a stone bridge to the gate Za’anús. The fourth gate is on the northern side of the wall, and leads to the lower castle, or third division of the town, and is therefore called the lower castle gate.

Description of the Lower Castle.

The north wall abuts on the sea, the castle is of a square form, nineteen45 thousand paces in circumference. It has also four gates, viz.—the gate of Za’anús next the prison gate close to the walls, leading to a long bridge; the gate of Sútkháneh leading to the quarters of the Christians; the gate of Mevlúz which signifies in Greek (?) a small stone, from the abundance of pebbles that lie on the shore. In the language of the Lazes, Mevlúz is the name of spurs or piers which are raised to support ruined walls. The walls of the lower castle extend on both sides to the sea, so that the town is closed against hostile invasion, by a wall running along the seashore. The fourth gate is that of Múm Kháneh or the wax fabric, because all the candles, of which a great number are made at Trebisonde are manufactured outside of this gate. Three quarters of the town are inhabited by Moslims and Christians, but by no Jews. The houses rising one above the other are all faced with brick and look to the north or west.

Description of the Mosques.

In the centre of the castle was an old Christian church, Mohammed II. having conquered the town in the year 865, turned the mihráb from the east towards the Kiblah. Its mihráb and minber are of ancient workmanship, and on the east side is an oratory (mahfil) of most elegant carving. The wood is cypress, nut, and box; it is always closed, and reserved entirely for the Emperor’s use. There are besides three other mahfils or oratories supported by pillars in this mosque, where people are also allowed to pray when there is a great crowd. It has two gates, an elegant mináreh, and cells for students in the courtyard outside; it is covered with lead. In the west suburb are also four mosques, and two in the eastern; the mosque of the tower castle is a beautiful structure with a mináreh much ornamented. The mosque of Khatúnieh was built by the mother of Selím I. who was born here, it is extremely well endowed, the market called Púlta-bazárí belongs to its foundation, with many cultivated villages. The cupola is illuminated by candles every night, its elegant mináreh pierces the sky. The gate and walls of this mosque are built of black polished stone, and white marble, in alternate rows; it was built in the year 920. The mosque of Súleimán Beg on the west of the mosque of Khatúnieh, but at a mile distance from it on the place of Kawák, has one mináreh covered with lead.

The mosque of Ayá Sofiyáh is on the seashore on the west side, it was built in the time of the Infidels. Kúrd Alí-beg took it out of the hands of the Christians, in the year 951 (1573), and adorned it with a fine minber and mahfil; it is beautified with many marble and granite columns, which cannot be described with sufficient praise. The mihráb and minber are in the ancient style, and it is surrounded by vineyards and plantations of olives.


The mosque of Wárdogdi-Beg stands half a mile distance south of the mosque of Khatúnieh in the quarter of Tekfúr-seraï, it was raised from a mesjíd into a mosque by Torghúd-beg in 985 (1577). It has a well proportioned gate and mináreh. The new mosque was formerly a church, and stands in a lofty situation. The mosque of Iskender Páshá, known by the name of Káfir-Meidání, (the Infidel’s place) has its cupola entirely covered with lead, with a well proportioned mináreh.

Description of the Scientific Colleges, Baths, Market-places, &c.

Outside of the courtyard of the mosque of the middle castle is the college of Mohammed II. with a great number of cells and students. There is a general lecture (Dersí-a’ám), the lecturer holds the degree of a Molla; it is a mine of poets, and meeting-place of wits. The college of Katúnieh is adorned with cells on four sides; the students receive fixed quantities of meat and wax for their subsistence. The college of Iskender Páshá on the north side of the mosque, that bears the same name, is richly endowed with stipends for the students. The reading-houses of Trebisonde are those of the middle castle, at the mosque of Mohammed II., where reading after the manner of Ibn Kether is introduced; that of Khatúnieh, where works on the Korán are read after the seven established methods of Jeserí and Shátebieh; and that of Iskender Páshá close to its mosque. The abecedarian schools for boys are that of Mohammed II. in the middle castle; the school of the new mosque, a school so blessed, that a boy who has been taught here to read the Bismillah (in God’s name!) cannot fail to be a learned man; the elegant school of Khatúnieh on the west side of the mosque is built of stone, with a cupola, where orphans are supplied with mental and bodily food, with dresses on great festivals and presents besides; and the schools of Iskender Páshá; these are the most celebrated.

There is a pleasant double bath for the use of both sexes, in the middle castle near the gate which leads to the lower castle.

The bath of the tower is on the north wall of the innermost or tower castle; it is a single one, and is said to have existed in the time of the Infidels. The bath of the Imáret, built by Khatúnieh mother of Selím I. The bath of the lower castle is a single one, that of Iskender Páshá is double; the bath of the Infidels is between the New Friday quarter and the Infidels’ place, and the bath of Tekfúr-seraï. There are besides at Trebisonde two hundred and forty-five private baths, and a great number of Kháns. The Khán of Khátúnieh has a stable equal to that of Antar, which will accommodate one hundred horses; besides many other Kháns for merchants and single persons.


Of the Market-places, the first is outside of the gate of the wax-manufactory. There is a well-built Bezestán where the Arabian and Persian merchants reside, who are extremely rich and wealthy. In the middle castle the market called the small market, is furnished with every thing; its shops amount to the number of eighty.

The Imárets are those of Mohammed II. in the middle castle, accommodating both rich and poor. The Imáret of Khátúnieh, close to the mosque, is not to be equalled, even at Trebisonde; passengers and boatmen may dine here at their pleasure; there is an oven for baking white bread, and a cellar (kílár) for keeping the provisions of the Imáret. Near the kitchen is the eating-place for the poor, and the students have a proper dining-hall. Every day, in the morning, and at noon a dish of soup and a piece of bread is provided for each, and every Friday a Zerde Pilaw, and Yakhní (stewed meat); these regulations are to remain in force, as long as it pleases God.

Description of the complexion of the Inhabitants of Trebisonde.

The climate and the air being extremely favourable, the inhabitants are all jolly merry fellows, who think of nothing but eating and drinking, of amusement and pleasure. Being all idle amorous fellows, their colour is red, and the women are fair, coming from Abaza, Georgia and Circassia; every one a moon or a portion of the sun.

Occupations, Guilds, &c.

The inhabitants are divided from the earliest period into seven classes. The first are the great and mighty Princes and sons of Princes (Beg and Beg-zadeh), who are dressed in magnificent pelisses of sables. The second are the Ulemás, the sheikhs and pious men, who dress according to their condition and live on endowments. The third are the merchants, who trade by sea and land to Ozakov, into the country of the Cossacks, into Mingrelia, Circassia, Abaza and the Crimea; they dress in ferrájís of cloth and dolimáns called kontosh. The fourth are the handicraftsmen, who dress themselves in ferrájís of cloth and bogássín. The fifth are the boatmen of the Black Sea; they have their peculiar dress, with iron buckles, shalwárs, dolímáns of cloth, and a kind of lining (astár) wrapped round the head, ready, thus accoutred, to trade or to fight at sea. The sixth class are the men of the vineyards, because the mountains of Bozdepeh are all planted with vines, and in the register are set down no less than thirty-one thousand gardens and vineyards, so that if only one man is reckoned to each garden, there are thirty-one thousand gardeners, but in some there are two and three. The seventh class are the fishermen, a calling in which many thousand men are employed.


Description of the principal Arts and Handicrafts.

The goldsmiths of Trebisonde are the first in the world. Selím I. being brought up in this town was taught the art of a goldsmith, and cut dies for the coin of his father Báyazíd, so skilfully, that they appeared as if engraved in marble; I saw some of this coin at Trebisonde. Súleimán (the great) himself was the apprentice of a Greek called Constantine, who was the foster brother of Yahya Efendí, who is buried at Beshik-tásh. From this time the goldsmiths of Trebisonde became the most famous in the world, and work vases for rose-water and incense, swords, daggers and knife-handles in most wonderful perfection. The knives of Ghorghúr-oghlí are the most famous of all; the hatchets of Trebisonde are a new and clever invention. The inlaid work of pearl-shells, with which tables, pulpits, inkstands, sand-boxes and chairs are ornamented in such perfection, that they cannot be equalled in any country, except it be by the pearl-shell work of India.

Eatables and Beverages.

The water of Trebisonde is fresh as the spring of life; the must of the raisins of Bozdepeh is sweet, and gives no headache to those who drink it; the sherbets called the triple, the muscat, and the clove wine are the best. The gardens produce most exquisite fruit; fine flavoured grapes, cherries red as woman’s lips, pears of different kinds, apples called Sinope, figs called Bádinjíán-Injúr, which are not found so sweet any where else, different kinds of lemons, oranges of a deep purple colour, pomegranates and olives, of which alone there are seven sorts to be found nowhere else except at Damascus and Jerusalem. One of the small sorts is eaten before it is quite ripe and resembles a black cherry; this is also an exclusive production of Trebisonde. Another fruit, which is called the date of Trebisonde is roasted on stoves, and is exported to many places; it is a sweet fruit, and has two or three kernels. The ruby-coloured pink which grows here, is peculiar to this place, each blossom is like a red rose, and perfumes the brain with the sweetest scent, and weighs, without the stalk, from five to six drachms.

The fish which are worthy of mention are Lorek-bálighí, Kefál-bálighí (Cephalus), the Kalkán-balighí (Rhombus), which if eaten by women renders them prolific; the fish called Kiziljeh-tekerbálik, with a red head and delicious to taste; the gold fish, the Sgombro which is taken in the season Erbain (forty days). But the most precious of all, which frequently causes bloody strifes and quarrels in the Market-place, is the Khamsí-bálighí taken in the season of Khamsan, (the fifty days when southerly winds blow); these fish were formerly thrown on the shore at Trebisonde by virtue of a talisman erected, as is said, by Alexander,49 before the gate of the town, representing a fish of this kind in brass on a column of stone; but on the birth-night of the prophet, when all talismans lost their power, the same happened to this at Trebisonde; thus the fish are no longer thrown on the shore, but the sea abounds with them during the said fifty days. At this season boats loaded with these fish arrive in the harbour, and the dealers in fish cry them in a peculiar manner, at the same time sounding a kind of horn or trumpet; as soon as this sound is heard, the whole town is in an uproar, and people who hear it, even when at prayer, instantly cease, and run like madmen after it. It is a shining white fish of a span’s length, and is an aphrodisiac of extraordinary potency; strengthening and easy of digestion, does not smell like fish, creates no fever in those who eat it, and also cures sore mouths. If the head of this fish, Khamsí-bálighí, pronounced Khápsi-bálighí, is burnt, serpents and other venomous reptiles are killed by the smoke. The people use it during forty days in all their dishes, to which it gives a peculiar flavour, it is thus used with yakhní, roasts, pies, and baklava (mixed pies), a dish called pílegí is made of it in the following manner, the fish is first cleaned, then cut into slices on which is laid parsley and celery, then another layer of fish, the best oil is then poured on it, and it is cooked over the fire for one hour, it thus becomes quite a luminous dish, which may be said to illuminate those who eat it. But however this fish may be dressed and eaten, it is extremely useful to the stomach and the eyes, and is a dish of friendship and love. God the Almighty has blessed this town with all kinds of rare trees, including box, cypress, and Turkish nut. It is wonderful that in the mountains of Erzerúm, situated a great deal further to the south, all is winter and storm, while here are roses, syringas, lemons, oranges, and other sweet fruits. The winter and the air is mild, and the nature of the people partakes of this happy equality of the seasons; they are kind to strangers, but the Greeks and the Lezgians, the Chichú and Chifta are extremely troublesome people; the language of the Lezgís cannot be written or expressed in Turkish orthography; they have a peculiar dialect, which even the inhabitants of Trebisonde do not understand without an interpreter; they are for the most part boatmen, who navigate the river Chorúgh to Mingrelia, carrying boxwood and slaves, with which they trade to the harbour of Trebisonde, one of the best of anchoring grounds and ports; it is open to the west, and looks towards the harbour of Kaffa in Crimea, three hundred miles distance.

Walks of Trebisonde.

On the place of Kawák outside of the gate of Za’anús, the Páshás play jeríd with their troops on days of recreation. Three masts are erected in the centre, one of them having a golden top which is shot at by arrows. There have been no50 Jews at Trebisonde since the time of Sultán Selím, who was governor of the town, the following circumstance was the cause; a Dervish discovered on a piece of leather (saffian), that was handed about for sale, an inscription, written in a way not to be observed by every body, which implored the assistance of all righteous Moslims, to deliver two innocent Moslim youths tyrannically shut up in the Jewish tanneries. The Dervish having explained the inscription to Prince Selím, a general search of all the Jewish tanneries took place by an armed force, when not only the two brothers, lost many years before, but many other Moslim boys were found, on whose backs the Jewish tanners had worked in tanning their skins. This discovery occasioned a general slaughter and banishment of the Jews, none of whom have since dared to show their faces at Trebisonde, the inhabitants of which town are a religious and devout people.

Praise of the River Khosh-oghlán.

It rises in the province of Erzerúm, in the southern part of the District Kerkdeh, from the mountain called Yailak-mesjidí, and after supplying water to many gardens, passes on the right side of Trebisonde into the sea. On the mountain whence it issues, stands a castle built by one Khosh-oglán of the Chobanián family, but the mountain itself is called Agháj-bashtághí by the inhabitants; it is passed on the way from this town to Baiburd by a gate.

Visit to the Monuments of Sultáns and Saints.

The mother of Selím I. is buried before the gate of Za’anús beneath a high cupola, ninety men are appointed there to be monument-keepers and readers of the Koran, which is read through three times a day. She was a pious lady, a second Rabia Adúyeh. The cupola is covered with lead as well as the mosque near the monument. God’s mercy upon her! I remained three months at Erzerúm making the acquaintance of all learned and distinguished men, and then accompanied Hossein-aghá, the kiaya of Ketánjí Omer Páshá, who set out with presents on an embassy to Mingrelia.


We embarked in Lezgian boats with an escort of two hundred men, and, trusting in the Lord, sailed from the harbour of Trebisonde to the north. The station of Menzil Degermen Deressí is near Trebisonde, and is a large harbour. From thence we sailed northward to Shána where there is a harbour called Rútha.51 The forests are principally hazel, the nuts of which are everywhere famous. At the end of some miles from this place we arrived at the castle of Súrmena, built by the infidel Greeks, and conquered by Mohammed II. from whom it was taken by Hersek-oghlí; there is a Súbashí, a judge with an income of one hundred and fifty aspers, a Dizdár and a garrison; it has an excellent harbour sheltered against the wind from all quarters except the north-west, but when the wind blows from that quarter three or four anchors are required to enable ships to ride in safety. The district of Mahnúz consists of sixty villages belonging to Trebisonde, the whole mountain is covered with box-trees, the wood of which is made into handles for spoons. There is the large village Kalipravúlí, whose inhabitants are all Chíchú, and the large place of Khobán on the seashore, surrounded with gardens; the inhabitants of which are Lezgians. The strong town of Konia in the sanjak Batúm belonging to Trebisonde has thirteen ziámets and seventy-two timárs, the militia is ruled by a Cherí-bashí and Alaï-Beg, who in war time commands eight hundred men, three hundred are the Páshá’s private troop; the garrison of the fortresses on the frontier consist of a Dizdár and five hundred men. The judge has a salary of one hundred and fifty aspers, but his revenues are in partibus, because the inhabitants are all Chíchú Lezgís, who can only be controlled at the point of the lance. The revenues of the judge may amount to one thousand, those of the Beg to seven thousand piastres; the castle originally built by the Infidels, stands on a high square hill, it was conquered by Mohammed II. and has been many times plundered by the Cossacks. The houses are faced with brick, as are also the mosque and kháns. It lies on the river Júrúgh, the spelling of this word is corrupted from Júí-rúh, which rises in the mountains of Jánkha-Kawilí-hissár and Shín-kara on the west side of Erzerúm, passes through Baiburd, waters the country of the Lezgians, and enters the Black Sea near the castle of Konia.

It has neither ferry nor bridge, but is a river like a sea, covered with many thousand Lezgian boats, trading on this river to Mingrelia with salt, iron, and different sorts of linen, and bringing box, wax, honey, with slaves of both sexes, from Mingrelia and Georgia to Trebisonde. From Konia we advanced to the north, and only disembarked at the place Kemerler, then entered the river Júrúgh, and sailed eastward for one day.

Description of Mingrelia.

The sanjak of Konia ends at Khánedá the frontier of the tribe Ada Khosh of Mingrelia. The mountains are covered with box, and the gardens are planted with box-trees. We slept one night in the village of the Beg, who did every thing52 to treat us kindly. We saw more than seventy Mingrelian villages, each one like a town, and then returned to Konia; our companions went back to Trebisonde, but I was commanded to go with the company of the Zenberekjí-báshí of Konia to the siege of Assov.


We embarked with three hundred fusileers of the janissaries, and five rowing boys of my own, in ten Lezgian barks called Munkesileh. These boats are made of the large plane-trees growing on the river Júrúgh, and consist of three planks, two of which form the sides, and the third forms the bottom; the sides are lined with reed twice as thick as a man’s wrist; this lining of reed keeps them afloat in the storms of the Black Sea, and they swim like sponges; they have neither stern nor forecastle, but are equal on both sides, and are called Munkesileh. On these boats I left Konia with a good wind, passed the river Júrúgh and arrived at the harbour Sofárí on the frontier of Mingrelia. The landing-place (iskele) of Khandra has no port (limán). The landing-place Súri has an old ruined port. The landing-place Yarissa is a ruined castle where goats are now kept. The landing-place Raijeh is without a port, but has an old ruined castle. These five landing-places are all on the frontiers of Mingrelia, they are only visited in the summer time by the merchants who carry on the slave trade. The mountains are inhabited by forty or fifty thousand warlike Mingrelians. We passed the said five landing places, and came next day, at a hundred miles distance from Konia, to the great river Fáshechai (Phasus). The Fásha (Phasus) is a great river like the Danube, in some places a mile, in others but half a mile broad, and from eight to ten fathoms deep, fresh as the spring of life; it disembogues in a gulf at the north end of the Black Sea, one thousand three hundred miles from Constantinople. It rises between Mingrelia, Georgia, Thágistán, Kabartaí, and Circassia, from Mount Caucasus (Kúhal-burz), Ubúr, and Sadasha, and passes between Mingrelia and Abáza into the Black Sea. On the east side are the Mingrelian villages, on the west the Abáza; and both shores being covered with thick forests, the two people mutually steal their children of both sexes and sell them as slaves. We passed the Phasus, marching to the west, and for a whole day went along the shore of the Black Sea.

Description of the Land of the Abáza.

It forms the northern shore of the Black Sea, begins at the mouth of the53 Phasus, and ends at the castle of Anapa near the island of Tamán. The following tradition is related of the origin of Abáza. According to the most authentic historians Adam was created in Paradise in the true Tátár form, and having after his exile met Eva on mount A’arafát, they begat forty thousand children all in the form of Tátárs. Adam having spoken Arabic in Paradise, forgot it when on earth, and began to speak Hebrew, Syrian, Dehkilí (?) and Persian, which languages were spoken till the deluge, after which mankind divided into seventy-two nations and as many languages. The first who invented new languages was Edrís (Enoch) who first wrote and bound books, and hid them in the pyramids, whence they were taken out after the deluge by the philosophers, who by this means multiplied the languages to the number of one hundred and forty-seven. Ismail retrieved the Arabic and Persian originally spoken in Paradise, and Esau brought forward the Turkish as the language of Tátárs; the people belonging to them are:—the Hind, Sind, Moghání, Kurds, Múltáns, Baniáns, and twelve nations of fire worshippers, with as many languages; the Noghaí, Heshdek, Lipka, Chagataí, Lezgí, Georgians, Mingrelians, Shúrshád, Dadián, Ajikbásh, Armenians, Greeks, Turcomans, Copts, and Israelites or Jews. The Franks divided into Spaniards, French, Genoese, Portuguese, Venetians, Tuscans, Servians, Bulgarians, Croats, Italians, &c. Four children of Menúchehr, the old Persian king, having fled towards Erla (Agra), and being asked who they were, answered, “we are four” (Men chár is) which being corrupted remained the name of their descendants, Majár. Of the Arabs forty tribes first settled in Egypt, such as the Mogrebí, Fess, Merakesh, Afenú, Maibornú, Jíchel Khán, Aswán, Súdání, Fúnjí, Kara-mánkí, Bogháskí, Múnjí, Berbers, Nubians, Zenjí, Habeshí, Gulapshí, Alewí, Rompí, the Arabs of Yemen, Baghdád, Mekka, Medina, Badiah, and Ommán. All the Arabic tribes amount to three thousand and sixty; some say more. The principal, most noble and eloquent of them, is the tribe Koreish Hashemí of which the Prophet was born, for whose sake God created time and space, and who is entitled the Lord of Arabs and Persians.

But to return after this digression to the origin of the Abáza; it is related by authentic histories that in the year 25 of the Hejíra, in the Calífat of Omár, there was an Arab called Basha Melek who then ruled Yathreb, Batha, Aden and Saba, and had five sons; the first was called Jebel-ul-himmet; the second Arab; the third Kisú who had three sons named Kais, Meválí, and Taí; the fourth Lazkí; and the fifth Abází. After the father’s death, the principality of the tribe devolved on the eldest son Jebel-ul-himmet, who, having by accident, knocked out the eye of an Arab was sentenced by Omar to lose one of his own. Jebel-ul-himmet on the same night took with him his four brethren, and sought refuge at54 Antiochia, with the Emperor Heraclius, who gave him the mountains of Syrian Tripolis. He there built the town of Jebellieh which still bears that name. Having undertaken some predatory excursions from thence towards Damascus and Medina, Kháled Ben Welíd and Eswed Ben Mokdád overpowering him with their forces, obliged him to fly. He embarked and went to Albania, where he took up his residence in the mountains of Avlonia, the inhabitants of which are now called the Koreishite Albanians: their songs have Arabic tunes, and they derive their origin from Jebel-ul-himmet, who is buried near Ilbessán. His descendants became apostates, and dwell in the mountains of Dúkat (Ducato) between Avlonia and Delonia. They are of a tawny colour like the Arabs, and hairy. So far of Jebel-ul-himmet. His brother Arab, and his three nephews Kais, Taí, and Meválí were carried by Kháled Ben Welid prisoners to Hedjáz, where Kais and Taí became masters of the tribes that bear their names. Arab their uncle became master of Ommán, their father Kisú and his two brethren Lazkí and Abází fled from Kháled Ben Welid, first came to Konia and then to Constantinople, where having heard, that Moavia the son of Ebí Sofián was approaching Constantinople, he sought shelter at Trebisonde. Here the banks of the river Júrúgh within the castle of Konia was assigned to the Lazkis (Lezgís) who are also of Arabic descent. To the brother Kisú was assigned the Circassian mountains, who, therefore, as well as the Lezgís boast of being Koreishites. Abazí got the country which actually bears his name, and thus the Circassians, Lezgís, Abáza, Albanians, the Arabic tribes of Taí, and Kais are all branches of the Koreish family. So God populated the earth, God does what he likes, and commands what he pleases! The principal tribe in Abáza are the Chách, who speak Mingrelian, which is spoken on the opposite shore of the Phasus; they are warlike men, in number about ten thousand, who follow more than one religion, and are an unruly set of people. Their mountains are very fruitful, particularly in nuts, hazel-nuts, and apricots; they bear the same arms as the Arabs, arrows, bows and lances, have few horsemen, but valorous footmen. Their harbour Lákia lies two journies to the west, three hundred miles from Trebisonde, but, on account of the heavy southerly and easterly gales, no ship can pass the winter there. Further to the west on the seashore is the village Khafál the frontier of the tribe Arlán, consisting of ten thousand warlike men; their harbour is called Láchigha; we remained here a night; it is a pleasant harbour both in winter and summer. We travelled two journies further to the west to the frontier of the tribe Chánda, fifteen hundred valiant men, true Abázas, they are called the mountain Chándas, and their harbour Kakúr. The village Kháke, near it, surrounded with gardens, faces the sea. Three journies beyond, by55 the seashore, are the great Chándas, twenty-five villages, fifteen thousand men; their harbour is called Chándalar, but it gives no shelter in winter. Behind these mountains is the land of the Mamshúkh Circassians. From the Chándas we marched a day’s journey towards the west, by the seacoast, and came to the tribe Kechilar; their country is like a paradise; it consists of seventy-five villages which furnish two thousand marksmen; its waters are pleasant. The great river Pessú flows from the Caucasus, and goes into the Black Sea; it is a fresh stream, which affords no ferry in summer, but is a safe shelter for ships in winter. Both shores are laid out in gardens by the people of Kechilar, who may bring ten thousand men into the field, the greater part horsemen. They are a very rich and rapacious people. We remained guests in the village Háka in the house of an Abáza, called Zeperaha, the janissaries our companions made an entertainment of ten sheep, on which we feasted, and then proceeded two journies westward to the tribe of Árt, who are more numerous than the Kechilar, but they are neither so brave nor so rapacious, most of them are merchants trading in fur. They feed a great number of swine. They know neither religious book nor sect, but keep their word; their number amounts to thirty thousand. Their Beg accompanied by from forty to fifty armed Abáza brought us twenty sheep and three roes, as a present to welcome us; he wore a coat called Kilchaklí-gebe-chekmání, carried a bow and arrows in his hand, and wore a sword; he was a stout young fellow. All his servants wore long hair like himself. The landing-place of this tribe is called Ártlar; we passed a night there as guests; it is an open place, ships therefore cannot lie there in the winter. Another landing-place is called Liúsh, where ships lie for six months.

To the north, in the midst of mountains, is Sadsha, the land belonging to Sídí Ahmed Páshá; the inhabitants speak well the language of both the Abáza and the Circassians; to the latter their country adjoins, they are seven thousand brave stout men. The Abáza and Circassians are continually on their guard, but keep up good intelligence by trading together to the landing-place at Árt with slaves and wax. The Circassians (Takakú) also come in ships, and trade in safety. We went three stations further to the west, along the sea-coast, through a woody tract, with high mountains, between which are many cultivated villages, to the tribe of Kámish, ten thousand brave men; they defeated the tribe of A’rt many times, and took their Begs prisoners, because these Abázas steal each other’s children, and a man who does not steal and plunder is thought to be bad company, so that they give him not their daughters in marriage. In these mountains of Kámish swine are fed to the size of asses; the landing-place is not much frequented on account of the riotous character of the people. Among these56 people of Kámish the children of the Abáza are sent from Constantinople and Cairo; they have a Mesjíd, the air is pleasant, the villages all face the Kiblah and the south. The market is held at the landing-place. Three stations further to the west we came to the tribe of Sújalar, ten thousand brave men; the ground being very rocky there are few houses. There is a landing place, but I do not know its name. We remained as guests one night in the village of Hádeka. As there happened to be a wedding, they feasted us with a great many dishes, fine girls and boys waited on us, and the next day the Aghá of Konia, our companion, gave to the master of the house a turban, which was valued as much as though it had been a crown, because having neither market, nor khán, nor bath, nor church, they know nothing of cultivated manners. Their villages of from forty to fifty houses are situated in the mountains. Ships of all countries bring powder, lead, muskets, arrows, bows, swords, shields, lances and other weapons, old shoes, borders of cloth, linen, bogassin, kettles, hooks, salt, soap and similar articles, and take in exchange, without using money, slaves, butter, wax and honey. From the Súchas we went further on two stations to the west, along the seashore, to the tribe of Dembe, who furnish two thousand armed men. We remained three days at their landing-place and exchanged our old cloth for slave girls and boys. I myself bought an Abáza boy. The fourth day we marched two journies to the west to the tribe of Bozdúk, the Beg of which commands seven thousand men. We found at their landing-place ten ships from Constantinople and many of our friends, the meeting with whom was a great treat to us. Mengelí-geraí Khán led three thousand men of the Bozdúk to the war of Astrachan, which being ended he gave them a Yúrd (Camp) in the Circassian mountains of Obúr where they remained. They are a brave people speaking the Abáza and Circassian language. The Bozdúk of Abáza and Circassia are separated by Mount Obúr; the distance between them is three stations. They mutually steal each others children and sell them. Two journies further along the seacoast is the old ruined castle of Osowísh, where we passed a night as guests. The inhabitants make bows and arrows; the Beg has three thousand men in his service, who carry muskets; the landing-place of the castle is called Gírmen Sowísh. Bears, swine, foxes, jackals, and woodcocks are found in great numbers in the mountains. These Abáza people have a strange mode of burying their Begs; they put the body into a wooden coffin, which they nail on to the branches of some high tree and make a hole in the coffin near the head, that the Beg, as they say, may look up to Heaven: bees enter the coffin and make honey, entirely wrapping the body up in it; when the season comes they open the coffin, take the honey and sell it, much caution, therefore, is required to be used in pur57chasing the honey of the Abázas. We here bought some more slave boys, and went two journies towards the west to the tribe of Ashagalí, whose Begs can bring two thousand brave men into the field, but they are all thieves, and dreaded by the Abázas themselves. There is also a ruined castle here, the landing-place of which is called Ashagalí, much frequented by the ships of Kaffa and Tamán, but they cannot remain here in the winter. One journey further to the west, is the village of A’atima belonging to the Ashaghlís; there are amongst them many Mussulmáns of the Abáza of Top-khánah. From hence Circassia is distant but a day’s journey. Two journies further is the tribe of Súksú, their Begs command three thousand armed men; they have horses of high breeding. The landing-place is Hárdena. The river called Súk has no ferry, it issues from the mountains of Circassia and flows into the Black Sea; there are some wealthy persons amongst them. Two journies further on is the tribe of Kútassí, whose Begs command seven thousand armed men. They have magazines covered with mats. In the port a great number of ships from Kaffa and Tamán are found. We met some acquaintances here from the Crimea, the horsemen of which country are in continual intercourse with Circassia. On account of the facility of communication the people are wealthy; they also sow corn, the rest of the Abáza sow millet, which multiplies a hundred fold. The houses of the Kútassí are covered with reed; a cluster of ten houses is called a Kabák, the four sides are circumvallated like a castle, and their dogs watch like lions around it, they are obliged to do so, as all their dwellings are in the woods, and each village is afraid of the other. The Kútassí are bounded by the Shána Circassians; they are only separated by a mountain, which is a day’s journey across; they speak the Circassian language. Thus the country of the Abázas extends from the Phasus along the seacoast forty days journey in length, and in breadth from five days journey down to one, as is the case in the distance between the Kútassí Abáza and the Shána Circassians. These forty days journey are marked by forty large rivers, which issue from the mountains situated between the Abáza and Circassians, and run into the Black Sea. Altogether seventy high mountains, with two thousand villages, of which I know nothing, as I did not visit them. Within this country are some hundred thousand men, without law or religion, who, however, if you call them infidels will kill you, and if you call them Moslims are delighted, but if they become real Moslims, they are very good ones. They are a wild roving people descending from the Arabs, Koreishites, from Abáza.

The tribes of Abáza in the mountains are the Posúkhí, seven thousand turbulent men; Akhchissí, ten thousand men; Besleb, seven thousand five hundred brave people; Mukellebeh, thirty thousand men; Waipígha, one thousand men; Jágh58ras, eight hundred weak men; Ala Koreish, five hundred men; Chíchakores, three thousand men; Mácha, two thousand men; and Páncháresh, four thousand men; these ten turbulent tribes never mix with the Abázas of the coast. The bravest and best of them are the Sadasha. On the coast and in the mountains there are altogether twenty-five tribes.

Specimen of the Abáza Language.

One, if; two, weba; three, ikhba; four, beshna; five, khoba; six, fiba; seven, bezba; eight, aba; nine, sheba; ten, zoba; eleven, akzoba; twelve, webazoba. Come, wai; go, úchi; seat, otúi; get up, okil; don’t go, omchin; boy, arísh; I go, sicháb; wife, abharesh; I don’t go, sikiján; why, úzú.

Specimen of the Sadasha Abáza.

One, weh; two, toka; three, sitte; four, pali; five, ashú; six, korn; seven, ipli; eight, ogha; nine, ipfi; ten, ; eleven, wehzú; twelve, tokazú. Bread, sakha; meat, gha; water, beri; cheese, feh; curd, chehwáh; pear, kha; raisin, mosú; figs, lakhmak; chesnuts, akshú; salt, laka; seat, otúz; get up, odeto; don’t go, omke; I go, síkú; where do you go, síoken; I am busy, I go, súwú shakagh síkú; bring a girl, zinje doko; I found no girl, but a boy, zinje dokalmet zeni okhad, &c.

There are many other languages and dialects besides, but I have quoted only some words which I acquired in the course of trading; I have written them as I could, but there is a great difference between the speaking and writing, the pronunciation being extremely difficult, like the chirping of birds. A great deal of judgment and sagacity is required to converse with them, but a traveller who knows something of the world, and of God, and desires to travel quietly, must have a sufficient idea of every language to understand whether good or evil is intended to him, whether they are going to offer him bread or a box of the ear; the proverb says, “Men speak according to their intellect, and, therefore, it is very prudent to learn some languages for the use of the world;” such a man easily makes his way through strange countries, and returns safely into port.

We left the harbour of the Kútassí, and at the end of two days journey along the seacoast, reached the castle of Anapa. It is said that Alexander the Great, when commanded by God to build the wall of Gog and Magog, arrived at this place, he was so much pleased with its air and situation, that he built here a pentagon castle of immense stones (Shedádí, Cyclopean); the room of the diván was paved with rubies, emeralds, turquoises and cornelians, and for that reason was called the Castle Kevherpaí Anapaí. It afterwards fell into the hands of the Genoese, and59 when Timúr laid waste the towns of Dadián, Heshdek, and other towns amounting altogether to the number of seven hundred, in his expedition against Tokhatmish the Lord of Crimea, he also wasted the suburbs of the castle of Anapa, but the castle itself was spared. In the reign of Sultán Bayazíd II., the great Vezír Gedek Ahmed Páshá, leading the expedition against Kaffa, took this castle also from the Genoese, and put troops into it. It is situated at the extremity of the Cape which divides the territory of the Abáza from Circassia, on a clay cliff; it is a strong castle without a garrison, and has been several times ransacked by the Cossacks of the Tanais. Outside of the castle are one hundred and fifty houses built of reed; this village is called Kabák. North of the castle are the mountains of Anapa. The ships which go to Assov sail past these mountains, which extend as far as the Cossacks of Assov. The castle of Anapa is well built, and in such good preservation, that it appears as if it had just come out of the hands of the builder. Sheep and goats are kept inside during the winter. According to the description of Demir-oghlí Osmán Páshá, Anapa is the seat of a Voivode of the sanjak of Tamán in the province of Caffa. The people of Shefákí, which is the name of the inhabitants, only pay their tithes at the point of the halberd, and are three hundred rebellious subjects. This castle has a large port where a thousand ships tied together with one rope may ride in safety. It is a large harbour, sheltered against the wind from all quarters. There is no port like it in the Black Sea; a kind of pearl was formerly fished for here; the shells still lie on the shore; another reason why the castle is called Kevhergán (jewel-mine). The Russians anchor here every year, without the least apprehension, and fish for pearls. If this castle was put into good condition, with a sufficient garrison and ammunition, it would be easy to keep all Abáza and Circassia in complete obedience. The Noghais also bring merchandise to this port in complete security.

While I, poor Evliyá, was remaining at Anapa with the Yenicherí-agassí of Konia, the Imperial fleet made its appearance in the Black Sea, and came to anchor at noon in the port of Anapa. They stayed three days, during which time all the small craft which had been left behind arrived, and took in water. I and the Aghá of Konia waited on the Kaima-kám of the Aghá of the Janissaries with some presents. I then waited on the Lord High Admiral Delí Hossein Páshá, who assigned me a tent and rations, made me his Múezzin and gave me a passage on board the galley of his Kiaya Welí. On the following day the 12th Sha’bán, 1053, the Imperial flag was hoisted, and at noon, the gun for departure being fired, we left Anapa and made sail for Assov.

Sultán Murad IV. had planned a great expedition against the Maltese, who alone remained to be subdued after the conquest of Baghdád, when he was60 removed by death; amongst the fleet fitted out for the purpose there were two immense large ships, called Kara Maona, of three hundred guns. After his death the Infidels everywhere raised their heads against the Ottoman Empire, and the Khán of the Crimea reported to Kara Mustafa Páshá, the great Vezír of Sultán Ibrahím, that the Russians had overran and plundered the districts of Crimea and Assov. At last one hundred thousand Cossacks took the fortress of Assov after a siege of forty days. Eighty thousand Cossacks remained in possession of it, and one hundred and fifty boats, manned by the rest, infested all the shores of the Black sea. This news having spread to Constantinople, Imperial rescripts were sent throughout the whole of Rúmelí. Kojá Gurjí Canaan Páshá, the governor of Ozakov, and the Governor of Rúmelí with twenty-eight sanjak Begs, forty thousand Tátárs of Búják, and forty thousand infidels of Moldavia and Valachia, and twenty thousand Transylvanians, surrounded the fortress of Assov on the land side. On the seaside came the Imperial fleet of one hundred and fifty galleys, as many frigates, two hundred shaikas and karamursal, altogether four hundred ships having forty thousand men on board, which had weighed anchor in the port of Anapa, passed the mouth of the river Kúbán, and the castle of Tamán; on our left hand was the Crimea with the point of Kilissejík, and opposite on the right, the point Chúcka on the peninsula of Tamán. These two points are but a mile distant, and the inside of this strait is called the sea of Assov. We entered it with a favourable wind, and came to an anchor in the port of Bálisíra. Here all the ammunition and provisions were embarked in small boats, called sandal, sacoleva, sarbúna, and túnbáza; and carried thirty miles further on to the castle of Assov, because galleys and chaiks drawing five feet water cannot be used here, as the water is but from two to three feet in depth. Bálisíra is on the western extremity of the steppes (Heihát Sahrassí) a lonely place; but the army and fleet having arrived, many thousand houses for men and wares were built, and it had the air of a large town, being the harbour of Assov. There arrived here from Circassia, which belongs to the Governorship of Caffa, of the tribes of Shagák, Shána, Meshúkh, Takafer, Bozúdúk, Pultakaí, Khatukaí, Kabartaí, and of the troops of Shám-khál Sultán the Lord of Taghistán forty thousand men, excellent troops, with seven thousand waggons, which served to transport a part of the munitions and provisions to Assov. The troops entered the trenches on the 21st of Sha’abán, and the 25th of the same month arrived from Anatolí seven Vezírs, eighteen Begler-Begs, seventy Sanjaks, and two hundred Alaï Begs with all the Zaims and Timariots, who with their men (Jebellí) were forty-seven thousand men. The Tátár Khán was ordered to keep the look-out, and he surrounded the camp with his army of Noghaí, Kechin-noghaí,61 Shedák-noghaí, Urúmpit-noghaí, Shirínlí, Manssúrlí, Sebhúnlí, Mankitlí, Nakshi-vánlí, Chekeshke, Irbátlí, Úlí, Olánlí, Badrákli, Arslán Beg Ilí, Chobán Ilí, Deví Ilí, Nevrúz Ilí, all Tátárs.

On the same night the Infidels in the fortress, made an immense noise by shouts and fireworks, which was caused by the arrival of ten thousand Cossacks, who came by the Tanais to the assistance of the castle, and did not cease firing all night, so that seven hundred men were killed. The next day the Tátár Khán and the Páshá of Silistra placed watches on the shore of the Tanais to prevent further reinforcement of the Infidels, foraging parties were sent out, the trenches opened in seven places, and on the side of the monument of Yogúrdí-Baba pushed to the edge of the ditch. The camp of the Moslims was out of reach of the cannon-shot from the castle. Next day Hossein Páshá, prepared twelve large cannon for the attack in the trench of Yogúrdí-Baba; and at the same time the Admiral Seyawúsh Páshá landed troops from a hundred boats, who entered the trenches from the side of the water tower. These boats (firkata), guarded the side of Úlúton, Deriton, Kánlijah, Uzegí and the island of Timúr. Above the water tower the troops of Anatoli with eight large guns, and ten regiments of janissaries entered the trenches; at those on the south was posted the troops of Karamania with six regiments; on the western suburb of Tayák, the governor of Silistra Canán Páshá led ten regiments of janissaries, one of armourers, and one of artillerymen, with ten large guns in the trenches. In short the castle was battered on seven sides by seventy large and small cannon, and the Infidels firing on their side, a terrible contest ensued during seven hours till daybreak, with an incredible noise and roaring. In the morning seven hundred martyrs were found, whose goods were consigned to the revenue. The fire was renewed, and the houses of the town dashed to pieces, but the walls having been strongly built by the Genoese, continued to resist. This lasted seven days, during which the Commander-in-chief continually made the round of the trenches, encouraging the Moslim warriors with words and presents, and carrying every thing on with deliberation. Several breaches being opened some volunteers ascended one of them, without order, and planted the Ottoman banner on the wall, which being seen by the Cossacks, they rushed on in superior numbers, and crushed many of them by throwing down a leaden basket. The rest, however, defended their post so well on the walls, that in the end the Ottoman banner was planted on seven places, and the Mohammedan prayer proclaimed. The Infidels getting new strength and rushing on like a herd of swine, with the cry “Ne bose,” drove back the Moslim victors, so that many standards and bodies remained on the breaches, and the victors solaced themselves with the idea that the conquest was predestined62 for another day. For ten days more the Infidels were kept in continual anxiety. Four thousand Cossacks who came to the assistance of the fortress in forty boats (firkata) were attacked by Canán Páshá, who brought his guns to bear upon them so completely, that more than a thousand men perished, and the Moslíms made an immense booty, which was some comfort for the hardships they had to struggle with. They rejoiced in the idea that the general assault was near, because of all the towers of the town there now remained but one, all the rest having been levelled with the dust by the seventy pieces of artillery. But the Infidels now intrenched themselves underground like so many Ferháds, and again fortified themselves in such a manner, that whenever an attempt was made to overwhelm them by a mine, they averted it, and threw the earth dug up for an intrenchment into the river. They were most able miners also, and continued to make mines even underneath the river, with resined boats. Thus they stopped the Ottoman army for the space of forty days, during which, notwithstanding great vigilance, many thousand Infidel Cossacks found means to enter the Castle by throwing themselves naked into the Tanais, and swimming across under water with a reed in their mouths; their arms and ammunition were put into leathern jacks, which they threw behind them while swimming, and thus relieved the fortress. To prevent this the Moslims shut the Tanais with a wall of stakes impenetrable even to fish, and by this means got great riches from the Infidels, who now having lost all hope of succour continued the war underground, killing a great number of the besiegers. A rumour began to spread that the Czar of Russia was coming with twenty thousand men, and this rumour, though it was only an invention of the enemy, caused a great deal of disturbance. A great council of war of all the commanders and officers was assembled to take into consideration, that though there was now no walls left, yet it had hitherto been found impossible to take the Castle; that a sedition of the janissaries, who are not obliged to continue above forty days in the trenches, was to be feared; that the winter was drawing near, when the Sea of Assov freezes, when all communication would be intercepted, and no safety for the fleet after the day of Kássim (S. Demetrius); that there would be no shelter nor provisions for the army, the country of the Infidels being on the north, and the salt steppes of Heihát on the east and south. After a long consultation, in which all these topics were touched upon, Canán Páshá and Piále Aghá, the Kiaya of the Arsenal, proposed to fix the general assault for the next morning. The Fátíhah being read on this resolution, great joy was spread in the Ottoman camp; seven thousand swords, two thousand shields, two thousand muskets, five thousand bows, forty thousand arrows, six thousand halberds, five thousand granades, and many thousand other articles of arms were63 distributed amongst the army, the cannons fired from seven sides and the shout of Allah raised so that it filled the steppes of Kipchák. The Moslims rushed into the castle and penetrated into the inmost recess of it, where they hoisted the banner and proclaimed the prayer of Islám.

The guns were now silenced, and the swords alone were clashing. During seven hours and a half the Mussulmáns were raging in the castle like wolves amongst sheep, and stained with blood like butchers. It was a complete victory to which none can be compared excepting those of Kossova and Mohacs. The rest of the Infidels hidden beneath the ground, now set fire to the mines, and sent by that means great numbers of the Moslim besiegers to Heaven; others shot them from the loopholes so that they were in great distress. It being now near sunset, and the victors being exhausted by fatigue and hunger, were called on to retire by the Chaúshes, who admonished them to leave the end to the next day. They carried an immense deal of booty with them, arms of all kinds and three thousand heads of Infidels, besides one thousand and sixty prisoners. A general salute was fired, and the martyrs buried, after the funeral prayer was said over them. The wounded and maimed received pensions, and were given into the hands of the surgeons. Those who brought heads received a reward of a hundred piastres, and those who had made prisoners were allowed to keep them. Chelenks, ziámets, timárs, and all kind of military rewards were distributed, and the property of seven hundred janissaries who were killed was made over to the revenue. Of the troops on the seven sides of the attack one thousand two hundred men became martyrs and ascended to Heaven. On this night the Infidels made incredible efforts to repair the works of the castle, by raising walls and digging ditches, opening loopholes and pointing guns. The foundations of the castle resembled the wall of Gog and Magog, to the great consternation of the Moslims, who solaced themselves, saying: “Man proposes and God disposes,” recommending their business to God. They continued the war, but not with the same unanimity, though not with less zeal than before. A great council of war was held, under the consideration that there now remained only forty days to Kássim (S. Demetrius). The result of the council was, that Geraï-Khán, with seventy thousand regular troops, and eight hundred thousand horse, was ordered to ravage the provinces of Russia. So they did, and this Tátár army returned on the 14th day to the Ottoman camp at Assov, with forty-five thousand prisoners and two hundred thousand horses as booty, besides a great number of valuable things, pelisses, rich cloth, &c. By this arrival, the hearts of the Moslims were comforted, and those of the Infidels afflicted, when they saw the triumphal procession with the prisoners fettered, and the crosses64 upset. Since the time of Jenguíz Khan the Tátárs had not made a richer booty. This sight raised a howl among the Infidels in the castle, who pierced the skies with their lamentations. The same night seventy Infidels, hungry and sad, left the castle, and were brought into the presence of the Commander-in-Chief, Hossein Páshá. Some of them embraced the Islám, and received presents, then were sent altogether to the castle of Khoros Kermán near Assov.

By this immense booty every thing became immensely cheap in the Ottoman camp, so that a horse was sold for one piastre, a girl for five, and a boy for six piastres. The safe return of the Tátár army was celebrated by a triple salute of muskets and guns, and the whole camp illuminated during the night. But winter drawing near, a new council was held, all the seniors of the regular troops and of the Tátárs agreed, and signed unanimously a petition of three hundred signatures of Vezírs, and officers of all ranks, saying: “that for this year it was impossible to take the castle, that one of the Russian Capitals had been laid waste, that seventy thousand Infidels had been taken prisoners, and more than one hundred thousand destroyed by the sword.” At the same time two of the prisoners, who had been instructed accordingly, were sent back into the castle to say; “that if the Turks had intended to take the castle, they might have taken it in a month, but their object was to pillage the Russian countries, and to return with a rich booty, which they had now accomplished.” The same night as the messengers went off to Constantinople there was such a hard frost that all the Moslim warriors thought they could not stand it, and by this specimen found out that the salt steppe of Heihát was as unmerciful as the Black Sea. At last the despair of conquering the castle becoming general, the whole army at once resolved to raise the siege. The trumpets were sounded, the artillery and ammunition embarked and carried to Bálisíra, where the fleet was lying at anchor. The army returned by different ways, some by sea and some by land, to Constantinople; some by the desert of Kipchák in six days and nights to the river Kúbán, to Circassia, Taman and Crimea; some through the steppes (Heihát), returned by the north into their native country Circassia. When the Imperial fleet weighed for Constantinople I got permission, from the Commander-in-Chief Hossein Páshá, to accompany the Khán of Crimea into his country, and the Imperial fleet sailed, trusting in God, through the sea of Assov.



I left Assov in company with the army of Geraï Khán of eighty thousand men, and twenty thousand Infidels of Moldavia and Valachia, and crossed the Tanais with them, which disembogues at the end of the sea of Assov. The water being shallow in the great Don, it was passed by eight hundred thousand horsemen without the least difficulty, the water reaching only to the stirrups. The Tátárs tied their jacks and luggage to the tails of their horses, and in the space of twenty-one hours, the whole army reached the opposite steppes of Heihát.

At the station of Búrebaí, opposite to the western side of Assov, a branch of the Don flows in its way to the sea of Assov, where it disembogues in three different channels; as it runs through reeds for a great distance, it is not very sweet: the complexion of the inhabitants on its shores is yellow, and they have a kind of excrescence or crop on the neck. The whole army halted here, as on a pleasant flowery meadow, and three hundred horses were slaughtered and eaten up that evening. It was here that I ate horseflesh for the first time. Though I belonged to the Tátár Khán, yet I lived with Kiá Beg of the tribe of Mássúrlí, who have their Yúrds (encampments) in Crimea; the district of Mankis Eli on the side of Gozlava is their Yúrd. Their horses are extremely fat, and their flesh can hardly be distinguished from roes’ flesh, and is easy to digest. Next morning the kettle-drums beat, and after a march of nine hours we arrived at the river Sud, which the whole army crossed, and halted on the other side, but the ground being extremely marshy, one hundred horses and fifty slaves were lost in the marshes. This river issues from the western mountains of Russia and here enters the sea of Assov. The name Sud or milk-river is derived from its whitish colour, which it contracts from the different metallic strata over which it passes in its course. It is not good for drinking, and causes crops or swellings on the necks of those who drink of it. There are seventy cultivated towns and villages on both sides of this river, but they are not very flourishing on account of the depredations of the Crimea Tátárs. These places all belong to the Russians.

We left this place and came to the river Mús, a large river which we passed over with the greatest difficulty at this cold season, the arms being all put in leather jacks. It is fresh water like that of the Don, Dnieper, and Danube, and contains excellent fish. It comes from the northern mountains of Russia. We crossed it, and next day when the Kettle-drums were beaten for departure, the snow had fallen three cubits deep. We slept that night on the snow of the field of Kipchák,66 and arrived next day at the station of Búrúmbaí; here we slept again on the snow, and on the following day after sixteen hours ride, reached the frontier of Crimea.

The moment we entered the castle of Orághzí, Kara Rejíb Aghá, the Courier of the great Vezír Kara Mustafa Páshá, with twenty horsemen arrived from Constantinople, and after having heard the sad story of the impossibility to take Assov, took letters from the Khán, and returned to Constantinople. I poor Evlíya entered the town of Bágcheseraï with the Khán, and was assigned a house there on the borders of the valley of Chúrúksú (rotten water) where I quietly passed the winter without travelling one step. But the Khán to prevent the Infidels sending reinforcements to the castle of Assov, made three excursions with between forty and fifty thousand horsemen even up to the guns of Assov, bringing back prisoners. His Vezír (the Kalgha Sultán) made also three expeditions into the interior of Russia, and returned with ten thousand slaves and a great deal of booty to Crimea. In the beginning of spring came Hassan Aghá the Chamberlain of the Sublime Porte bringing to the Khán twelve thousand ducats as boot-money, and an Imperial diploma commanding him to be ready to take the field, with the commencement of the fine season, against Assov. The Khán received the orders with all signs of submission and duty, the horses were put to feed in the meadows for forty days, after which the army broke up again to return to Assov, the garrison of which, weighing all the hardships of siege, their losses, and the impossibility of holding the fortress finally against the Ottoman power, abandoned it and fled with their arms and effects to different other Castles.

The Tátár Khán having arrived on the border of the river Sud, heard of the flight of the garrison from some prisoners he had taken, and made the greatest possible haste to reach the fortress. He found it empty, not only of men, but also of animals, neither dog, cat nor mouse being seen; only one Genoese tower remained standing. The Tátár Khán then sent the welcome news to Constantinople. On the eleventh day some Russian spies coming from Constantinople were taken and brought before the Tátár Khán. They confessed freely and openly, that there were forty spies at the Port, who, having been aware of the immense preparations of the Ottoman Army, had given notice to the garrison to leave the Castle, and that arriving there themselves, they had fallen into the hands of the Tátárs. These three spies were beheaded. On the 13th day of this month the Ottoman army arrived with great pomp, commanded by Chowán Kapújí-báshí Vezir Mohammed Páshá, and found the fortress empty. They ascribed it at first to some infernal stratagem of the Infidels, and waited three days, on the fourth day Moslim prayer was proclaimed, and all the Moldavians and Valachians were67 commanded to work on the foundations and to build them anew. They dug three days till they came to springs of water; the ships were all busy carrying stones from an old Convent in the island of Timúrlenk, and the work of building was begun. In one month two towers were finished, stronger than the former Genoese towers, and the histories of Crimea record the date of its building and name of the builder. It was declared the seat of a Sanjak Beg belonging to the government of Kaffa, a Begler-Beg was left as commander with twenty regiments of Janissaries, six regiments of artillerymen, ten regiments of armourers, seven thousand Tátárs, seven Sanjak Begs, and twelve Alaï Begs, with twenty-six thousand men; seventy large guns on the bulwarks, and three hundred small ones on the border of the ditch. The complete repair and fitting out cost the sum of five thousand purses. During its building the Tátárs made seven inroads into Russia, and returned with from fifteen to twenty thousand prisoners to the Ottoman camp, so that the prisoners were sold for no more than ten piastres each. At last the King of the Moscovites imploring pardon and crying out, Amán! Amán! (pardon O Family of Osmán!) sent ambassadors to Constantinople. The building being nearly finished, the Commander-in-Chief Mahommed Páshá returned to Constantinople, and the rest of the army got permission to return to their homes. I again followed the tribe of Mássúrlí, and came with them to Crimea. We took our pleasure for twenty days in Bágcheseraï, then got permission from the Khán to return to Constantinople, with a present of a purse of piastres, three slaves, a sable pelisse, and a caftán. The Kalgha Sultán and Núr-ud-dín Sultán (the two first dignities of the Tátár court) and fourteen Aghás, gave me a slave each, so that I had a number of slaves and four purses of money; to these slaves I added the eighteen which I had acquired on my travels from Trebisonde to Mingrelia and Abaza, took leave of the Khán and all the great men, and mounted on the horses of the Kalgha-Sultán, began my journey in company with some friends, who remained with me till we arrived at Káchidere. There we parted, all my friends returned to Bágcheseraï, and I continued my way to the south for the space of six hours to Báliklava.

Description of the Castle of Báliklava.

Prevented by warlike expeditions from visiting with leisure the curiosities of Crimea, I dare not give a description of it; such is also the case with the castle of Báliklava. Having embarked here with three hundred persons on board of the Shaika of Úchelí Sefer Reis, I slept on board, troubled by heavy dreams; on the next day I went on shore, to do away the evil of the night by some alms, and next day got clear of the port in an evil hour, succeeded, as the text of the Korán68 says, by worse days. One day and one night we went straight before the wind, and were then about the middle of the Black Sea. The mountains of Báliklava and Súlúyár had disappeared, neither were those of Sinope and Amassra to be seen, and we were tossed about without well knowing where we were going to. All at once an easterly gale sprung up with thundering clouds, at the appearance of which the boatmen changed colour, and began to wring their hands; they looked at the compass, and then on each other, and already made up their minds to lose their souls. An old sailor said to them; “Lads (Dais!) don’t you see the forerunners of a tempest, what are you afraid of? Lower the topmast with the sail.” This they did, but the ship going too heavy, they threw the bags, mats, casks and trunks that were on deck into the sea; they stowed two hundred young prisoners below (Enbár) and closed the hatches. Thus the ship was lightened, but still terribly tossed by the effect of the currents. Verse:—

“If in the storm my bark drives on the strand,
What shall I do? none can the winds command.”

On the fourth of Safer of the year 1055, the storm began to buffet us most unmercifully, nothing but thunder and lightning, hail and torrents of rain pouring down on us for three days and nights. The sailors exhausted by fatigue all crept into one corner of the ship. Of the passengers, some were vomiting, some praying, some vowing victims and sacrifices, some alms and pilgrimages. I, poor Evliyá, said: “Come, Servants of God, come and pray with me the Súra Ikhláss (deliverance) which God may be pleased to grant to us.” All having began to recite this Súra fervently, the weather cleared up, the storm ceased, but the tossing of the ship continued in a most dreadful manner; the ship now touched the highest heavens, and now descended into the deepest of hells. The waves of the Black Sea towered before us like the perpendicular walls of Mount Bisútún. At last we opened the magazine (Enbár) and threw all the heavy merchandize into the sea, but again to no purpose. We saw that the rudder was going to break, and to prevent this all the sailors united and began to cut with hatchets, first the stays, then the mast, which in falling into the sea killed eleven men. Until their bodies were thrown overboard, there was such a howling in the ship, that every body despaired of life, and felt that he must give up his soul. At this moment there again came a puff of wind (Sighinák) which threatening to tear the ship asunder drove all the prisoners and slaves crying and lamenting out of the magazine; some held together, clasping one another, some stripped naked, and all endeavouring to lay hold of a plank or a cask. I, poor Evlíyá, feeling myself in a state of agitation continued to pray the Súra-Yass, and recommended69 all my things to God by saying the verse: “I recommend my business to God,” and that: “Who fears God shall find a place to walk out, and shall find his lot provided, from whence he did not expect it; and who trusts in God shall not be abandoned by him.” While repeating these prayers I saw that some Infidels (prisoners) got hold of the launch, and let it down by ropes, at the same time some other sailors were throwing themselves on the other side, with planks, into the sea. I, and seven of my companions watching the moment of the launch going down threw ourselves into it; the Infidels instantly cut the ropes, and two of them, attacked with a knife Ramazán Chelebí of Aintáb. My seven companions immediately drew their swords against the eight Infidels who had raised their hands against us, and killed four of them; the four others throwing themselves into the sea from fright, we remained masters of the launch. We threw all heavy luggage overboard, and the launch being now light and tossed by the waves, I saw how the great ship was cleft asunder from stem to stern, and three hundred and fifty passengers, merchants, and four hundred slaves were spread over the sea, some going to the bottom, some trying to be saved by swimming, some on planks, and some trying to reach our boat, of whom we took in the story-teller Emír Chelebí. When we laid hold of him, others came up swimming, and we were soon convinced, that if we took them in we should all go to the bottom together, we, therefore, sword in hand, kept off all those who offered to lay hold of the launch. The wreck of the ship had now disappeared with all the men, and while we continued tossing up and down, our turbans heavy with the water, we perceived the Judge of Menkúb, Alí Efendí, swimming like an angel of the Ocean. By the hand of Divine power he was brought near our boat, and we took him in, so that there were now ten of us in it. We continued to pray the Súra-Yass, and drove on, baling out the water, and all despairing of life. Thus we drove a day and night, all shivering with cold, naked and starved, crying and lamenting. The story-teller and the judge were attacked by a fit of apoplexy, we threw their corpses into the sea, and were reduced as before to eight persons; but we had the misfortune to have a large piece of timber twenty cubits length and one yard in breadth, which drove along with the boat, touching it from time to time without our being able to prevent it.

On the third day at noon a wave came which upset the boat, and I fell head-foremost into the sea; being a good swimmer I worked with all my strength, recommended myself to the Lord, to the intercession of the Korán, and all the Saints, all the great and pious men I had hitherto known on my travels, and by this kind of effort, keeping my head clear, I swam undaunted. I saw that the large piece of timber, which had before swam alongside our boat, was passing near to70 me, and instantly laid hold of it, encircling it like a serpent. Driving in this way, shivering and starved, all at once I heard a noise behind me, and looking round I saw two Georgian boys, two Circassian girls and a Russian slave, who had all laid hold of the long piece of timber on which I was driving. I was much afraid that their weight would sink the timber, and was just thinking how to get rid of my companions in misfortune, when an empty cask driving by, the Russian slave wished to get hold of it, and threw himself into the sea for that purpose, but not being able to reach it he was drowned, and only the four slaves remained. The storm was now completely clearing-up, the sea going down, and the next day land coming in sight, we were thrown on the shore exhausted and half-dead. I threw myself on the ground, to praise God and to thank his infinite mercy, who having taken away from me eighteen slaves acquired in my travels in Mingrelia and Abaza, again made me a present of four slaves, two fine boys and two pretty girls. Being thrown into an inlet of the rocks, some good people gave us dresses to cover our nakedness, and hoisted us up the rocks which appeared to pierce the skies. Having asked where I was, I was told that these were the mountains of Kilghra in the sanjak of Silistra. Thus I had been driven three days in the boat from the moment the ship went down, and after the boat was upset, twenty-four hours on the timber, till I was thrown on the shore at Kilghra, with the Dervishes of which place I immediately began a devotional conversation, and occupied the cells, which they assigned to me and my slaves.

Description of the Convent of Kilghra Sultán.

This building is ascribed to Sárí Sáltik Sultán, who having been ordained a Dervish in the town of Yassú by Ahmed Yassúí, came with Hájí Begtásh and three hundred poor people to Sultán Orkhán, and was sent after the conquest of Brússa into Russia and Poland, Bohemia and Dobrúja. Hají Begtásh gave him a wooden sword, a carpet, a banner, a drum, kettle-drum and trumpet. Kilghra Sultán with seventy disciples spread the hide (on which they sat) upon the sea, and went, praying, drums beating and banners flying, from Rúmelí to Crimea, and from thence to the people of Heshdek in Moscovy and Lipka in Poland. At Danzig he conversed with Svíty Nicola the patriarch, whose name is the same as Sárí Sáltik whom he killed, adopted his habit, and by this means converted many thousands to Islám. Thus he travelled many years under the name of Sárí Sáltik, and being himself yellow-coloured (as Sárí Sáltik was) he obtained from Ahmed Yassúí the name of the yellow Beg. But his proper name is Mohammed Bokhara, and he settled afterwards at Paravadí. The King of Dobrúja requested a miracle from Sárí Sáltik in confirmation of his mission. There was then in71 Dobrúja a terrible dragon, to which even the two daughters of the King were allotted as food. Sárí Sáltik agreed to deliver the two girls, on condition that they with their father would embrace Islám. He went to the column to which they were tied as victims for the dragon, accompanied by his seventy Dervishes, who were beating drums and swinging the banner; untied the Princesses, and then waited with his wooden sword, expecting the dragon himself, meanwhile the seventy Dervishes beat the drum. The dragon coming near, Sárí Sáltik addressed it with the verse of the Korán beginning;—“Greeting on Noe in both worlds,” and then cut off three of his heads, so that the dragon fled with the remaining four. Sárí Sáltik followed him up to his cave, at the entrance of which he cut off the remainder with his wooden sword, and followed the dragon into his den. The beheaded dragon began to struggle with the Saint and to press him against the rock, which gave way so wonderfully as to receive the Saint’s body, which place with the marks of his hands and feet are still actually shewn. The dragon having exhausted his strength fell to the ground dead, and the Saint, with his bloody breast and bloody wooden sword, now led the two girls to their father the king. Previous to their arrival a cursed monk, who had shewn to Sáltik Súltán the road to the column, and picked up there the tongues and ears of the three heads cut off, had laid them before the king, boasting that he had killed the dragon. Now, though the daughters asserted the contrary, yet the monk persisting in his boast, the Saint proposed as a proof, to be boiled with the monk in a cauldron, and though the monk did not like this kind of trial, yet by order of the king he was obliged to undergo it. Sárí Sáltik was tied up by his Dervishes, and the monk by his companions, and both put into a cauldron heated by an immense fire. It was at this hour that Hájí Begtásh, who was then at Kírshehrí in Anatolia swept with a handkerchief a dripping rock, saying: “My Sáltik Mahomed is now in great anxiety, God assist him!” Ever since that day salt-water has dropped from that rock, and from thence the salt called Hájí Begtásh is produced. The place where this cauldron was heated is shewn at the present day, and the mountain is called the mountain of the cauldron Kazán Balkání. The cauldron being opened Sárí Sáltik was found sweating and saying: “Ya Hayí, O all vivifying;” and of the monk nothing remained but black coals and burnt bones. The King of Dobrúja moved by this miracle, instantly embraced Islám, with seven thousand of his subjects; he sent ambassadors to Sultán Orkhán, and received from him in exchange, the appointment of a Judge, a tail and a banner. His name was Alí Mokhtár. In the same year Sárí Sáltik made his will, wherein he commanded seven coffins to be made, because seven kings were to contend for his body after his death. This hap72pened indeed as he foretold, because being washed after death and put into the coffin, seven kings claimed to have the true body, which was found in every one of the seven coffins when opened. The seven kings who desired to be possessed of the true body were the King of Muscovia, where Sárí Sáltik is held in great veneration under the name of Svíty Nicola; the King of Poland, where his tomb is much frequented at Danzig; the King of Bohemia, where his coffin is shewn in the town of Pezzúnijah (?) and in Sweden at Bívánjah (?). The fifth King was of Adrianople, where his tomb is in the Convent of the town of Batúria which is now a large place called Baba-eskissí, and is visited by those, who travel from Constantinople to Adrianople. The sixth King was that of Moldavia, who buried it in a shady place near the Castle of Bozák, where Báyazíd II. after the conquest of Akkermán, built a mosque, an imáret, a college, a bath, a khán and a monument for Sárí Sáltikdedeh; this town is called Babatághí; a pleasant town all belonging to the endowments of Sárí Sáltik. The seventh coffin was taken possession of by Alí Mokhtár the converted King of Dobrúja, who buried it at Kilghra in the cave of the Dragon, and hence he is called Kilghra Sultán; Kilghra signifies in Latin a seven-headed dragon, it is the purest Latin. Of these seven burial-places of this Saint, three are in the Ottoman Empire, from which he is called Baba Sultán at Babatágh; Sárí Sáltik Sultán at Baba-Eskissí; and here, Kilghra Sultán; in Christian countries he is generally called St. Nicolas, is much revered and the Christian monks ask alms under his auspices.

The Convent is situated on a cape which extends into the Black Sea like the proboscis of an Elephant. The ships that sail from Constantinople to Kara Khirmen, Kostenjí, and Kilí pass along these rocks of Kilghra directly opposite to those of Sinope, and if the weather is clear, are mutually seen from both shores. The cave in which Sárí Sáltik killed the dragon is at the same time his burial place. The convent was built by Alí Mokhtár; the wooden sword of the Saint, his swing, half-drum, kettle-drum, drum, banner and sanjak are kept here, numerous cells surround it, occupied by learned and virtuous Dervishes, who reside here on their hides, all true Sunnis and faithful believers, more than one hundred. They read with me more than eight months according to the method of Hafss. The windows of the Convent, and of the monument, all look towards the sea. The magnificent kitchen like that of Keikavús is worth seeing; day and night the fire is kept up on the stove for passengers and strangers, they have no endowments but live on alms; they are all purified by mystic divine love. To the right and left of the mountain are many wells in the rocks. The rocks being perpendicular like those of Mount Bisútún are excavated at the base. The projecting rocks are so lofty that ships with topmasts an hundred yards high may enter here, and come73 to an anchor. The masters of these ships take in barley and wheat which is brought in waggons to the mouths of the aforesaid shafts which are cut in the rock, and poured down them into the holds; these shafts were cut in ancient times by Infidel stonecutters, who were like so many Ferháds; and it is a peculiar sight not to be seen elsewhere, and saves a circuit of between three and four hours in bringing the barley to the foot of the rock. There are no such high and dreary rocks any where in the Black Sea. During southernly and easternly gales, the sea produces a roaring in the excavations, which is heard as far as Iflatár and Ilhánlar near Silistra, a day’s journey from hence. On the top of these rocks are nests of eagles each as large as a sheep, they are even killed and eaten by some for mutton. Near the Convent is the Castle of Kilghra, which was taken by Mússa Chelebí out of the hands of the Infidels. It belongs to the district of Bálchik in the government of Ozakov. It is a small but strong square castle on the seashore, twenty paces in circumference, with a gate opening to the west, it has neither mosque or khán, commander or garrison. Being situated on a limestone cliff it has no ditch on one side; on the east side is a precipice of one hundred fathoms; the lower part of this castle is also excavated, like the rocks of the convent. When Nassif Páshá Zadeh Hossein was governor of Ozakov, these shores were sometimes infested by the Cossacks and Infidel Russians, who made prisoners of the inhabitants. Hossein Páshá then renewed this castle at his own expense, and garrisoned it, so that the shores were protected from inroads; but the Great Vezír Kara Mustafa Páshá, having taken away the garrison in order to mortify Hossein Páshá, the castle remained deserted. Praise be to God, that after having escaped the dangers of the sea, and being delivered from it before, as the bird of the soul left the cage of the body, I passed eight months here in sweet conversation, till at the commencement of the spring I took leave of my friends and returned to Constantinople.

Return to Constantinople.

In the spring of 1054, I took leave of Kilghra Sultán and embarking with my four slaves coasted the shore of the Black Sea, so that at the least storm I could come to an anchor. Thus I passed on my road, Kavarna, Bálchik, Varna, Ahiebolí, Sízebolí, Missivra, Búrghás, Chenkina, the island of mirrors (Aina adassí or Inada) and the strong castle of Torkoz. Near this place is the flowery meadow, and pleasant place of Skúmrí-jair where the janissaries and kúrújis are encamped, and from hence watch over the security of the adjacent villages, because some years ago these shores were infested by Cossacks. From hence we came to the black stones (Cyanies), a rocky ground outside of the mouth of the Bosphorus.74 It was changed into stone by a woman’s distaff, and is a curious sight. We passed it, and in God’s name entered the channel of Constantinople, anchoring before the Castle of Kavák. I went on shore, and thanked God for the happy escape from the dangers of the Black Sea. The length of the Black Sea from the Bosphorus to Trebisonde at the mouth of the Phasus is fifteen hundred miles, the shores of the Abáza are seventeen hundred miles, and to the corner of the sea of Assov two thousand miles; seventeen hundred large and small streams fall into it. The largest is the Danube, which receives seven hundred rivers in its course, and disembogues into the Black Sea by five branches, at Kili, Túlja, Súlina, and Kara-khirmen; the Phasus, and Chúrúgh on the Asiatic side. The Kúbán near the castle of Tamán, the river of Assov, the river of Ozakov, and the Dniester; on the Asiatic shore the Kizil Irmák, the Wesnesday river, and the Sakaria. From Constantinople to Caffa is reckoned one thousand miles, to Báliklava eleven hundred, to A’kkermán fifteen hundred, to Varna five hundred; from the point of Kilghra to that of Sinope five hundred, from the mouth of the Bosphorus to Amassra one thousand, and to Heraclea one hundred. The whole circuit of the Black Sea, with that of Assov, is six thousand and sixty miles, and if made by land is one hundred and fifty days or five months journey, each day’s journey to be reckoned twelve hours. As soon as I arrived at Constantinople I hastened to Eyyúb to read once more the Korán there, having performed which I went to my parents, who received me with the greatest kindness. I swore never to try the navigation of the Black Sea any more. May God guard from its misfortunes all the faithful people of Mohammed. I then became the Imám of the Inspector of the mouth, and soon found by the presents from my friends, compensation for the loss I sustained in the Black Sea, of my eighteen slaves and other things.


The Kizlar Aghá of Sultán Ibrahím Sunbul Aghá after his dismissal from the Seraï, embarked for Egypt with fifty fair slave girls, and as many boys, and forty horses of the best breed, in the Caravel of Ibrahím Chelebí. He stowed all his riches for three months into the six magazines of this Caravel, and went on board with five hundred armed men of his suite, three hundred merchants, two hundred sailors, and Ezírí Mohammed Efendí who was exiled into Egypt; altogether one thousand three hundred persons, who sailed on Friday, trusting in God. Near Rodos they met six Maltese Galleys, with whom they had an engagement of75 twenty four hours, during which the horses getting loose increased the confusion of battle. The Caravel was dismasted and dismantled, and except two hundred men all the rest fell martyrs. The owner of the ship upbraiding the Kizlar Aghá, said unto him: “Cursed Arab did I not tell thee not to put horses into the ship, but rather to take in stores and ammunition; but thou didst obtain an Imperial order, hast overloaded the ship, and in that way given up to the Infidels.” Thus saying, he with his sword severed the Kizlar Aghá’s head from his body, and was himself at the same moment cut into pieces by the suite of the Eunuch, who rushed on him with drawn swords. The Infidels witnessing this fact, boarded the ship, fought for three hours more on board of it, made the rest of the men including Ezírí Mohammed Efendí prisoners and took the ship directly into the harbour of Canea, where they came to an anchor. Here they remained a month selling the horses and slaves, and violating all the girls. Some prudent monks and patricians said: “Woe to us, better would it have been not to see this Ottoman ship in this town, with its horses and girls, because a prophecy exists, that if this happened, the island would fall into the hands of the Moslíms.” This rumour being spread was the cause of many families emigrating from the island, the population of which then consisted of four hundred thousand Greeks, and seventy six towns and castles were garrisoned by sixteen thousand Soldiers. This is the account obtained at that time by my Lord Alí Aghá the inspector of the custom house. The Emperor being much hurt at the unhappy accident of the Kizlar Aghá, immediately sent for the Venetian Bailo, accusing him and his whole mission with a breach of the peace, by allowing the Maltese to sell Ottoman goods in their harbour. They kissed the earth and said: “Gracious Emperor, our capitulations stated, that if your Imperial fleet conduct prizes of Infidel ships into our ports, we are to receive them as guests. God forbid that we should intend to break the peace, we were forced by the Maltese Infidels to admit them.” The Emperor then asked, if they would assist him with men and ships; they promised readily to furnish three hundred ships, on which they were invested with robes of honour, and lulled by these means into the sleep of hares. Three thousand purses were issued from the Imperial treasury for the preparations for war, and Kapijí-Báshís sent to one hundred and fifty districts on the side of Jáínak, Sinope, Amassra, Ergelí, Koja Ilí and Isnikmíd, to buy and get ready timber for three hundred ships. From the mountains A’alemtágh and Kapútágh (in the neighbourhood of Constantinople) wood was brought in abundance, so that all the magazines of the arsenal were full of it. The ship-builders of all the Islands were called in, and every week a galley was launched. An Imperial High Admiral’s Ship (Bashtarda, Head tartana,) and ten Maúnas were built, and the Arsenal swarmed with busy men. Vezírs were sent into Rúmelí76 and Anatoli to collect armies, Khassekís and the standard-bearer of the prophet were dispatched to Algiers, Tunis, and Tripolis, with twelve thousand ducats of powder-money, and Imperial rescripts exhorting them to join the Capitan Páshá in the spring. It was generally reported, that this expedition was planned against Malta, but the Emperor, the Vezír Kara Mustafa Páshá and the Muftí were alone in the secret. The following was the Fetva proposed and given by the Mufti.

Query:—If the Infidels are possessed of a land, which was formerly in the possession of Moslíms, if they have defiled its mosques, colleges and oratories with their superstitions, if they plunder Mussulman merchants and pilgrims, can the Emperor of the Islám, moved by his zeal for the house of God, wrest these countries from the hands of Infidels, and add them to the Mussulman territory?

Answer:—God knows everything best. Peace with the Infidels is but legal, if advantageous to all Moslíms, but if not, it is not legal at all. As soon as it is useful, it is also allowed to break the peace, be it concluded for a fixed time, or for ever. This is justified by the example of the Prophet, who having concluded peace with the Infidels, which was broken by Alí in the 6th year of the Hejíra, took the field against them in the 8th year, and conquered Mecca. The Emperor has but imitated the Sunna of the Prophet. God bless his victories. This was written by the poor despised Abú Sá’id.

The Emperor took this Fetva and stuck to it like to a cable of safety; he went the same day to visit the tomb of Eyyúb, was twice girt there by the Muftí with the sword of Omar, in anticipation of victory, and then went to the Arsenal, where two hundred galleys were fitted out and filled with troops. Fifty other galleys were ready at the landing-place of the Flour-hall; thirty-six regiments of janissaries, ten of artillerymen, and ten of armourers, were embarked in great transport ships, Maúna. The governor of Rúmelí with the troops of twenty-four sanjaks, with all the Tímariots and Zaims forming an army of twenty-two thousand, and with the Jebellís of twenty-seven thousand men, was ordered to repair to the Dardanelles; the troops of Morea, Sirmium, Semendra, Bosna, and Herzogavina, were ordered to embark at the castle of Benefshe in the island of Morea. The governor of Anatoli with the army of his fourteen sanjaks, and the men of one hundred and ninety-nine military fiefs, amounting to five thousand five hundred and eighty-nine men, with the Jebellís and the household of the Páshá, altogether twenty thousand men, were also commanded to the Dardanelles on the Asiatic side. The governors of Damascus, Haleb, Diarbekr, Mera’ash, Adana, Karamán, Sivás, and Trebisonde, with seventy thousand men received similar orders. At the same time that the Kapíjí-báshís and Khassekís, who had been sent to collect77 those troops, reported that they were ready at the Dardanelles, the cavalry had been embarked at Constantinople. At the beginning of spring, the whole fleet was ready, consisting of two hundred galleys, tartanas, galliots, twelve large Maúna, one hundred Firkata, Caravella, galleons, pinks, Bútáj, Shaitie, Shaika and Karamursal, with a great number of pioneers and miners on board. Altogether seven hundred ships, were anchored before the point of the Seraglio.

At the Sinán Koshk the Úlemas and all the great men waited on the Emperor; the Vezírs, Begler-begs, Captains, Aghás, and Colonels, going to war, one thousand seven hundred individuals, were invested with magnificent dresses. The Commander-in-Chief Yússúf Páshá, the great Vezír Kara Mustafa Páshá and the Muftí alone remained with the Emperor, the rest having already gone on board. Sultán Ibrahím took the Vezír and Commander-in-Chief each by the hand, went with them into a corner, and said: “Yússúf, where art thou going to.” Yússúf Páshá answered, “To Malta if it please God,” and Ibrahim replied, “If it please God, by the destination of the all vivifying, all standing, have I given to thee the destination to go to the island of Crete. Keep this a secret to thyself, and continue to say thou art going to Malta; take that direction with the fleet first, remain a couple of days on the shores of Morea, and then sail back to Candia; disembark the troops before daybreak, and take possession of St. Todero, so as to have a firm post, from whence to begin the siege of Canea. These are my instructions, if thou return victorious, (if it please God) I’ll reward you to a degree that you shall appear with a brilliant face before God. Keep your secret well, according to the maxim, which commands every man to hide three things, Zeheb, Zeháb, and Mezheb, viz. his gold, his walks, his sect.” After this instruction Yússúf Páshá was invested with two golden robes one above the other, and Sultán Ibrahím said; “Go now with God, who will assist thee.” He went on board the High Admiral’s ship, Bashdarda, and the astronomers of the Court having fixed the favourable moment for getting under weigh, the Commander-in-Chief gave the order to the High Admiral, and at the same time five hundred clarions sounded; from the Admiral’s ship the shouts of Allah! allah! pierced the air, and the skies were rent with the noise of muskets and guns. The shouts and salutes were repeated three times, and the Admiral’s ship took the lead, the music playing the tune Segáh. Passing the Sinán-koskh the Commander-in-Chief saluted the Emperor and the Great Vezír, and the other ships followed like a row of cranes, keeping up such a heavy fire, that the birds of heaven found themselves so many salamanders in the midst of fire, like Abraham in the oven of Nimrod. I, poor Evliyá, accompanied this expedition as Chief Moëzzin of the Commander-in-Chief, Yússúf Páshá, was messmate of Ibrahím78 Chelebí, Clerk of the Treasury, on board of the Bashdarda, and passed my time pleasantly eating dates and diavolini (Kotrobunát).

Station of Gallipolis.

The fleet anchored here after a salute fired from the fortress, and repeated by the whole fleet. The Mussulman victors all went to the arsenal to hasten the embarkation of the European troops on board of fifty barbaresque vessels, and on the opposite side in the harbour of Chárdák, the Asiatic troops were also doing the same. In twenty-four hours every thing was completed, and next day the fleet weighed anchor again amidst the noise of muskets and guns. We passed Tenedos (Búzja Ada); ten Firkata were sent on ten miles a-head to keep a good look out. Their captains were invested with robes of honour, and promised to be made Begs of the Imperial arsenal (post captains). We passed Tine (Istendíl) which belonged to the Venetians, who sent presents on board the Admiral’s ship, but no notice was taken of them, and we sailed by. We passed Thera (Degirmenlik), an Ottoman island belonging to the khass of the Captain Páshá, weathered the point of Temashalik (Sunium), passed Athens, the castle of Termísh in Morea, and stopped at Napoli (di Romania), a strong castle at the end of a great port, where we took in provisions for the troops of twenty-seven Rumelian sanjaks; we did the same at Benefshe, which is an open place with no port; passed Candia, taking no notice, as if we were going to Malta, passed Cerigo and Cerigotto also belonging to the Venetians, the fortresses of Coron and Modon, and the island of Borák, a small island near Morea, till we came to Navarin. This is a large port defended by two castles, one on the shore, the other on high rocks. Here we came to anchor and discharged the lading of ten heavy transport ships (Chakálgemí) of the Arsenal, shifting their cargoes of troops and artillery on to lighter ones. During our stay here, the commanders of Zante and Cephalonia, Venetian Islands, sent presents of powder and lead to the Commander-in-Chief, wishing him a happy voyage and success in the expedition; seeing that every thing was directed against Malta, they returned with great satisfaction. We took on board here three thousand brave Albanians, and also took in water, because a great fresh water river disembogues into the sea at the extremity of this port.

On the third day the flag was hoisted, the trumpet of departure sounded, and nine hundred small and large ships left the port. The two captains Karabaták and Dúrák with ten small Firkata were at the head, as look-out ships, leading towards Malta, which was thought by the whole of the fleet to be its destination. At noon the Commander-in-Chief turned round on a sudden, made signals for79 the whole fleet to do the same, and again passed by Cerigo, the Castle of which now began to light fires, and fire signal guns. At sunset we were before Candia, and before daybreak the whole fleet anchored opposite the castle of St. Todero on the north side of the island at the harbour of Súda. Troops and two light guns (culverines) were disembarked with the necessary ammunition, the castle assailed, and in less than two hours forced to surrender. At sunrise the Infidels marched out and were embarked in ships for Cerigo. The ships were now secured in the port, and large guns placed behind gabions to defend them. The two governors of Karamán and Adana were left in garrison, and the whole fleet anchored at the harbour of the Lazaret, close to Canea. The whole army disembarked with their tents, seventy great guns (Bályemez), forty falconets, and two hundred small guns (Sháhitop) and encamped out of reach of gun shot. The fleet anchored in the port of the Lazaret safe against all possible winds, and the Begs (Captains) of the Barbareses received orders to cruise with seventy Firkata. The Shaikas and Kara Múrsal also now disembarked their cargoes, and the governor of Sivás was commanded to watch over the security of the port, which is situated on the west side of Canea. Praise be to God, it was taken very easily. It is situated sixty miles distance from Cape Kabájá in Morea, and its conquest as well as that of St. Todero, was first thought necessary for the facility of passing troops from Morea. Great batteries were raised and furnished with large guns to protect the fleet lying in it, meanwhile Firkatas were keeping the open sea at twenty and thirty miles distance as guardships, (Karaúl Kúllik).

Siege of the Fortress of Canea.

The camp being pitched round the Castle of Canea at a gun-shot’s distance, and every man having taken his post according to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, the janissaries first entered the trenches. The next day the Commander-in-Chief held a grand review in sight of the Infidels, and in defiance of them, who were confounded at this show of the Ottoman power. As soon as he had dismounted at his tent, forty thousand men with shovels and axes began to work on the trenches at seven points round the fortress. (1) On the south side the Aghá of the janissaries, in whose company the Commander-in-Chief himself entered the trenches. (2) The governor of Anatoli, with ten regiments and the Zagarjí-bashí. (3) The governor of Rúmelí with ten regiments headed by the Samsúnjí-bashí. (4) The governor of Sivás with five regiments headed by the Khassekí. (5) On the east side at the silver bulwark, the Barbareses opened the trenches. (6) On the west side at the golden bulwark, the governor of Haleb, with three regiments of Zenberekjí. In short, the attack was carried on80 from seven points. The north side bordering on the sea and the port was alone unable to be attacked by trenches, which were opened on all other points of the compass. The Infidels having enjoyed peace ever since the conquest of Cyprus, their artillery and arsenals were in the highest state of perfection. During seven days and nights they fired forty thousand guns and many hundred thousand musket-shot; seven thousand men became martyrs being killed in the trenches, and their property taken possession of by the fiscus. But the Moslím victors encouraged by the presence and the gifts of the Commander-in-Chief, advanced with undaunted steadiness, and arrived on the tenth day at the edge of the ditch. Seven batteries with large guns were battering the walls on seven sides. During twenty days and nights the fire continued to rage from both sides. The Moslims at last began to raise mounds of earth on the side of the sand bulwark, which being perceived by the garrison, they burned the Moslims with shells and grenades. This way of continuing the siege above ground being found impracticable, it was carried on by mines under ground. On the west side of the town, where the Lazaret is established, a mine of three mouths was blown up, and with it seventy yards of the wall, with all the Infidels upon it, who were sent through the sky to hell. The Infidels witnessing this artful mining, imitated it, they passed under the ditch and blew the mounds of earth with a couple of hundred men into the air; so that the air was obscured by the dust for more than an hour’s time. The Mussulman victors not caring for this, exhorted one another, and the volunteers brought in heads and prisoners whom they caught at the breaches. The Commander rewarded those who brought heads with fifty, and those who brought prisoners with an hundred ducats, making them besides a present of the men and distributing ziámets and timárs.

The Faithful devoting themselves with heart and soul, penetrated sometimes into the interior of the fortress, from whence they brought heads and prisoners, and amongst the last even the son of the commanding general. But this day was a bloody one, which cost many lives.

One day an Infidel descending on a rope-ladder, came into the Commander-in-Chief’s tent, and said he had good news to tell him, if he would promise the safety of his house and family. The Commander-in-Chief granted immediately what he asked, and promised to give him the command of the Infidels besides. He then confirmed his promise by an oath, and tied a handkerchief of pardon round his neck. Then the Infidel said that there were two parties in the castle, the Greeks who wished to surrender, and the Venetians who wished to defend themselves to the last man. The latter were assembled on the side of the harbour, where the fortress had not yet been battered, he advised, therefore, to81 disturb them by a battery raised on that side, and to throw into the Greek quarter, some arrows only, with flattering promises to the Greeks. This advice having been followed, ten Greeks came, who embraced Islám, and received Mussulman names. The siege was, however, continued with the same zeal. On the east side of the harbour a great bastion was raised, from which the high houses and palaces of the Infidels near the port were battered, and where cries and lamentations pierced the skies. The same day orders were issued to all Captains of the Navy, and to the Begs of the Barbareses, to keep a good watch, and twelve Maúnas were ordered to batter the port, and the sea side of the town. This raised a great outcry there, but some of the shots injuring the camp, other orders were issued to the chief gunner of the fleet. The Infidels never relaxing in their fire and their stratagems, there was no day without a couple of hundred falling martyrs. It would be too tedious to relate all the memorable events of this siege; in short, one day the Infidels seeing forty thousand brave men with drawn swords and heavy shields, ready to assail the walls, hoisted the white flag of surrender, crying, “Amán, amán, O exquisite family of Osmán!” No regard being paid to this, and the firing continuing as before, some Captains came out by the breaches, asking for a respite of ten days. The Commander-in-Chief answered, “You will walk out to-morrow, or all fall victims to the sword.” This was agreed to. Some of them remained in the tent of the Commander-in-Chief, some went into the castle and returned with the answer, that next morning they would all be ready to surrender. The Janissaries, Sipáhis, Jebejis and Topjis, instantly took possession of the walls and the artillery, and during the night, the Infidels were embarked for their cursed country. The next day the Islamitic prayer was proclaimed, salutes of guns and muskets fired, and those salutes repeated thrice from time to time during three days. The ships of the Infidels steering eastward to the Castles of Retimo and Candia, their General when he saw and heard these rejoicings, when he heard the profession of Islám proclaimed from the belfries, when he saw the crosses upset and the green banner of Mohammed waving on the spires, could not bear such a sight, but blinded himself. The whole fleet now entered the harbour, and messengers were sent to Constantinople with the good news. Seventy-seven tartanas and galleys, and fifty barbaresque ships, came to an anchor. All the stores and ammunition were disembarked, and large batteries raised on the shore to mount the guns on. The troops were occupied in cleansing the trenches and ditches, and repairing the walls; thus the castle became ten times stronger than it was before; all the churches were converted into mosques, and the first Friday prayer performed in the mosque of Sultán Ibrahím. The streets were adorned with shops and lighted with lamps during the night. The82 clarions sounded after the prayer was performed, the shouts of Allah pierced the skies, and a triple salute was fired, the report of which shook not only Rome and Irak, but the whole of earth and Heaven.

The sixth day after the conquest of the castle, a fleet of a hundred sail bearing the Venetian, Tuscan, and Popish flag came to the assistance of it; but when they saw the port full of the Ottoman fleet, and the ships of the Barbareses cruising before it, when they saw the belfries turned into minarehs, and the Crescents in the place of the Crosses, they sighed heavily, “Good-by Canea! Good-by Canea!” and sailed in despair for Súda. The Ottoman victors found in the conquered fortress all the slaves and girls of the late Kislar Agassí embarked on board the galleon of Ibrahím Chelebí, all his precious things, and high-bred horses; they revenged the blood shed, and turned the Convents of their monks and nuns into those of Dervishes. The contest at this siege was scarcely so heavy and bloody as at the sieges of Assov, Eriván and Baghdád, which have been celebrated by eloquent writers. The Commander-in-Chief sent messengers and letters to nine towns and fortresses of the island, and to the Rayas in the interior of the island in the mountains of Assfákia, summoning them to pay tribute, to surrender to the Sultán the keys of their castles, and to enjoy ease and plenty under the protection of the Emperor; threatening those who would not comply with this demand, with the havoc of their lands, slavery of their families, and death to themselves by the sword. Within seven days came three hundred deputies from all places and villages in the island to pay obeisance and bring presents. The rest of the island not having submitted, the Vezírs and Begler-Begs received orders to send the Ottoman victors to collect the legal tithes. From seventy to eighty thousand men were immediately dispersed over the seven hundred and seventy miles of the island, taking booty, day and night, in the ways of God. Gold, silver, brass vessels, fine boys, and pretty girls, were carried in immense numbers to the Ottoman camp, where there was such an abundance that a boy or girl was sold for eighteen piastres. Some thousand men of the army, seeing such plenty, settled in the island. Kuchúk Hassan Pashá with seventeen Begler-Begs, seventy Alaï-Begs, and all the Zaims and Timariots, remained at Canea, besides the garrison of regular troops, consisting of twenty-seven regiments of janissaries, ten regiments of artillery, ten regiments of armourers, four regiments of cavalry, and three thousand men, Egyptian troops; altogether seventy-seventy thousand men. In the castle remained seven thousand seven hundred Azabs, and forty ships were left for the transport of troops from Menkeshe, besides fifty firkata manned with an hundred stout lads.

The Commander-in-Chief, Yússúf, took leave of all the Vezírs and great men,83 and weighed anchor with a favourable wind, and sailed for Constantinople. He passed with a fleet of two hundred sail before Cerigo and Cerigotto, destroyed the repairs of the Mainotes at the Cape of Maina in Morea, with the Castle of Killí situated on the same point; passed the Cape of Capospada, and the Castle of Menkeshí, and came to anchor at Napoli. After a stay of three days a council was held, and it was resolved to lay waste the Island of Istendil (Tine), belonging to the Venetians. At the moment the fleet was sailing, an Imperial rescript arrived from Constantinople congratulating the Commander-in-Chief on his victories, and rewarding him with an Imperial robe of honour, and a sword and cutlass set with jewels. The same day the Island of Tine was plundered, but no great booty found. Its castle being strong and high, the signal of departure was immediately given, and the southerly wind being favourable, in the course of ten days we touched at different places, such as Chios, Lemnos, Mitylene, and Tenedos; these castles were put in repair, and garrisoned with the necessary number of troops. From Tenedos we arrived at Gallipolis, where we took water, and where the Commanders received strict orders to be watchful. From hence, in two days and one night, we reached the Prince’s Islands, in sight of Constantinople, and next day arrived at the Seraglio point, with such demonstrations of joy as cannot be expressed. The conqueror of Canea, Yússúf Páshá, kissed the ground before the Emperor, was decorated with Imperial robes of honour, and offered a treasure worth that of Egypt, and youths like those of Paradise, besides an infinite number of presents. But he was afterwards calumniated and killed. When Sultán Ibrahím saw his body, he said, “how white he was!” and fell a-crying. He added, “My Yússúf, may those, who have played thee this trick soon share thy fate!” and, while saying so, he looked at his favourite Jinjí Khojá. His death caused general complaint and lamentations, and there was but one voice of sorrow. God’s mercy be upon him!

Cause of the Death of Yússúf Páshá.

Envious calumniators informed the Emperor, that Yússúf Páshá had secreted from the treasures of Canea three great tubs of gold, three millions of money, and a golden column; that he had not given a drop of the ocean nor an atom of the sun of his treasures to the Emperor. After his death nothing was found, and the column wrapt up in felt, which had been said to be a golden tree, was found to be a column of yellow stone, which was afterwards used to support the oratory of the mosque built by the mother of Mohammed IV. It is a stone more precious indeed than gold and jewels, because persons afflicted with jaundice are cured by touching it three times on a Saturday. This is the stone which caused the death of Yússúf Páshá.


“The servant proposes and God disposes, and the tongues of the people are the pens of God.” When Sultán Ibrahím disclosed the secret of the expedition to Yússúf Páshá on his departure, he said, “If thou returnest victorious I’ll reward thee according to thy merits:” and indeed it happened so, because the conquest of Canea, an enterprise so difficult, was granted to Yússúf Páshá before the arrival of the enemy’s fleet by a special favour of God, and no reward could equal such merit, but the glory of Martyrdom. He was beloved of God, who first granted him the conquest and then the Martyr’s crown. Praise be to God that I, poor Evliyá, witnessed such a famous siege, and returned safe to my native city. I kissed my parents’ hands, who wished me joy on my safe return. My father said, “The campaign thou hast made now renders my going into the field superfluous.” I said, “My dear father, you have grown old, you have been present at seventy battles since Sultán Súleimán’s time. Pray now for your beloved son, who shall go into battles instead of you.” I kissed his hand, and he then told me the following story, exhorting me to listen to it with the ears of my soul.

“In the year when thou wast born, my son, in the reign of Sultán Ahmed I. a great assembly of seven hundred Vezírs and great men was held at the Hippodrome in order to lay the foundation of Sultán Ahmed’s mosque. They dug from forty to fifty cubits deep, and the walls of the foundations having reached the level of the earth, the Ulemas and Astronomers were assembled, and with the prayers and ceremonies usual in similar cases the position of the mihráb determined. Kalender Páshá was named inspector, Kara Sunbul Alí Efendí, the Secretary, and our Khoja (Evliyá’s reading-master) Evliyá Efendí, Imám of the foundations; the Sheikh of Scutarí, Mahommed Efendí, was named the Sheikh; Mahmúd Chelebí, Kara Mahmúd Agha, and forty other men with fine voices, the Moëzzins of the foundations. One day Sultán Ahmed came, and pitched his tent on that part of the courtyard of the mosque, where there then remained only a single painted Koshk belonging to the Seraï of Koja Mohammed Páshá. Here the Sultán gave a feast to all the Vezírs and great men of the capital, which surpassed even that which was given at the feast of circumcission of Sultán Ahmed. The assembly having retired, there remained in the Sultán’s tent, only Mahmúd Efendí of Scutarí, Evliyá Efendí my master, Kara Sunbul Alí Efendí, Ibrahím Efendí the senior of the surgeons, Dervish Omar Gulshení one of the favourite singers and I, thy poor father, sitting on our heels. The Sultán said unto us, “If it please God this mosque shall be finished, and be a fine praying place, but it requires to be well endowed.” Evliyá and Mahmúd Efendí of Scutarí said, “My gracious Emperor, undertake a military expedition, and then85 devote the revenues of the conquered land to your new built mosque, as your ancestor Súleimán did, who having in person conquered Rodos, Stancio, and different other islands, devoted their revenues to his mosque, which is, therefore, the best endowed of all the Imperial mosques. If your Majesty should undertake an expedition against Creta (Kiríd), you would protect the passage of Ottoman merchants and pilgrims from the ships of the Infidels. The senior of the surgeons, Ibrahím, and Mahmúd Efendí of Scutari said a Fátihah for this good intention, the seven prayers of which were repeated by all present, who finished it by saying, ‘If it please God our prayer shall be granted.’

“Sultán Ahmed then said, ‘But, learned gentlemen, we are at peace with the Venetians, is it decent for a Shehin-shah (king of kings) to encroach on treaties of peace? Under what pretext shall we break it, particularly now, when Anatoli is kept in rebellion by Kara Yazijí, Saíd Arab, Kalender-oghlí and Jennet-oghlí, against whom my Vezír Murad Lálá is marching? How shall I then think of the conquest of Candia?’ Evliyá answered, ‘My Emperor, on the third day all the rebels shall be beaten, and you shall receive the good news on the twelfth, they shall pass away like a torrent; Murad Páshá shall fill wells with their dead bodies, and obtain in history by this deed the name of Murad Páshá the well-maker (Kúyújí).’ This prediction was accomplished by the news that Murad Páshá, had filled all the wells near Haleb and Azez with the bodies of the rebels. Mahmúd Efendí of Scutari availed himself of this opportunity to remind the Emperor of the project of the Cretan war, and suggested to him, first to send an embassy to the Prince of Venice to ask that he should give up the island of Creta. Sultán Ahmed, being pleased with this idea, sent Kúrd-Chaúsh, a good and eloquent speaker, with presents, as ambassador to Venice. He made great haste, and at the end of seven days arrived at Venice, making his public entrance on the eighth, and read his letters in public council; the Senate consented to the demand, and letters were made out, with which Kúrd-Chaúsh was sent back; having kissed the ground before the Emperor, the letters were read by the Interpreter in presence of Mahmúd Efendí of Scutari, Evliyá, Sunbul Alí, Ibrahím, Togháni, Ismail Efendí the Commentator on the Mesneví, Júnúbí the Sheikh of the Mevlevís at Kássím Páshá, Dervish Omer Gulshení, Guzeljí Gulábí, Kúzú Alí Aghá, Abdí Aghá, and of me, thy poor father, in the following form and tenor, ‘You have asked from me the Principe, your most humble servant, the island of Creta, with six hundred thousand inhabitants, seven hundred and seventy villages, and of seven hundred and seventy miles circumference, with seven mines of gold, silver and other metals, which we are ready to give.’ At these words all those who were present read the Fátihah, and the Mohammedan shouts (Allah! Allah!) rent the air.


“The end of the letter said, ‘But we poor fellows, giving to you, great Monarch, an island as rich as that of Creta, we beg of you the favour to make us a present of the ports of Acra, Saida, Beirút, and of the old seat of our religion, Jerusalem. It is only for this purpose we can cede to you the island of Creta, and it would be more reasonable to deliver your hereditary countries from the rebels, who infest it, than to form such strange demands:—Our compliments to you!’ Ahmed hearing this answer was deeply afflicted, and began to cry. Mahmúd Efendí said, ‘Why should your Majesty be afflicted; they began by saying, that they were ready to give up the island, it is God who has dictated these words to them, according to which they shall be obliged to yield the island.’ A Fátihah was said, and the Mahommedan shouts (Allah!) repeated. Then they said, ‘If it please God, it shall most certainly be conquered,’ and saying so, they changed the conversation. When this letter was again read at the Diván, the Emperor happened to be in his innermost garden at the place called Chemensoffa, conversing with the abovenamed learned and virtuous gentlemen. At this moment the gate of the innermost Harem opened, and the Kislar-agassí walked out, followed by seven Princes, who kissed the hands of the Emperor, and then of the Sheikhs, who were with him, and the Sultán said, ‘Gentlemen, the Princes my sons, are your most humble servants.’ He then ordered that they should play before him, to dissipate the melancholy which the answer of the Venetians had caused. They played ball, and Prince Osmán, the strongest and stoutest of them, was superior to the rest. Coming near his father’s throne, he asked him, ‘My Osmán! wilt thou conquer Creta?’ The Prince answered, ‘What shall I do with Creta? I will conquer the land of the white Russian girls, and shed blood there.’ Saying so, he continued to play; Evliyá Efendí, praise to God, the innocent boy could not reach the meaning of the Emperor’s words. Mahmúd observed, that he had understood well the word Creta, but that there was something mysterious in his answer about the white Russian girls. Now Prince Osmán came up pursuing his brother Mohammed even under the throne, where Mohammed sheltered himself, and having crept forth again, the ball, which Osmán threw at him, touched his gilt turban, and hurt his neck so that blood was flowing, and he turned giddy.

“Sultán Ahmed said, ‘Look Mohammed, Osmán is thy brother, and yet he has hurt thee, this is the course of the world: strike him in your turn.’ He wiped his blood off, and having seated him at the foot of the throne, he asked him, ‘Will you conquer Creta, Mohammed?’ Mohammed said, ‘I will, but my brother Osmán sheds my blood; if it is not me, another Mohammed will finish the conquest begun by me.’ The Senior of the Surgeons, Ibrahím said, ‘Praise be to God, what secrets are revealed to-day! but nobody yet understands them.’ Now87 the Princes continued to play at ball; Bayazíd and Súleimán were chasing each other, when all at once, Prince Murad sallied forth from the place called the black cypress, and threw a ball at them, which hurt them both, so that blood dropped from their noses. Sultán Ahmed said, ‘My Murad, why dost thou beat thy brethren so.’ The Prince replied, ‘It was not my intention, but such is the play of the world, I was obliged to do it because they gained upon me, and were going to take my place!’ Omer Gulshení said, ‘There is also some mystery in that.’ Now came Prince Ibrahím in a ruby-coloured dress: Sultán Ahmed asked him, ‘Where have you been my Ibrahím?’ ‘I,’ said he, ‘have taken the ablution of martyrdom, and am now come to wrestle and play with all my brethren.’ He entered wildly and threw a ball at Sultán Osmán’s head, so that he knocked off his turban and set him crying. Prince Murad now threw a ball at Ibrahím, which he received undaunted, feigned to direct his ball at Bayazíd, but turned round in a moment, and threw it at Murad with such violence, that he was for some time senseless. Ibrahím now ran to his father’s throne, sat at the foot of it, and said, ‘Have I not aimed a good ball at Murad,’ and then fell to indelicate play. Murad was crying on the ground, saying, ‘I had rather died, than have been beaten in that way by Ibrahím!’ The play continuing, to the surprise of all the beholders, Murad again pursued Ibrahím, and threw the ball at him, which he received as boldly as the first time, and retreated under the throne, from whence he then issued without his turban and in a state of undress. Sultán Ahmed caught hold of his ear, and said, ‘Wilt thou conquer Creta, and make of it an endowment for my mosque for Mecca and Medina.’ The Prince said, ‘If God assists me, and helps me, in God’s name, and if it pleases God, my son Yússúf shall conquer it under Yússúf the Prophet’s favour!’ All who were present now said a Fátihah that this might happen, and Sultán Ahmed said, ‘Now, how curious it is, that I am fallen into melancholy since the Venetian letter has been read, that wishing to divert myself with my children’s play, they got bloody necks and noses, and made me more melancholy than before, till Ibrahím has at once chased away my spleen by saying that he will conquer Creta by his son.’ God’s mercy on Sultán Ahmed! All that had been foreshewn in this play, really happened.

“1. Sultán Osmán who hurt his brother Mohammed’s neck, ordered him to be executed when going to Khotyn.

“2. Sultán Osmán, who was hurt by Ibrahím’s ball in his groin, died after his unsuccessful return from Khotyn, at the Seven Towers, when one Piniál tortured him till he died by compression of the scrotum.

“3. The two Princes, Bayazíd and Súleimán, overtaken by Murad at the black cypress, were strangled in the same place, the blood dropping from their noses, by88 Sultán Murad’s order in the year 1045, when he sent Beshír Aghá to Constantinople with the news of the conquest of Eriván. They were buried in their father Ahmed’s tomb, twenty-one years after this play had happened in their father’s presence.

“4. The ball received by Ibrahim from Murad foreboded that Ibrahím would be, as he was, Murad’s successor.

“5. Ibrahím’s indelicate play at the foot of the throne, showed the luxury of his reign passed in weddings and pleasure parties.

“6. His having then said; ‘woe to my cullies,’ was the forerunner of the infamous disease of which he died.

“7. The reply given by Ibrahím, when coming forth from beneath his father’s throne, and saying, that he would conquer Creta with his son Yússúf, is to be understood of Yússúf Pashá the Commander-in-chief of the expedition to Canea.

“8. God knows my son (continued Evliyá’s father) whether the name of Yússúf may not be applied to Ibrahím’s son, who shall finish the conquest of Creta begun by his father.

“My son, all these mysteries I witnessed in Sultán Ahmed’s presence, and have waited ever since for the conquest of Creta promised by Sultan Ibrahím to his father, and now fulfilled accordingly. I, thy poor father, was present at the prayers then said at the suggestion of this conquest, and thou my son hast witnessed the fulfilling of it. If it please God, thou shalt witness also its entire conquest.”

It was in this manner that my father, Dervish Mohammed, the chief of the goldsmiths at Constantinople, related the story of the Princes. God’s mercy upon him! As some thousand descriptions of the siege of Canea exist, I would not expatiate too much on this subject, but have related what I witnessed in a plain way.

Jowánjí Kapújí Mohammed Páshá the great Vezír being deposed, he was named Commander-in-chief at Creta, and the Vezírat given to the Defterdár Sáleh Páshá, who bestowed on his brother, Murteza Páshá, the governorship of Bude with three tails; and on Ibrahim Chelebí, who had been Khazinedár, the governorship of Baghdád. The son of Sáleh Páshá, Chelebí Mohammed, known by the name of the hanged Defterdár-zadeh Mohammed Páshá, was made Aghá of the janissaries, with the character of Vezír, but, as he did not accept of it, he was sent as Commander-in-chief to Erzerúm. I, poor Evliyá, was appointed clerk at the custom-house of Erzerúm, Moëzzin and companion to this Páshá. He was a man of agreeable conversation, great acquirements in all sciences, generous, brave, a poet and statesman. He bestowed on me rich presents, and I prepared my tents for the journey to Erzerúm. I was invested with a robe of honour (caftán) in Sultán Ibrahím’s presence. He said unto the Páshá, giving him the Imperial rescript,89 “Thou art my absolute Vezír and Commander against the Persians; if they should become rebels, all the army of Anatolia as far as Eriván is under thy command.” He gave him five purses, fifty mules and as many camels for the journey, a splendid tent, and two sable pelisses. We passed under Sultán Ibrahím’s blessing to Scutari, where we pitched our tents at the place called Agháchairí. The same day, Cherkess Derzí Mustafa, one of the Imperial armsbearers (Silahshor), was sent express to Erzerúm to Malatialí Silihdár Súleimán Páshá. During our stay at Scutari, the treasurer of the Páshá Dilber Chelebí was deposed by an Imperial firmán, and his place given to Alí Aghá one of the relations of the Páshá; we remained a week at Scutari, and then, on the first day of Rejeb, set out on our journey for Erzerúm.


Having remained a month in Scutari, the buildings of which town have been minutely described in our first volume; the news arrived that the Mossellem (substitute of the Páshá) had happily taken possession of the governorship; the Páshá immolated victims, and everybody rejoiced, because the principal reason for conferring this governorship on Defterdár-zadeh was the rumour which prevailed, that Abaza Páshá the famous rebel, whom Sultán Murad had spared, contrary to the wishes of the troops, had returned from his travels in Africa and India, but most happily Súleimán Páshá, the governor of Erzerúm (predecessor of Abaza) killed this pretender and sent his head to Constantinople, and the Mosellem, Mustafa Aghá, took possession of the governorship. We set out from Scutari in the early part of Sha’abán, and arrived at the end of seven hours march at Pendík, a great village on the seabord, it belonging to the foundation of Kirechjíbashí at Scutari. Its numerous gardens supply the Capital with vegetables. Here our master received from the Great Vezír Sáleh Páshá, ten purses, ten horses, and a great number of other valuable presents. From hence the quarter-master (Konakjí) and chief of the cellar (Kilárjí), with the inspector of the kitchen (Mutbakhemíní), and the purveyor at market (Bazára giden), led the van with five hundred men and a tail.


This was formerly a large town. At the time when Sídí Battál besieged Constantinople, a great convent existed at Constantinople, within the gate of Sílívrí,90 at the place now called the mosque of Koja Mustafa Páshá. Harún-ur-rashíd, built a fortress here and garrisoned it with three thousand men, in order to keep the infidels in check. The inhabitants of Gebíze having killed some men belonging to Sídí Battál, who commanded the garrison of the said fortress, he laid the town of Gebíze in ruins, and retired to Malatia; traces of this havoc are still visible. It was conquered by Mohammed I., who destroyed the castle, that it might not be a refuge for the infidels; but Sultán Mohammed II. rebuilt it after the conquest of Constantinople. It is now a jurisdiction of one hundred and fifty aspers in the sanjak of Koja Ilí. Mustafa Páshá, who built the bridge which bears his name in Rúmelí, built a mosque here, whose administrator (Mutevelí) is at the same time commanding officer of the place. It lies an hour’s distance from the sea, at the top of a dry mountain; there are about one thousand houses with gardens, in the ancient style, three mosques, the largest of which covered with lead, outshines the mosques of the Vezírs at Constantinople; it was built by Mustafa Páshá, the builder of the bridge called by Sultán Súleimán, the bridge of the illiberal (Namerd), who when governor of Egypt had the finest stones cut in plates to adorn this mosque, and made a stone candelabrum of them, which has no equal in the world. The stones came direct from Egypt to the landing-place of Daríjí, where they were disembarked. The interior of the mosque is lined with marble and granite to the height of three men, which is not to be seen in any other mosque in the capital. The minber (pulpit), mihráb (altar), and mahfil (oratory) of the Moëzzins are of most excellent workmanship, which is impossible to describe to those who have not seen it. It was built by the architect Hassám, the first assistant to the architect Koja Sinán, who showed his skill here most minutely. The windows on the four sides are composed of small painted glass, which in sunshine illuminates the mosque with a most delicious light, therefore it is that you read on the middle vault the verse of the Koran, God is the light of Heaven. The interior of the cupola is adorned with circles of lamps and a great number of suspended decorations. The Egyptian carpets on the floor vie with those of Isfahan. The pulpit of the preacher (Kursí) is inlaid with pearl-shell. Outside of the walls is a delicious garden, where flowers and odoriferous herbs fill the air and brain with perfumes, and nightingales enrapture with their warbling notes. The mosque has but one gate opposite the altar; on the threshold is written the chronograph in the writing of Kara Hissárí Hossein, and in the mosque seventy Koráns are kept, each of which is worth an Egyptian treasure. A copy of Yakút Mostea-assemí, like that which is seen here on the left of the altar, is not to be found elsewhere, except it be at the mosque of Sultán Ahmed at Constantinople. On both sides of the gate are six cupolas supported by as many91 columns, and the cupola immediately over the gate is the seventh. The Harem or courtyard, as spacious as those of imperial mosques, is adorned with trees, the mináreh, with one gallery, is well proportioned. Close to the mosque is a Caravánseraï, affording accommodation for three thousand men, and two thousand horses, with a stable appropriated for camels. In the dining-room (dar-ul-ita’ám), old and young men and women dine in plenty; and at the Caravánseraï, every evening, every fire-place is furnished with a dish of soup, a loaf of bread, a candle, and a bag of forage for every horse, ass, mule or camel. A bath is attached to it, covered with lead like all the other buildings of this foundation. Besides this Caravánseraï there are forty large and small kháns, and one hundred and eighty shops, all the work of Sinán; the mosque in the market is an old simple building; the houses are all faced with red bricks, the water of the wells is a little thick, but the air is good.

We advanced from hence five hours towards the east to the Castle of Helke or Herke, conquered by Mohammed I. with considerable loss of men. It is a nice small castle, of immense stones, built on the seashore, on a cliff between two vallies. Its gate opens to the north and has no houses within. The district belongs to the sanjak of Koja Ilí. At the end of eight hours journey along the seashore, we arrived at Isnikmíd (Nicomedia), which has been already minutely described in our former journey. After a day’s rest we again started and came, at the end of six hours march, to Sabánja, called so from Sabánjí Koja, who first cleared the thick woods here by the plough. In Súleimán’s time it was cultivated, and Sárí Rostem Páshá founded a khán here with one hundred and seventy fireplaces, a pleasant mosque and bath covered with lead, and about one thousand houses faced with brick built by Koja Sinán. The administrator of these endowments of Rostem Páshá, is at the same time the first public officer of the place. Besides its white cherries, it is renowned for its white bread, Súmún, which is baked in a shop underneath the bath, and which keeps its flavour and does not become mouldy for the space of six days. It has often been sent by couriers to the Sháh of Persia, has arrived fresh, and obtained general approbation. Its good qualities are due to the water.

Praise of the Lake of Sabánja.

Its circumference is twenty miles, and seventy-six villages adorn its shores. The people who drink of its water are of ruddy complexion, and the products of the land are abundant; there are no vineyards, but a great number of gardens. On the borders of the lake there are melons and water-melons of such a size that two make an ass-load. On the lake are from seventy to eighty kaiks and boats, which92 are employed in the passage from village to village, and for the transport of wood. There are a great number of most delicious fish. Its depth is twenty fathoms, the water is clear and brilliant, and excellent for washing without soap. It is this water which gives a whiteness resembling cotton to the bread Súmúní. On the east side of the lake, at two hours distance, passes the river Sakaria, which disembogues into the Black Sea in the province of Koja Ilí at the place called Irva; it would require but little spirit of enterprise to unite the lake with the sea, by means of this river, a branch of which goes down to the salt-marshes of Nicomedia. As early as the reign of Mohammed III. a great number of workmen were employed in establishing a communication between the gulf of Nicomedia and the lake of Sabánja, but the undertaking was given up at the request of the inhabitants. If the Sakaria were united with this lake, and the lake with the gulf of Nicomedia, this town would be quite an inland port; the timber and wood might be brought down to Bolí, and it would cost no more than five aspers the quintal. God make it easy!

We marched to the eastward six hours, along the seashore, through thick forests, called “Ocean of trees,” and crossed the Sakaria by a wooden bridge; this river issues from the mountain Chifteler, passes through Koja Ilí, and goes into the Black Sea near Irva.

The Station of Khandak-bazárí.

A small place belonging to the territory of Koja Ilí, with woods, mountains, gardens, a mosque, a khán, a bath, a market, a judge appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers, an officer of the janissaries, and a Súbashí. In the woody marsh here, is a long wooden bridge (causeway) famous all over Arabia and Persia. We marched twelve hours further on through thick forests, and came to Dúzje-bazár, the first place belonging to Bolí, in a mountainous region, with a mosque and two kháns founded by Shemsí Páshá, who also paved the road. In the neighbourhood are many villages.

West of this place on the side of Akcheshár, and two hours beyond the river Melán is the place of Úskúbí, a khass of the territory of Bolí, with a mosque, a khán, and a bath. Nine hours further on we reached Bolí, conquered in Osmán’s name by Sonkor Baí Shemsí, to whom and to whose descendants it was given as hereditary property (Ojáklik). Its castle was built by the Greek Commander of Brússa, it is a small ruined castle, on a high mountain without vestige of cultivation. According to the division of Sultán Mohammed II. it is the seat of a sanjak. The khass of the Beg amounts to three hundred thousand one hundred and twenty-two aspers, fourteen ziamets, and fifty-five timárs, with the Jebellis two thousand eight hundred swords. The judge is appointed with three hundred aspers: five districts belong93 to it, viz. the district round the town of Bolí, that of Gokjesúí, that of Sázák Kerde to the left of Bolí, that of Túrtúr-diván, and that of Yaflije. The annual revenue is five thousand piastres, and those of the Beg fifteen thousand. But the judge and Beg are obliged to be very cautious, because if they commit the smallest injustice, the Rayas can reach Constantinople in three days, and complain of the oppressor. There is an officer of the janissaries, of the Sipahís, and a Nakíb-ul-íshráf. Though the inhabitants are Turcomans, yet there is a great number of merchants. It is a large town of thirty-four quarters and as many mosques, three thousand well covered houses, some of which are faced with bricks; some seraïs and mosques. In the market-place is that of Mustafa Páshá and of Ferhád Páshá, much frequented; they are both the work of Koja Sinán the great architect: the best and most pleasant bath is that of Shemsí: seven kháns, and seven fountains, all founded by Shemsí Páshá; four hundred elegant shops, but no college or school of tradition, as far as I know of; but there are seventy schools for boys, and more than two hundred of whom know the Korán by heart. The book Mohammedieh is much read here; they have also story-tellers who recite moral maxims (Oghúz). The mildness of the air contributes to the beauty of the inhabitants. The women wear Ferrájís and large head-dresses, they are very decent and modest ladies. There are a great number of gardens and vineyards. Of its eatables and products the cherries are the most renowned. The water-cans of fir-tree refresh those who drink out of them like the living spring; these cans are called Akasik and Podúch. The inhabitants for the most part are merchants. The surrounding forests being composed of fir-trees, the inhabitants live by cutting and making planks of them, which are much esteemed at Constantinople. Two journies to the west from this place is the landing-place of Akcheshár; those of Ereglí, Bartín, and Hissárogí, also belong to the sanjak of Bolí. The hotbath lies to the south, on the outside of the town; amidst the gardens is a small hotbath, extremely hot and particularly useful against the itch. It purifies the stomach and cleanses the body. People of all degrees flock to this hotbath on waggons.

Places of Pilgrimage at Bolí.

The convent of Yúzghád Baba near the hotbath. We marched twelve hours to the east, through cultivated villages to Kerde, the seat of a Súbashí subordinate to Bolí; a judge with one hundred and fifty aspers. The town consists of a thousand wooden and brick-built houses in a large valley, nine quarters, and eleven mosques, besides the Mesjíds; three convents, three kháns, two hundred shops, and seven coffee-houses. The knife-cutlers and tanners of Kerde are renowned for the knives and Safien of this place. The air is pleasant, and94 the inhabitants healthy; they are mostly students eager for information (Súkhte Thalebí). It is a common saying that Kerde is famous for its thieves, its tanners, and its winter, which is compared to that of Erzerúm; the inhabitants are a set of lively stout Turks. At the four points of the compass, and particularly on the south towards Kánghrí, are cultivated districts inhabited by forty or fifty thousand Turks. The names of the districts are, Kizíl-úzú, Alaja-úzú, Aleh-diván, Bir-diván, Ikí-diván, Uch-diván, and so on to seven Diváns, all in the mountains. The name of Diván given to these districts originated in the time of Ertoghrúl, who, being named Beg by Ala-ud-dín the Prince of the Seljúk family, granted to the Infidels, whose districts he conquered, the privilege of kettle-drums. The name is thus preserved in seven districts, whose inhabitants are a rebellious people, speaking a peculiar language of their own.

From Kerde we travelled to the eastward for the space of eight hours, through cultivated villages, to the village of Bayander in the district of Bolí, a jurisdiction of one hundred and fifty aspers. The conquest of these villages situated amongst steep mountains cost much blood to Osmán. Here are three hundred covered houses, a khán where every passenger is allowed to stay, and receives wood, straw and water, gratis. We travelled thence through a straight, called Hamámlí Bogház, and came with a thousand difficulties at the end of nine hours to the place Jerkesh, the seat of a Súbashí in the sanjak of Kánghrí. Here is a judge with one hundred and fifty aspers, an officer of the janissaries, and Sipáhis. The town consists of three hundred houses, a mosque, a bath and from forty to fifty shops. Mustafa Páshá, the sword-bearer to Sultán Murad IV., built a khán here of fifty fire-places, and one hundred shops, but died before it was finished. Once a week a great market is held here. Seven hours further on is the village of Karajalar, a ziámet in the jurisdiction of Kánghrí, three hundred houses of poor but very obstinate Turks; they will sell a trunk of a tree forty times over, putting it in the water every night, so that you may be compelled to lay out ten aspers in brushwood to set it on fire. A traveller marked one of these trunks by fixing a nail in it, and when he returned three years afterwards from the siege of Eriván, they gave him the very same trunk, which he had tried in vain to burn three years before. Thus they will sell a trunk forty times, and praise it as being forty years old. They also trade in different small articles, particularly in girdles, for which Karajalar is renowned.

Pilgrimage to Habib Karamání.

Habíb was born at Ortakoí near Nikde, and is buried here. He died a Sheikh of the Beirámí in the reign of Mohammed II. Hamza Efendí was one of his95 disciples. We left Karajalar, and after nine hours walk, we came to Kojhissár a jurisdiction of Kánghrí. Its castle was conquered in the year 708 by Osmán, and destroyed in order that it should no longer afford shelter to the Infidels. Nine hours further on, we reached the town of Tússia, conquered by Mohammed I, the seat of a Súbashí, and of a judge appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers. The public officers are a commander of the janissaries (Serdár), an officer of the Sipáhís (Kiaya-yerí), a Muftí and Nakíb; though it is a Turkish town, yet there is a great number of learned divines. The town is situated on an elevation, and consists of three thousand wooden houses faced with brick, there are eleven quarters, twenty-one mosques, besides the mesjíds, seven kháns, three hundred and forty shops, and a Bezestán with an iron gate. The Kúzlí and Leblebí Halwa (two sorts of sweetmeats) of the place, are famous. The air is heavy; the inhabitants are Turks, but very kind to strangers. Outside the town in a fine meadow is the tomb of Sheat Baba Sultán, to which pilgrimages are performed.

Our road now led for eight hours, amongst the mountains along the border of the Kizil Irmák (Red river) when we arrived at the village of Háj Hamza, the companion and disciple of Habíb Karamání; this village was his birth-place: there remains only an ancient mosque on the great road, the other houses are in ruins. It is on the banks of the Kizil Irmák, the opposite shore of which is laid out in elegant gardens. The Kizil Irmák issues from the mountains of Churúm and enters the Black Sea near the village of Báfra, where it forms a cascade, the noise of which alarms men like the rolling of thunder; the river rushes on with great impetuosity, and is not navigable. Its colour is red both in winter and summer; it is a cruel water, for, in attempting to cross to the opposite shore on horseback I was upset with my horse in the middle of it, and saved with difficulty by getting hold of a willow. We left Hájí Hamza and continued our road to the eastward among the mountains and along the Kizil Irmák. The road winds along the rocks at the base of the high mountain called Sárímáshiklí, so that on the right side are the cliffs, and on the left a precipice, at the bottom of which flows the Kizil Irmák, which in some places must be crossed. After eight hours march we came to the Castle of Osmanjík. Some say that Osmán was born at this place, and the castle built by his successors. In the year 795 it was taken out of the hands of the Turks by Ilderím Bayazíd. It is the seat of a Voivode belonging to the sanjak of Chúrúm, and has a judge with a salary of one hundred and fifty aspers appointed to it; there is a Serdár and Kiaya-yerí, but no Muftí or Nakíb. There are few distinguished inhabitants, but a great number of gardens. You cross the Kizil-Irmák by a bridge to the castle, it is of a strong architecture, no more than eight hundred paces in circumference,96 with an iron gate. As it is situated so amazingly high I did not see the interior, but only the outer town or suburb, consisting of a thousand old Tátár houses covered with planks and earth, there are seven quarters and as many mosques, three kháns, and a small bath, the water of which is drawn from a well supplied by the Kizil Irmák. On three sides of the town is sandy ground. Raisins are very sweet here on account of the heat of the soil. In the sand grows a plant called Kabre (Capers) which preserved in vinegar is in great use. The poor and almost all the inhabitants are Dervishes of the order of Hají-Begtásh, because one of their principal Saints is buried on the west side of the town on an elevated spot.

Pilgrimage to the tomb of the great Saint Koyún Baba, (Father of the Dynasty of the Sheep.)

He was the true successor of Hají Begtásh. Having appeared to Sultán Bayazíd, he ordered him to build a cupola on his tomb, a mosque, a convent, a meeting-place for the Dervishes, (Meidán), a caravanseraï with kitchen and cellar. All these establishments are covered with lead, which with the golden crescents on them dazzle the eyes of beholders even at a distance. The Imaret (kitchen for the poor) is smoking day and night. As soon as I, poor Evliyá, arrived here, I went to visit this place of pilgrimage; I kissed the threshold, saying, “Es-selám aleik,” and entered the tomb, where I read the Korán, thanking God for the grace he had granted me to visit it. The cupola is perfumed with musk and amber, which is very agreeable to the senses of visitors, on whom the keepers of the mausoleum also sprinkle rose-water. The preacher and the other Dervishes Begtáshí who watch and pray at the tomb, said prayers on the head of me, poor Evliyá, wishing me a happy journey, with good sight, and perfect health and happiness in both worlds. The Dervishes all uttered the Mohammedan shout (Allah!) and read a Fátihah. When the Sheikh covered my head with his cap, I felt a wind blowing on both my ears, and my eyes were lighted up like Arab torches. Since the shipwreck which I had suffered in the Black Sea, swimming naked for three days and nights, my sight had suffered cruelly, and was only restored by this head-dress (the Crown of felicity) being put on my head. I then conversed with all the poor of the convent, and dined with them, and I have ever since kept the symbols of Dervishship, which I received at the Convent, viz. the habit (Khirka); the carpet (Sejáde;) the standard (A’alem); the drum (Tabl Kúdúmí); the halter (Pálehenk); the stick (Assa); and the head-dress or crown, (Táj).

Inside of the cupola are different inscriptions by the visitors, to which I added97 one of my own composition which suddenly occurred to me. The name of Koyún Baba was given to this Saint, because when he came from Khorassán in Hají Begtásh’s company, he bleated like a sheep once in twenty-four hours, which was the signal for prayer. The Dervishes of the order of Begtásh are generally in bad repute, but those of this convent are indeed meek like sheep, devout, pious, praying people, and in all my travels in Rúm, Arabia, and Persia, I met nowhere a more worthy convent.

Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Burhándedeh.

A great Saint renowned for many miracles. The bridge, a work of Bayazíd II. is a marvellous pile of building of nineteen arches, each arch gives an idea of the rainbow, of the galaxy, of the girdle of Divine Power, or of the Ták Kosra. Its length, from one end to the other, is four hundred and fifty paces; and although the river was so rapid, the architect built it straight as the bridge of Sirát (over which souls are to pass on the day of the last Judgment). We halted here for a day, then again crossing the bridge, and marching towards the west, amidst frightful mountains, we arrived at the small pass of Direglibíl; which, if one man only ascends to the top of the rock, and rolls stones down, he may defend against a thousand men. It is known in all Asia, and called Diregli-bíl (the pass with trees), because the mountain being excavated in many places, and threatening to fall down, the rocks are supported by trees, which were placed there by well-meaning people. Here our gracious lord the Páshá descended from his horse, and taking some of the stones out of the road, which encumbered it, himself threw them down the precipice; this example was instantly followed by the whole suite, four hundred men, who dismounting, cleared the road of the stones, shouting Allah, with the clarions sounding. After nine hours march from Osmánjik, we came to the village Hájíkoï, the frontier of the sanjak of Amasia, a ruined village, with a khán in ruins, though it is very well situated for cultivation. Six hours further on we reached the field of Márziván, and the village of Kerkiráz, belonging to Amasia, with sixty villages, a mosque, and khán, also falling into ruins. At the end of eight hours we came to the mountain town of Amasia, which is said to have been built by the Amalekites, and, according to others, by Ferhád, the mountain cutter. In the year 476 (1083) it was conquered by Sultán Melek Ghází, of the Dánishmend family. The princes of Azerbeiján laid siege to it more than once, without being able to take it. From the hands of the Dánishmend family it passed into those of the Seljúk. It was then conquered by Sultan Ilderím, who thus prevented its falling into the hands of Timúr. He then made his son Issa Chelebi governor, and coins were struck, which bear the inscription of Amasia, of98 the purest silver, which is found in three mines here. At the division of the empire by Sultan Mohammed II, Amasia is described as the seat of a Beg. It has sometimes been given as Arpalik to Vezírs of three tails. According to the Kanún, its khass amounts to two hundred thousand aspers, nineteen ziámets, and forty-two timárs; it has an Alaï Beg and Cheri-bashí. The Zaims and Timáriots, with the Jebellí, amount to three thousand men; the judge has three hundred aspers a day. The districts (Náhie) are those of Aine-bazár, Kildighán, Aktágh, and Kafála; the jurisdictions those of Koprí, Samara, Zeitún, Gumish, Búlák, Merzifún, Kerkerár, Ládik, Veraï, and Zenún-abád. The annual revenue of the judge is valued at seven thousand piastres, and those of the Páshá at seventy thousand piastres. Five Súbashis are attached to the khass of the Pásha, viz., Shehrbáh-bazár, Weraï, Aine-bazárí, Aktágh, and Súliova. Its magistrates are, the Sheikh-ul-Islám, the Nakíb-ul-ishráf, the Serdár of the Janissaries, and the Kiayayerí of the Sipahis. There are many learned divines and rich merchants.

Form and size of Amasia.

Its towers, crowning the height of the mountains are always veiled with clouds, and it is only at noon that the spires of the mosques, and the roofs of the houses are visible. Its circumference is nine thousand and sixty paces. In form it is a pentagon, extremely strong, worthy of being a work of Ferhád, with forty-one towers, and eight hundred battlements altogether. The number of the houses is not known to me. There are magazines, cisterns, and a road cut in the rock, leading down to the water, called Chapán Yolí, of three thousand and seven steps. It has no market-place (Charshú), or market (Bazár). There are four iron gates looking to the east. In the castle is a mosque built by Sultán Ilderím, and a marvelously deep dungeon, resembling the pit of hell; and seventy cannons, but of no great calibre, as it is not a frontier fortress. This castle has six wonderful caverns, where the rich inhabitants hid their valuable effects in the time of the Anatolian rebellions of Kara Yazijí, and Kara Sáid.

Timúr besieged this fortress with an innumerable army for the space of seven months, and was obliged to retire in confusion. Though it is situated in the midst of the province, yet a commander (Dizdár) and a garrison is appointed, lest rebels should gain possession of it. The lower castle is built on the banks of the river Túzánlí, a small castle, whose circumference is not known to me. It has three gates, the first opens towards the Kiblah, Karánlik Kapú; the second Ma’adenos Kapú, looks in the same direction; and the third, Meidán Kapú, to the west; from whence a great bridge leads to Gok-medresse, on the opposite side of the town. The gate Serkíz leads over a wooden bridge to the mosque of Gháríblar.99 The number of mosques, palaces, and houses are six hundred. The river Túzánlí, which passes through the town, issues from the mountains of the same name above Tokát, passes by Eskí, Aine-bazár, Kargol, the castle of Túrhál, Chengellí-bíl, Sárikúsún, the bridge of Davíkaví, Chapán, through the pass of Ferhád to Amasia, where it joins the river Chekerek, opposite the great stone bridge. This river springs from the lake of Ladek, comes from Súliova, and joins the Tuzánlí near Amasia as aforesaid. It is vulgarly called Yava; the proverb, “Tokát defiles it, Amasia drinks it,” is applied to it because it flows from Tokát to Amasia. After it has passed Amasia it is called Chehár Shenbesú (Wednesday’s water), and after irrigating many fields, it disembogues in the Black Sea, on the western side of Samsún. Below the village Chehár Shenbeh it is joined by several springs, and below Nígissár, in the province of Sivás, it receives the river Kerkúk; thus it reaches Samsún, after having increased its stream by those of seven other rivers. The town of Amasia is built on both sides of this river, and on the hills and mountains bordering on it. A bridge worth seeing, the work of Sultán Bayazíd, crosses it. This river comes to Amasia from the south, running northward, and turning many mills and water-wheels; which at Amasia are not less to be praised than those of Hama and Adana. Amasia is divided into forty-eight quarters of Moslíms, and five of Christians; there are altogether five thousand houses, besides palaces.

The Seraï of the Sultán is situated on the banks of the river, surrounded by delightful gardens, curious trees, and many seats; it is cultivated by a master gardener (Usta), and fifty gardeners, who wear yellow caps. The Seraï of Mahommed Páshá is close to the mosque; within the castle is the Seraï of Sultán Bayazíd, and many others, faced with brick; there are altogether two hundred and forty mosques. Among them is the mosque of Bayazíd II. In his youth Bayazíd was first made governor of Trebisonde, and then of Amasia; his father, Mahommed II, having died at Máldepeh, he went to Constantinople to ascend the throne, but gratefully remembering that he was made Emperor at Amasia, he freed the inhabitants from all contributions, and built this mosque, one hundred feet square: the mihráb, minber, and mahfil of the Muëzzins are of elegant workmanship. The cupola is not very large, but adorned, like those of other imperial mosques, with circles for suspending lamps and other ornaments. The chronograph on the gate opposite the Kiblah gives the date of its building, 892 (1486), it has two minarehs, and in the middle of the court-yard a water-basin for ablutions. The mosque of Kúchúk Aghá, opposite the river Chekerek; the mosque of Bayazíd Páshá, covered with lead, and paved with marble; the mosque of Mohammed Páshá, covered with lead, and one minareh; the mosque of Khizr100 Elias, a large building, covered with lead; the mosque of Mekkeme, built of wood, as also is the minareh; the mosque Fethie, formerly a Christian church and convent; the mosque of Yogúrch Páshá, who was Vezír to Mohammed I.; the mosque of Gokmedresse, covered with lead, but without a minareh; besides a great number of Mesjids. There are ten colleges, the most elegant of which is that of Sultán Bayazíd; nineteen houses for reading the Korán; at that of Sultán Bayazíd there are more than three hundred Háfizes (who know the Korán by heart); ten houses of tradition; and two hundred schools for boys, some of which are covered with lead. There are forty convents for Dervishes, the best of which is that of Jelál-ud-dín Rúmí, and ten dining establishments; at that of Sultán Bayazíd all the poor dine twice a day. Of the Caravánseraïs, that of Sultán Bayazíd is covered with lead, as is also that of Bairám Páshá, the Vezír of Murad IV. The Kháns are lead-covered, with iron gates, besides those for merchants (Khoja), there are those for single men (Mújerred); these last have their own gatekeepers, and are shut up every night, so that those who do not come home before the hour for closing are not let in, and those who are within cannot go out till the gates are thrown open in the morning, when every person goes to his work.

In the market-place (Charshú) there are altogether one thousand and sixty shops, and one hundred and sixty different workmen, with vaults of stone like the market place of Brússa. A Bezestán with four iron gates. The market place is paved with large slabs. There are many distinguished inhabitants.

Inhabitants, Language, Dress, Provisions, &c.

The inhabitants are a set of merry jolly fellows, and are all red-faced and fresh-coloured; their occupation may be thus described;—first, the Zaims and Timariots and the Páshá’s court; secondly, the divines, judges, and professors; the Imáms, Khatíbs, Muëzzins, &c.; and thirdly, the merchants and handicraftsmen. There are many well-bred highly-finished gentlemen, who speak with great eloquence, but the dialect of the common people is harsh. The wealthy dress in sable pelisses and Ferráji of cloth, the middle classes in Bogassin. The women are Turkish beauties, with well-ranged teeth and words.

From the district of Kághla comes a sort of corn called Dárdevedíshí, of which most excellent bread is made, called Levásha, Kerde, Chákil; there are forty sorts of pears, ruby-coloured cherries, and seven sorts of grapes and quinces, of which a far-famed robb is made, and sent to Princes as a present.

Sherbet of must, scented with musk; sherbet of quince jelly, which, on account of its heating quality, is as useful in medicine as terra sigillata. The sherbets called Khardalie, Búldáklí, are exported into Persia; a pleasant white beverage.

The workmen are clever in all kind of handicraft, but the tailors and cotton101 beaters are the most famous, as well as the barbers and confectioners. In the time of the Amalekites, the river Túzánlí did not pass through the town; it was Ferhád, the lover of Shirín, who cut these mountains like cheese, and the traces of his work is yet to be seen in the mountains on the west side of the town.

The situation of this town in a deep valley, and on the banks of a river, contributes to the mildness of the air, and the riches of its cultivation. The windows of the houses look to the west and north; the winter is temperate. The water which Ferhád carried to the town from the opposite mountains is delightful; it is distributed from house to house.

Of the Walks, and Pilgrimages or Tombs.

There are seventy different walks; the first is that of the bloody fountain (Kánlí bínar;) it is so called because a wicked old woman having brought false news to Ferhád here, of Sherín’s death, he threw his hatchet into the air, and himself down the precipice, by which means he was killed.

The tomb of Ottoman Princes, who are buried in the cypress wood, their names I do not know; the tomb of Zekeria Khalvetí, he was the first disciple of Pír Elias, and is buried near the saddlers’ shops (Serrájiler). The pilgrimage of the Sultán of the faith, the Simorgh of truth Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman Ben Hassám-ud-dín Gomishlí-zadeh, he is the nephew of Pír Elias, and was a dervish of the order of Khalvetí, of whom many miracles are related. The three Princes, sons of Murad II. having visited this Sheikh, two of them kissed his hand, and the third, Mohammed, kissed his feet. The Sheihk took the handkerchief (Reda) he wore on his neck, tied it round the neck of Prince Mohammed, and admonished him to take care of the Moslíms at Constantinople. This Sheikh has left many poems on divine love; his poetical name is Hossámí. His tomb is near that of Pír Elias, in the convent of Yakúb Páshá. Molla Kassem Khatíb Ben Yakúb, who was born and buried at Amasia, one of the deepest of learned divines. Molla Ala-ud-dín Ilíkámi, born and buried at Amasia. Molla Abd-ul-jebbár Ajemí, near the tomb of the Ottoman Princes. Molla Abd-ur-rahman Ben Ali Ben Moyed, born and buried at Amasia. The Sultán of poets, Munírí Efendí, born and buried at Amasia, he improvisated Arabic, Turkish, and Persian poems, and was one of the Vezírs of Prince Ahmed, when Governor of Amasia. The excellent female poet, Mihrmáh Khatún, descending from Pír Elias’s family, was a virtuous lady like Rábie Adúye, who knew seventy scientific books by heart, and beat the most learned men in disputing: her true name being Mihrmáh, she took the name of Mihrí for her poetical surname; she left a Diván, and some theological treatises, and was buried near her grandfather, Sheikh Pír Elias.


Pilgrimage of the Pole of Poles, the Sheikh, par excellence, the cream of saints, the column of the Princes, Sheikh Pír Elias. He was one of the Sheikhs of Sultán Bayazíd I., and went with Timúr to Shirván, from whence he returned to Amasia, his birth-place, where he is buried on an elevated spot, called Sevádie, near Amasia. He is famed for many miracles, one of the most celebrated is, that when his corpse was washed, he straightened the hand which had been placed crooked by the washing-man. His mausoleum, with all the foundations belonging to it, was erected by Bayazíd II., son of Sultán Mohammed II. Strangers and poor persons are here most liberally entertained. Praise be to God, that I was so happy as to visit it, and to finish a complete lecture of the Korán there. The pilgrimage of Kelíj Arslán, a Sheikh of the Mevlevís, buried in the convent of that order. The pilgrimage of Ferhád; he is buried on the top of the mountain which he cut for the love of Sherín, and the old woman who was the cause of his death is buried between him and his mistress. The thistles and thorns which grow on the tomb of the old woman prevent the flowers uniting, which grow on the tombs of Ferhád and Sherín.

There are a great number of pilgrimages of great and holy men, but I visited only those I have given an account of, and at each, in honour of their souls, said the Súra Yass, asking for their spiritual assistance. On the third day of our stay the clarions of departure sounded; we took leave of our friends, and travelled the same day through the mountains of Chengelli-bíl, reaching, after six hours march, the station of Kánlí-bínár, which is the spot where Ferhád killed himself. It is a pleasant place, with a luxuriant spring of most delightful water. We watered our horses here, and pitched our tents, and continued our road next morning towards the north for seven hours. We arrived at the village of Ezíl, a district belonging to Amasia, three hundred houses with gardens, a khán, a mosque, and a bath.

The Town and Castle of Nígíssár.

The next day we reached, in eight hours time, the seat of the Dánishmend family, the old town and stronghold of Nígíssár. Its builder was a Greek Emperor; it was conquered in the year 476 (1083) by Sultan Melek Ghází, of the Dánishmend family, and became the seat of this dynasty; their second residence was Amasia. The Seljúks, who anxiously wished to possess it, laid siege to it several times without success. Its name is a corruption of Níg-hissár, the good castle. It is an ancient, strong-built castle, on a limestone rock, five hundred and sixty paces in circumference, of an hexagon shape: the three gates face the east, west, and south; within the castle are three hundred houses and magazines, and a mosque,103 which was formerly a church. The garrison is small in number, because it is not a frontier fortress; they only keep watch against rebels; the lower suburb is a large town, but its streets being narrow, and going continually up and down hill, it is with difficulty that a horseman can make his way to the market-place, and for a waggon to do so is out of the question. This town belongs to the khass of the Páshá of Sivás, the residence of a Súbashí of seven hundred purses’ revenue, the judge is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers, and there is a Muftí, Nakíb, Serdár, and Kiaya-yerí. The town comprises forty-three quarters, with sixty mihráb (Jámí and Mesjids), of which nine are Friday mosques, wherein the Khutbe is performed. The mosque of the castle was formerly a church, an ancient place of worship. To the mosque of Melek Ghází, the visitor descends by five or six steps; it has a slender, thin, well-proportioned minareh: its equal is not to be seen elsewhere. The mosque of Chaplakáneh is faced with bricks. At the west end of the town is the mosque of Júregí; outside of the castle is the mosque of Khalíl Efendí, just finished, faced with brick; also outside of the castle is the mosque of the Muftí. The houses of the town, in the valley, and on the hill, ascending one above the other, are two thousand seven hundred in number, faced either with earth or bricks. There are three baths, viz., that of the Muftí in the castle, that of Chaplakháneh outside of the castle, and that of the Infidels, also outside of the castle, besides forty-five private baths in the palaces.

The Hot-spring of Nigíssár.

It is a small hot-bath outside of the town to the south; the women and boys of the town wash their clothes here; it is a well-flavoured water, has no sulphurous smell, and is useful as a remedy in leprous and arthritic diseases. It is visited every year, in the month of July, by a great number of people, who amuse themselves for a month, and then return to their homes. There is a college, and house for reading of the Korán and tradition, but no kitchen for the poor; there are seventy schools for boys. The inhabitants are an honest set of people, with some beautiful women amongst them. There are seven convents, the first of which is the great convent of Chevregí; that of Elias-dedeh is not less famous. There are a great number of springs and fountains, which move as many corn and fulling mills, also five hundred elegant shops, but no Bezestán. The narrow street, which leads down from the castle, is lined on both sides with shoemakers’ shops; the principal streets are paved with large slabs. The inhabitants are fresh-coloured lively looking Turks, who pay great attention to strangers. Among the eatables, pomegranates are much famed; they each weigh an occa, and some even as much as five hundred dirhems, and are of the size of a man’s head. The104 cheese, Kufte and Passdagh of this place are famous; the environs are laid out in rice plantations (Cheltuk). The Black Sea is two journies distance from this place.

Pilgrimages of Nígíssár.

The conqueror of Nígíssár, Melek Ghází, of the Dánishmend family, is buried near the castle gate. God’s mercy be upon him! Chevregí-boyúk Sultán lies near the great mosque, beneath a cupola. We left this town and advanced towards the east, through mountains and forests. After six hours march we reached Kariebásh Chiftlik, the frontier of Sivás, here bordering the governorships of Erzerúm, with two hundred Armenian houses, and a ziamet. The next day, as soon as we trod the ground of Erzerúm, we offered up a sacrifice of two hundred and seven camels, and the inhabitants of Erzerúm, with the Kiaya of the Chaúshes, the Defter-Emíní, the Chaúshlar-Emíní, the Timár Defterdárí, and other gentlemen of the Diván at their head, came to meet us with presents.

The Governorship of Erzerúm or Erzenrúm.

It is situated in Azerbeíján and Armenia, and, according to some, erected by Núrshiván; but the truth is that it was by Erzenbaí Ben Softár Ben Kúndúz, of the dynasty of the White Sheep, whose ancestors had come from Mahán, and built the castle of Akhlát, on the borders of the lake Wán; they are all buried at Akhlát, and the ancestors of the Ottomans, Ertoghrúl and Súleimán, derive their lineage from them. Uzún Hassan, having become master of Azerbeiján, built the castle called Hassan, after his name, at Erzerúm. Envious of the conquest of Constantinople by Mohammed II., he began to trespass on the frontiers, and to violate the peace. Mohammed II., in defiance of him, conquered Trebisonde, and defeated him with twenty thousand men in the field of Terjeán. With great difficulty we traversed the rude pass of Iskefser, and in three hours we reached Shákhna, an Armenian village of two hundred houses, where the Armenian girls are wonderfully pretty. From Constantinople to this place we had constantly ascended towards the east, and all the rivers were flowing from that direction towards us; this will show on what high ground Erzerúm is situated. From Shákhna we crossed the Governorship of Erzerúm, which was our allotted province, in different directions to the south, north, east, and west, and shall now describe the stations of these our excursions.

Tekine is a village in the jurisdiction of Iskefser, with one hundred houses, a ziámet. Five hours further on is the village of Chádár, of one hundred houses, in the jurisdiction of Koilí. The castle of Koilí was built by Usún Hassan, from fear of Mohammed II.; it belongs to the sanjak Shuban Kara Hissár, in the pro105vince of Erzerúm; it is situated on a high rock, and is one thousand three hundred paces in circumference. Inside are one hundred houses and magazines, an iron gate opens to the west; it has a commander and seventy men; the suburb outside consists of one hundred houses, a mosque and some shops. The castle saluted us with seventeen guns, and the inhabitants met us with presents; they slaughtered ten sheep as a sacrifice, for which they received ten ducats. Two stations north of this village, on the shore of the Black Sea, is Baihssa-bazárí, which a man on foot may reach in one day. In the reign of Ahmed I. the Cossacks of Oczakov pillaged this place: the environs being gardens and flowery meadows are extremely favourable to bees, and the honey of Koilí-hissár, scented with musk and ambergris, is famous; the inhabitants are a turbulent set of people. We descended a deep precipice, and after seven hours reached the village of Doirán. The river here issues from the mountains of Kerkúk, is joined by several streams from the mountains of Koilí-hissár, and below Chehárshenbe by the river of that name, which passes Amasia. The Kerkúk is an excellent freshwater river. The village of Doirán, situated on its banks, in the valley of Akshár, consists of one hundred houses. We now went towards the east four hours, to Anderes on the frontier of Shuban Kara-hissár, in the valley of Akshár, a village of one hundred houses. Having marched two hours towards the east, we reached the Chiftlik of Tabán Ahmed Agha, where the Páshá was presented with an Arabian horse, and with twenty horses for his suite, three thousand sheep, seven strings of camels, seven of mules, and ten purses; it was a great festival, worthy of the Ottoman court itself. In recompense for this great festival, the giver of it, Ahmed Agha, was imprisoned in the Kiaya’s room, and bought his life by the payment of forty purses and seventy camels, by which opportunity I also got a horse. Two hours further on lies the village of Ezbeder, in the territory of Shuban Kara-hissár, an Armenian village surrounded with gardens. Four hours further we reached the valley of Tilismát Za’aba; the torrent of Tilismát Za’aba issues from the neighbouring mountains, and falls into the river Akhlát; there are one hundred houses here built upon rocky ground; the subjects here are all Armenians. A cave is still shown in which there was formerly a treasure, guarded by two swords, which were continually moving up and down, a mast has many times been put beneath them and instantly cut through; a magician has since got possession of the treasure, but the cave still remains to be seen. There is, besides, another talisman somewhere hereabout, but I have not seen it. Five hours from hence is the village Yakúb, on the frontier of Shuban Kara; three hours further on, that of Korkún Kiassí, and in one hour more, the village of Barú; after which we came through the pass of Tekmán, which is closed by the winter for seven or106 eight months. After having got through it with much difficulty, we reached Kázíoghlíkoí, an Armenian village. Four hours further is the castle of Shírán, on the frontier of Shuban Kara; in four hours the village of Kara Jalar; in five hours the village of Sáríchalar, inhabited by Moslíms and Armenians; in eight hours the village of Sálút, the pass of which we traversed with considerable trouble, and for the space of five hours were crossing the great plain of Kerkúk. At the end of this plain is the village of Genj Mohammed Agha, with two hundred houses and a mosque, on the frontier of the district of Shuban Kara-hissár; five hours to the east is the village of Keremlí, inhabited by Moslíms and Armenians; opposite to it, on a hill, lies the Castle of Dermerí, built in the reign of Sultán Ahmed from fear of the rebels; it is a small castle with a gate to the north, without commander and garrison. Here the Páshá made an excursion (Ilghár), with three hundred horsemen, and we arrived, at the end of twelve hours, at Chághir Kánlí Sultán, who was a great Sheikh in the time of Sultán Mohammed II. His tomb is adorned with several lamps (chirághdán), candelabras (shemidán), censers (búkhúrdán), and vases for sprinkling rose-water (gulábdán). It is a reverential place, where prayers are put up to Heaven. I visited it, and read the Súra Yass there; through the sanctity of this saint the country abounds with cattle. Two Chiftliks are exempted by Imperial diploma from all taxes; the village consists of three hundred houses, with a mosque and a convent, the dervishes of which go bareheaded and barefooted, and wear their hair long. The people carry wooden clubs in their hands, some of them crooked sticks (litúi). They all came to wait on the Páshá, and to exhibit the grants of their foundation. The Páshá asked from whence they dated their immunity, and they invited him to visit their place of devotion (Sema’ákháneh). We followed them to a large place where a great fire was lighted of more than forty waggon-loads of wood, and forty victims sacrificed. They assigned a place for the Páshá at a distance from the fire, and began to dance round it, playing their drums and flutes, and crying “Hú!” and “Allah!” This circular motion being continued for an hour, about an hundred of these dervishes naked, took their children by the hand, and entered the fire, the flames of which towered like the pile of Nimrod, crying “O all constant! O all vivifying!” At the end of half an hour, they came out of the fire, without the least hurt except the singeing of their hair and beards, some of them retiring to their cells, instead of coming before the Páshá, who remained much astonished. They then gave a feast to the Páshá, which was even greater than Ahmed Tabán’s feast. It was surprising that they were enabled to prepare such a feast in so short a time, as the Páshá had arrived suddenly, and by a by-road. The Páshá confirmed their immunities, and gave them a present of one hundred ducats. In sixteen hours more we came to the plain of Terján. The mosque of Sultán Hassan is a praise107worthy monument of Uzún Hassan, but ít stands alone here. Uzún Hassan, who liked the situation, intended to build a town here bearing his name, but Sultán Mohammed II. destroyed all his projects by the famous battle, which was fought on this plain; it was a scene of great slaughter, even now the peasants find bones and hidden treasures when ploughing the field. We crossed this plain hastily, and in eight hours reached the village, where the Kiaya of the Chaúshes had provided a great feast for the Páshá, and presented him with five horses, five purses, and three Georgian slaves. At the end of five hours we reached the village of Púlúr, and in four hours that of Terjánlí Alí Agha, an Armenian village of three hundred houses, a mosque and a bath. Alí Agha gave a grand repast here, accompanied with a present of ten horses, ten purses, ten strings of camels, and five of mules. We went from hence nine hours further, to the village of Mama Khatún, in the district of Erzerúm, consisting of one hundred Mussulman houses; it is a free ziámet.

Pilgrimage of Mama Khatún.

This lady is buried beneath a cupola, at the foot of a rock; she was the daughter of one of the Princes of the Aúk Koyúnlí, and lies buried here with all her children, but without any keeper attached to her mausoleum, she is buried in a marble coffin; near it is a mosque and a bath. Six hours further is the village of Habs, at the western end of the plain of Erzerúm; it consists of one hundred and fifty Armenian houses. All the principal men of Erzerúm came to this place with presents to meet the Páshá’s Diván. We proceeded with a large retinue for the space of five hours, to the hot-bath, which is also situated at the western end of the plain of Erzerúm, and where every year some person or other is drowned. It is a very useful bath, but too warm to be used without a mixture of cold water. Some of the former princes have built a dressing-room here (jámeghán), and a basin (havúz): the climate is pleasant. The Motesellem Mustafa Agha, here presented the Páshá with an Arabian racehorse, caparisoned with jewels, a sable pelisse, a quiver, and a sword set with jewels, a dagger and a girdle, and ten racehorses, mounted by ten Georgian boys, all armed. His three hundred and seventy slaves were clad in showy dresses, like so many waiting youths in Paradise. He gave also to me, poor Evliyá, a sable fur, some cloth, and one hundred piastres, because I had been master to his son for some time. Our arrival at this hot-bath was exactly the seventieth journey we had made since we left Constantinople, and an entrance in grand procession was organized, which outrivalled in brilliancy those of the greatest Vezírs. Indeed, the Páshá was a Commander-in-Chief (Serdár), who by Imperial rescript (Khattí Sheríf) was allowed even to use the Túghra, or cypher of the Sultán. The troops of Erzerúm paraded on both108 sides of the way from this hot bath, which is six hours distance from Erzerúm, up to the gates of the town; with cuirasses and casques, bearing long lances, their horses being adorned with knots of sea-horses’ bristles, and various other trappings. The Páshá was surrounded by eight body-guards (Shátir), who wore golden caps on their heads, carried battle-axes in their hands, had golden girdles, and splendid caftáns, walking like the peacocks of Paradise. On the right and left of the Páshá walked the Matarají-bashí (keeper of the leaden bottle, which contains the water for purification), and the Tufenkjí-bashí, or head of the fuzileers, bearing a water-bottle set with jewels, and muskets of costly workmanship. The Páshá passed between two lines, greeting both sides, and the people returned his salute. Four hundred Ulemás all clad in armour were headed by the Imám, and I, poor Evliya, as Múëzzin. Behind us followed the treasurer and the standard-bearer, with the eightfold Turkish music. The Tátár troops, the Muteferrika, the chamberlains, passed, all clad in armour. As soon as the procession drew near Erzerúm, the fortress began to salute by firing the great guns from the highest tower, called Kessik Kala’á, as a selám aleikum, after which the Janissaries fired the guns of the inner castle, and so continued during the procession. But when the Páshá himself entered the gate of Erzenján, the six hundred and seventy guns, which compose the artillery of the fortress, were all discharged at once, and the skies were rent and the earth trembled. Seven regiments of Janissaries lined the way from the gates of the town to the gates of the palace, ready to salute the Páshá, who, as soon as he had entered the palace, was saluted once more by a general discharge of the artillery on the walls. Many hundred victims were sacrificed, and a splendid repast equal to that of Mádí Kerb followed. After dinner the music played, and a diván was held, wherein, after the decision of many lawsuits, the twenty-seven Aghas of the castle, those of the Janissaries, artillerymen, armourers, &c., were invested with seventy brilliant robes of honour, and Molla Chelebí Efendí, the relation of Emír Bokhara, with a green sable pelisse. I received a caftán in my degree of clerk of the custom-house. The governor then most graciously assigned me a lodging in the palace built by Tekelí Mustafa Páshá, where I lived quietly, sometimes keeping company with the Governor, and at others discharging the functions of clerk of the custom-house. I had full opportunity of acquiring the most perfect knowledge of the state of Erzerúm, as I was allowed to see all the kanúns, registers, and protocols.

Description of the Fortress of Erzerúm.

It was wrested out of the hands of Kara Yússúf, the son of Uzún Hassan, by Sultán Mohammed II. The khass of the Vezír is fixed at one million, two hun109dred and fourteen thousand six hundred aspers; the whole province is divided into twelve sanjaks. The officers are a Defterdár of the treasury, a Kiaya of the Defterdár of the Timárs, a Kiaya and Inspector of the Chaúshes, an Alaï-Beg, and a Cherí-bashí. The sanjaks are as follows:—Kara-hissár, Akií, Pássin, Siper, Hassan, Melázgerd, Tekmán, Kúrúján, Túrtúm, Mujtekerd, Mámreván, and Erzerúm. The khass of the Defterdár of the treasury amounts to one million and fifty-two thousand nine hundred aspers; that of the kiaya of the fiefs to fifty thousand, and that of the Defterdár of the fiefs to twenty thousand two hundred. There are fifty-six ziamets, and two thousand two hundred and nineteen timárs; the feudal militia number five thousand two hundred and seventy-nine swords, and the Jebellís, in time of war, twelve thousand men, besides two thousand men who are furnished by the khass of the Páshá. The soldiers of Erzerúm are stout, brave fellows. The judge is a Molla, with a revenue of five hundred aspers, with three subordinate Naíbs or Vicars. An Agha of the Janissaries, an Agha of the artillerymen, and one of the armourers, who are all in the interior fortress. Abasa Páshá, the famous rebel, one night surprised this fortress, and put the whole garrison of Janissaries to the sword, except the Agha, who was absent that night by accident, and consequently escaped. Abaza remained in rebellious possession of it for ten years, in defiance of seven Vezírs, who marched against him with the power of absolute command, such as Cherkess Mohammed Dishlín Hossein Páshá, Timúr Kázík Khalíl Páshá, &c. but owing to the strength of the fortress, they were unable to reduce the rebel, until Khosrew Páshá assumed the command; he took Abaza prisoner, and carried him with him into the presence of Sultán Murád IV. He obtained a general pardon, and was first made Governor of Bosnia, afterwards of Bude, and finally of Ozakov, which he retained up to the time of the expedition against Eriván. The troops rebelling at that moment, called loudly for Abaza Páshá, which, coming to the ears of the Sultán, he ordered him to be killed, and buried in the tomb of Murád Páshá, near the market of the ink-makers. He escaped, however, and wandered for some time in Arabia and Persia, re-appearing at Erzerúm the same year that we came there. I saw his blood even before my own door, because Silihdár Súleimán Páshá cut his head off on the arrival of our Motessellím, or Páshá’s substitute. Since the rebellion of Abaza, the greatest attention has been paid to this important post by the government; it has been strengthened by an immense artillery, and six companies, so that the whole garrison amounts to two thousand five hundred men, a commander of the castle, Dizdár, and twelve Aghas. In the inner castle are one hundred and eighty cannons, and at the gate of Tabríz, in the centre of the two fortresses, are twelve large cannons, placed there by Murád IV. The fortress is situated at a gun’s shot110 from Mount Egerlí; on the north and north-west extends the plain of Erzerúm, two miles square, a fertile flowery field, covered with villages.

Description of the great river Euphrates.

The great river Euphrates flows through the middle of the plain of Erzerúm. Its source is at the bottom of the pilgrimage of Dúmlibaba, on the east side of Georgia; it flows towards the west, causing in its way many marshes and canals, passes before the village of Kián, the castle of Kemáni, through the Yaila of a thousand lakes, inhabited by the Curds Izúlí, joins the Murád (the name of which it assumes), and passes like a sea in the neighbourhood of Malatia to Samosat, Kala’aí Rúm, Birejík, the bridge Búmbúja, Bálissa, Ja’aber, Rakie, Rahbie, Karkessia, Ania, Hita, Ebyár, Takúk, Helle, and Kúfa; it is joined at Kaverna by the Shatt-ul-arab (Tigris), and thus becomes an immensely large river, which is ascended by Indian ships from Bassra; the whole extent, with all its windings, is four hundred farsangs; it passes four hundred towns and villages. In the plain of Erzerúm its water is very sweet and palatable, well worth being recorded in the Korán by the verse:—“And we gave you to drink of the water of the Euphrates.” Besides the Euphrates no less than seventy-two rivers descend from the mountains of Erzerúm and Diárbekr. Makrisí says, that the Tigris and Euphrates were dug out by Daniel with the assistance of Angels. The Tigris is the Shatt, which rises east of Diárbekr, between Torjíl and Miafarekein, receives an infinite number of springs, and goes to Hossní Kaifa and Mossul. This river unites the upper and lower Zarb, and becomes a tremendous and roaring stream which is called the mad Zarb. It was of the river Euphrates that the prophet is reported to have said:—“O inhabitants of Cufa, your river Euphrates takes up two channels of Paradise.” Imám Ja’afer is reported to have said in praise of this river:—“If the inhabitants of Irák and Rúm were acquainted with all the excellent qualities of the Euphrates, they would build a wall on each side of it. Whoever bathes therein three times, may be certain of being cured of many diseases.” Another tradition on the Euphrates is reported by Abúhoreirí, as follows:—“The last day shall not arrive till the Euphrates flows not from a mountain of gold, on which men are killing each other; ninety-nine shall be killed out of each hundred, and yet every one shall say, ‘perhaps it is I who may be saved.’” The Euphrates and Orontis (A’assí), are the only two rivers which touch the frontier of the Holy Land. The Euphrates freezes in the winter so that during two months many caravans cross it, but it never freezes south of Erzerúm; it is a sweet clear water, and a great comfort to the inhabitants of Erzerúm, though they have the spring, called the Source of Paradise, within their walls.


Of the Form and Size of the Fortress of Erzerúm.

It consists of two castles of a square form, the distance between the two walls is seventy paces; the ditch is eighty paces broad, and twenty deep, but, on the side of the Gurjí and Erzenján gates, the ditch is not so deep: the whole circumference is eighty thousand paces, and it has three gates, that to the west is the gate of Erzenján, where the ditch is crossed by a bridge; the second to the east, and the third to the north, are likewise entered by crossing bridges. The first, which is the Georgian gate (Gúrji), is double, like that of Erzenján; but that of Tabríz, as it is close to the walls of the inner castle, is only a single one. The guns are all pointed towards the quarters of the town Dáragháj and Gumishlí Kunbed. Within the outer castle is an immense tower reaching to the skies, known by the name of Kessik Kulle, on the top of which is a high wooden Koshk; as it is one hundred cubits high, ten guns pointed from thence in all directions, intercept even the flight of birds. The height of the wall of the inner castle is seventy cubits; the other walls are but from forty to fifty cubits high; there are two hundred and ten strong towers, and two thousand and eighty battlements round the castle, and seventeen hundred houses, all covered with earth (terrasses) in the ancient style, so also are all the villages which I saw in the whole government of Erzerúm.

Praise of the Palaces of Erzerúm.

The palace of the Páshá has no less than one hundred and ten rooms of various sizes, for the Diván and Koshks; of the last, the two finest are those of Tayár Páshá, and of Benlí Páshá, with a bath and a fine fountain. On the outside, above the stables, are the rooms for the watchmen; the court-yard is a spacious place where they play the jeríd. It has two gates, one is that of the Diván, opening on the great road, the other is a secret gate, always kept shut. Erzerúm contains seventy quarters of Moslíms, and seven of Infidels. There are no Armenians, Copts, or Jews; if any make their appearance they run the risk of being killed. In the quarter called the Source of Paradise the houses are built of stone; most of them are only one story high, because the air is sharp and the winter severe. It has been known to snow here for ten or eleven months in the year, which is the reason that the greatest part of the houses are built of one story, like a bath, with windows, and a felt door on the top.

Of the Mosques.

There are seventy-seven mihrábs; the oldest is the great mosque inside the gate of Tabríz, with a minareh in the ancient style, built by the Princes of the112 Akche Koyúnlí, two hundred feet square. The mimber and mihráb are also in the ancient style; it is supported by two hundred columns of fir-tree, and the cupola is also of wood; on one side of the mosque the biscuit for the garrison of Eriván is kept. On the east side of this mosque, close to the wall, is an old college with two minarehs; some say that they were built by the Princes of the Akche Koyúnlí, while others ascribe them to Uzún Hassán; in short, it is an old prayer-place, which has been cruelly damaged in the different sieges of Erzerúm, and never been repaired because it was never endowed. Within the gates of Tabríz are two tall minarehs, the shining porcelain of which dazzles the eyes of beholders; tumblers exhibit their skill on ropes extended between these two high minarehs. Sultán Murad IV. converted the ruined mosque into a cannon foundry. God grant it may be repaired! The mosque of Lále Mustafa Páshá, before the gate of the Seraï on the great road, built by the grand Vezír of Sultán Súleimán. Its cupola is built in the style of those of Constantinople, eighty feet square, and covered with lead. Its mihráb, mimber, and mahfíl are very simple. Outside is a stone bench, but the courtyard is narrow. It is the work of the great architect Sinán. Its sheikh is Wání Efendí, one of the most learned divines, and famed commentators, a second Na’amán, an eloquent man, whose renown is spread all over the empire; its Imám is a high-minded priest, who knows the whole Korán by heart, whose reading plunges those who listen into the depths of meditation. He is a most perfect musician, and is called the Imám of the Janissaries; and if the Muëzzin, a second Belál (the Prophet’s Muëzzin) ascends the minareh, and proclaims with David’s voice Mahommed’s shout, “God is great, God is great,” all hearers begin to tremble, every person leaves his business or repast, and hastens to the mosque. All the inhabitants of Erzerúm are devout, pious men. Ja’afer Efendi’s mosque is a pleasing new built mosque, with a high cupola and gate, a courtyard and a spouting fountain; the windows are guarded with iron gratings. In the inner castle is an old mosque much frequented. Outside of the gate of Erzenján is the Páshá’s mosque, covered with lead, and outside of the gate of Tabríz, on the edge of the ditch, is the mosque of Mohammed Páshá, with one minareh, and with a terrace. Besides these great mosques (Jami’í), there are also seventy-seven mesjíds, one hundred and ten schools for boys, convents, and houses for reading the Korán.


On the market-place, is the Source of Paradise, Jennet-bunár; and outside of the gate of Erzenján is the Camel fountain; on the fountain of Mustafa Páshá on the edge of the ditch, outside the gate of Tabríz is this inscription from the Korán113 saying:—“there are flowing fountains in it (Paradise).” There are seventy Se-bílkháneh, or places where water is distributed.

Of the Baths, Kháns, Market-places and Markets.

The most elegant bath is that of Ja’afer Efendí, there are seventy kháns, some of them for Caravans (Caravanseraï); some for merchants (Kháns, par excellence); some for unmarried workmen (barracks); of the latter there are ten, where foreign workmen find accommodation. The Bezestán has eight hundred shops, four gates and a stone cupola. The markets of the saddlers, goldsmiths, button-makers and tailors are very elegant. The mint is near the gate of Erzenján.

Of the Inhabitants, Climate, Products, &c.

The inhabitants are all Turkomans and Armenian kurds, of lively complexion, middle size, stout, strong in youth, and vigorous in old age. From ten to twenty-five years of age they are extremely fine, but after that they quickly become hairy men, good natured and brave. The principal men dress in sable furs, the Ulemás in ferrájís of cloth and caftáns of Bogassin; the workmen wear abbas, and sometimes a caftán of Bogassin. During three months the air is mild and pleasant; the water is sweet and extremely wholesome for the women; whoever drinks of the spring called the Source of Paradise in the summer, understands in its full sense, the verse of the Korán, “Water vivifies all things.” Seeds ripen here in sixty days, and bring forth fruit from eighty to one hundred fold; there are seven sorts of corn, one of which is as white as camel’s teeth. The workmanship of the tailors and goldsmiths is very skilful. They make two kinds of pies here, one of chicken and the other of a sort of vegetable called Cheresh; white and excellent pastry (Chorek), white bread called Koláj, and meat roasted on stoves, &c. Their beverages are Sherbet of Ribbes, and excellent Búza.

The walks are the place of the Jeríd; at the mills in the meadow; the place of Gumishlí Kunbed (the silver vault), and the Convent of Abd-ur-rahman Ghází.

Genealogies of Erzerúm.

Outside of the gates of the fortress on the east, west and north sides, is the suburb, inhabited by more than thirty thousand Rayas; on the south side, from the gate of Tabríz to that of Erzenján a wall has been begun, had it been finished, it would have made Erzerúm an amazingly strong fortress. Between this wall and the castle is the suburb divided into seven quarters. The suburb of the Tabríz gate extends from the quarters of Dáragách, and that of Dúlúkler to Gumishlí Kunbed. The suburb of the Georgians on the north side, is the quarter114 of the rich merchants; here is the custom-house where I was employed as clerk: round it are the houses of Persian, Indian, and Chinese merchants, next to the custom-houses of Constantinople and Smyrna, that of Erzerúm is the most busy. The suburb of Erzenján extends, on the eastern side of the castle-gate, from the Camel fountain to the mill of Alí. This suburb being mostly inhabited by Armenians, there are thirteen churches here. The Infidels wear variegated turbans, and blue coats, and the lower classes wear felt, with coarse shoes called Chárk; their women wrap white sheets round their heads, and the Musselmán women wear pointed caps of gold and silver stuff, velvet trowsers and yellow boots: they are extremely pretty, their teeth as well arranged as their words; with their beautiful hair, dragging a thousand lovers after them as slaves. The men are long-lived, in society may be found many men past seventy years of age, with full use of all their faculties. They generally speak a peculiar dialect, but their divines and poets speak with great eloquence, and their story-tellers delight intelligent people by their tales of Hamza, and by Chinese shades. There are also many Santons and holy men, of whom Allahán-dede was famous for his uxoriousness. Though the air of Erzerúm is cold, yet its vegetables are abundant, its soil being extremely fertile, and blessed with productions of all kind, which makes Erzerúm one of the cheapest places in the world. Though Erzerúm has neither gardens nor vineyards, yet it is famed for roses; some winter apples and pears are the only fruits which are found here. Plane-trees and willows are in abundance in all the walks and in the rose-gardens; on account of their long winter and short summer, the sowing and harvest is over in two months. At the time I was at Erzerúm there happened, in the month of July, when the horses were out at grass, such a storm of lightning, thunder, hail and snow, that all the horses broke away and ran half mad to the neighbouring villages. The length and severity of the winter here is explained by the following tale. They asked a Dervish “from whence he came?” he said, “from the snow of Divine Mercy;” they asked, “what was the name of the place;” “Erzerúm,” said the Dervish, which may be spelled Erezolúm (cruel to man); they continued to ask “whether he had seen any summer there.” The Dervish said, “By God, I remained there eleven months and nine and twenty days, the people said that summer was coming, but I did not see it. It happened, however, that a cat, which ran over the roofs of the houses, became froze there while in the act of running, and remained so for the space of nine months, when the spring arriving, the cat began to thaw, cried ‘Miaú!’ and fell down.” This tale has become a common proverb. It is really a fact, that if a man touches a piece of iron with his wet hand during winter, they freeze together, and cannot be separated without tearing115 off the skin. I have passed forty days in the coldest weather at Assov, and in the desert of Kipchák, but I never felt cold like this; the people are, however, very healthy. The fruits come from Isper, Tortúm, and Erzenján; peaches, apricots, and grapes are sold at the weight of an occa for a para; a waggon-load of melons or water-melons may be had for ten paras. Eatables are found here in great perfection, but there is no wood, the mountains being naked; wood is nevertheless very cheap, as it is brought from mountains at two journey’s distance; a mast of from thirty to forty cubits length is sold for forty aspers. The Páshá’s wood is brought to the town by the camels of the caravans, which arrive at the custom-house. An agha has the inspection of the wood; the poor people burn cow-dung. The Rayas place the stove in the middle of the house, on the sides of which the cattle stand; the house is as warm as a bath, and they cook their bones and offal on the fire.

Description of Mount Egerlí.

This is a high mountain, at half an hour’s distance on the south side of Erzerúm, its name is derived from its form, which is like a saddle (Eger); its top is bifurcated, it abounds in medical herbs, particularly in the Tútia flower, the scent of which perfumes the air. Oculists come here to collect the plant Tútia, and with it cure people who have been diseased for forty years. The odour of aromatic plants and scented flowers fills the atmosphere.

Praise of Balaam, the son of Baúr.

I once played Jeríd at the foot of this mountain, when I fell from the horse, and in falling said to myself, “Where art thou now, saddle-mountain (Egerlítág)?” Having recovered my senses I mounted another horse, and galloping full speed towards the mountain, I ascended it. I saw on the top a large tomb, on which I first said a fátihah, and having measured it by my steps, I found it eighty paces in length, with two columns, which marked the situation of the head and the feet. I was looking on the tomb, when a bad smell arose, very disagreeable both to me and my servants, who held the horses; I looked on the grave, and saw that the earth within it, being black and greasy, was boiling like gruel in a pan. I then returned, and having related my adventure in the Páshá’s company in the evening, Ja’afer Efendi of Erzerúm, a learned and elegant writer, warned me not to visit this place any more, because it was the grave of Balaam, the son of Baúr, who had died an Infidel by the curse of Moses, and whose grave was now boiling, both in winter and summer, by subterraneous fire. At the foot of the same mountain, Abd-ur-rahman Ghází, the standard-bearer of the prophet, lies buried. One day I116 ascended from the south side of the convent about two thousand paces, when I saw on the second top of this bifurcate mountain a tremendous dragon turned into black stone. It measured seven hundred and seventy paces from the head to the tail, the head looks to the field of Erzerúm, the tail to the castle of Meláz Kerd. If snow falls on the mountains, the figure of this black dragon is easily distinguished from the windows of the Páshá’s palace; the circumference of its body is two hundred paces, each of its four feet is as large as ten men put together, and its tail is raised like a minareh. It remained whole until the reign of Selím I. when it was broken by an earthquake, so that its fragments now lay scattered about. The head was then split asunder, and one of the eye-balls rolled down on the south side towards Melázguerd, where it lies on the plain like a cupola; the left eye-ball of the same size, yet remains in the petrified head, and is seen very distinctly with its ears, tongue, nose, and mouth every time it snows, because no snow will remain on this black stone, but melts away, and renders more prominent the black colour of it. In winter the stone becomes hot, and emits vapour; in summer it is cold, and exhales a pleasant odour. The legend reports that this most tremendous dragon was changed into stone by the Prophet’s standard-bearer, when it came to swallow up the inhabitants of Erzerúm as food for its young, who were shut up in a cave of Mount Siján, on the borders of the lake Ván.

Pilgrimages; Tomb of Sheikh Kárzúní.

His name is Ibrahím, his surname Abú Ishak, a native of the town Kárzún, where he was born in the year 352 of the Hejira. In his travels he visited Brússa and Adrianople and returned to Erzerúm, where he settled in a great tower within the gate of Tabríz; his tomb-keeper is a white-bearded woman, whom I saw when I visited the tomb. Shehíd Murteza Páshá, who was shut up seven months in Eriván, is buried at the foot of Abú Ishak Kárzúní, with Abaza Páshá, who was killed by Dishlín Hossein Páshá. Opposite to the Páshá’s palace, in a pointed vault, lies Sultán Kássim, the son of Mahmúd Gazneví, and near him his sister Fírúzeh Khánum. Outside of the gate of Erzenján, above the camel’s fountain, Jánpúland-zadeh, lies Mustafa Páshá, who after the conquest of Eriván was killed by the grand Vezír Mohammed Pásha. He was a protector of my father and myself. Abd-ur-rahman, the standard-bearer of the Prophet, is buried at the foot of Egerlítágh, in a fine convent. Outside of the gate of Tabríz, at the place called Gumishlí Kunbed (the silver vault), because it was once faced with silver, reposes Sultán Mahmúd, the Gasnevide, on whose marble coffin is written only the word Mahmúd. There are besides many other pilgrimages, which I had no opportunity of visiting.


Stations of our military expedition to the Castle of Shúshík.

Letters of complaint arrived from Genj Alí Khán, the Khán of Eriván, stating that the rebellious Beg of the Castle of Shúshík had broken the peace by inroads into the Persian districts of Eriván. The sanjak Begs, Timariots and Zaims were summoned to take the field with half of their contingents, and to assemble at the Silver vault. The Páshá himself fixed his tent there, with seventy banners of Segbán or Seimen and Sárija (irregular troops), and four thousand regulars. The Beglerbegs assembled around him, pitching their tents according to the orders issued. It was an army of seventy-six thousand men. When the Persian Envoy saw this immense army collected, he repented of his complaint against the Beg of Shúshík, because he was afraid that this army might receive orders to lay siege to Eriván. Alaja Atlí Hassan Agha, with a thousand horse, was named Quarter-master (Konákjí-bashí); he took the van with the tails and tens. Sídí Ahmed Páshá was named Chárkají, or leader of the vanguard, and Bákí Páshá, Dúmdár, or leader of the rearguard. The army set out from the Silver vault in such order that the Persian Envoys and Khans remained quite perplexed. After four hours march it reached the place called the Camel’s Neck (Deve-boiní), where the Páshá, commander-in-chief, gave an entertainment to all the Begs and Beglerbegs, after which every one retired to his tent; this is a pleasant meadow, where our horses were refreshed with excellent trefoil, it is also the commencement of the field of Pássin. In winter time snow lies here to the height of a minareh, and many caravans have been lost in it. It was the snow that prevented Tabáni Yassí Mohammed Páshá from passing the Deve-boiní, and as he did not arrive before Eriván soon enough, that fortress was taken from the Osmanlís after seven months siege by the Persians. Three hours further towards the east, we arrived at the village Ja’afer Efendí, where Ja’afer Efendí, its owner, gave a splendid entertainment to the Páshá, with a present of three horses, and three boys. It is a well cultivated Armenian village of three hundred houses. We marched five hours across the plain of Pássin to the strong fortress of Rúm Hassan, renovated by Uzún Hassan, the Sultán of Azerbeiján; it is a lofty castle which was taken by Sultán Súleimán out of the hands of the children of Kara Yússúf, and is now the seat of the sanjak Beg of Pássin, in the province of Erzerúm. The khass amounts, according to the canon of Sultán Súleimán, to twelve thousand four hundred aspers; there are six Zaims, and three hundred and twenty-five Timariots. An Alaï Beg, Cherí-bashí, and Yuz-bashí (Colonel, Captain, and Lieutenant), are the officers of the feudal militia. In the time of war, the number of the troops amounts to fifteen hundred, the half of which now joined the Páshá’s army. The castle saluted the Páshá, as soon as his tent was fixed, with a great noise of guns118 and muskets. The Páshá sent an order to the commander to place the whole garrison under arms on the walls, as he wished to enter in state. When we entered it shouts of Allah rent the skies, and the reports of the guns shook them, so that the Persian Envoy was quite perplexed, putting the finger of astonishment to his lips. In the inside of the castle, the space between the outer and inner gate was set round with armour and different kinds of weapons, and beginning from the hot-bath gate, both sides of the road were lined, two deep, by armed men, who gave the salute. The prayer of Friday was performed in the mosque, and when we left it all the walls were covered with flags and banners of different colours. The Páshá entered the inner castle, where the guns of Sultán Súleimán, of forty four spans length, were fired, and the balls were thrown as far as the Bridge of the Shepherds, Shobán Jissrí. Here the company sat down to a splendid dinner, after which the Beg and Dizdár were invested with robes of honour. The Páshá returned to his tent, where he received the visit of the judge (appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers), the Serdár of the Janissaries, the Kiaya-yerí of the Sipáhís, of the Muftí, the Nakib-ul-ishráf, and other principal men (Ayán.)

Size and Form of the Fortress Hassan.

It is situated on the northern side of the field of Pássin, on an isolated high cliff, so high, that to look down from the side of the hot-bath makes the head giddy. Inside there is nobody but the Imám, the Múezzin, and the Dizdár, or commander. Horses and asses cannot get up to this place. There is a small Koshk built for Murad IV. by our protector Melek Ahmed Páshá, who, at the time of the expedition to Eriván, was the imperial sword-bearer, having succeeded the former sword-bearer, who was removed from his office because the coverlet of the Sultán’s bed was set fire to by a spark one night. The circumference of the castle is one thousand paces, without a ditch; an iron gate opens to the west. On the north side, below the upper or innermost castle, is another castle with two walls, whose circumference is six thousand paces. It is an oblong square, of a shining whiteness. The walls are but eighteen yards high, but they are double, and on three sides the ditch is very deep, so that there is no fear of an enemy; the ground being marshy, no trenches can be opened. Its three gates are: on the west side, the gate of Erzerúm, a great gate with iron wings; the gate of the hot-bath, and a secret gate, shut to the east side; there is a garrison of seven hundred men, with a well-filled arsenal, and sixty large and small guns. Towards the south opens the plain of Pássin, which is seven journies long. The houses, five hundred and ninety in number, are all stone-built winter houses: the town consists of nine quarters, with as many mosques. The mosque of Súleimán119 is a low terraced mosque, with one minareh in the ancient style; there is no Bezestán or Medresse, but six schools for boys, a khán, and a bath. The inhabitants are a brave set of people, kind to foreigners. There are some men of wit and learning. The great poet Nefií Efendí was born here; no gardens exist round the castle, because it is too cold, nevertheless, vegetables are found here in abundance. Bread and honey are rather to be suspected, for I, myself, poor Evliyá, having eaten some honey in the commander’s house, became in half an hour so giddy that I thought of throwing myself down from the castle.

Description of the Hot-baths.

On the south side of the lower town (Robáth), on the Kiblah side, are several hot-baths; seven of them are covered with small cupolas, and in eight other places the water is boiling in the open air, each place being used for different animals, such as horses, mules, camels, sheep, and others. The water of these hot-baths is carried to distant places on camels, and those who are afflicted with leprosy are cured if they drink of it.

Three hours to the east from hence, we came to the village of Sefer Agha, consisting of one hundred Armenian houses, in the field of Pássin. Three hours further on, is the great Bridge of the Shepherds (Chobán Koprissí). It is called so because it was built by Melek Sultán, of the dynasty of the shepherds (Chobán). It is vaulted like a rainbow over the river Aras, which comes from the great Gok-yaila, and flows to the east; passes under Melázjerd, before the village of Artof, the castle of Khinis, beneath the bridge of Altún Khalkalí, supplies water to many hundred villages below the Bridge of the Shepherds, joins the Zengi river below Eriván, which falls into the Kúr (Cyrus), and with it disembogues into the Caspian Sea. The river Aras (Aranes) is an impetuous river, which, at the melting of the snow, rages like the sea. The army passed during three days over the bridge, with the Páshá himself in grand state. After seven hours we came to the village of Great Artof, in the sanjak of Khinis, a village of one hundred Armenian houses. Eight hours further to the east, is the village of Kúzúlí Sultán Baba, belonging to Khinis. The castle, which lies six hours further on, was built by Shah Shapúr, the uncle of Uzún Hassan, the Prince of Azerbeiján. It was conquered by Sultán Súleimán, and is now the seat of a sanjak Beg belonging to Erzerúm. The khass is forty-eight thousand four hundred aspers, two ziamets, and four hundred and twenty-five timárs, with the Jebellís, two thousand men, besides one thousand men of the Páshá’s troops, all Kurds of the tribe Mahmudí. The judge is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers; there is no Serdár, Kiaya-yerí, Muftí, or Nakíb, but there is a Disdár.


Size and Form of the Castle of Khinis.

It is three journies distance (if you walk fast) from Erzerúm, and is a square, strong built castle, in the centre of a piece of high table land, surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains. The height of the castle wall is ten cubits, it is six thousand paces in circumference, with a gate to the north. In the eastern quarter of the castle is a clear fountain. Below the castle, at the foot of the wall, is an iron grating, which intercepts the stream, and distributes its water into the gardens. The gate of the castle is near this spring; there are within the castle twelve hundred Kurdish houses, and seven mosques, a khán, a bath, and some small streets; the houses are all covered with earth, and no bricks are to be seen. The inhabitants are all Mahmúdí Kurds, rich in sheep and goats; every year they repair with their cattle to the mountains of Boyúk-gol-yaila. Here the Beg of Melázjerd, in his quality of sanjak Beg of Erzerúm, came with three thousand well-armed Mahmúdí Kurds. He was invested with a robe of honour, and presented with a Chelenk, and took the van of the army. Ghazí Sídí Ahmed Páshá, commanding an army of fifty-three thousand men, with twelve guns and two culverins, directed his march from Khinis to Shúshík, and the Páshá, our master, remained with twelve hundred men on the field of Khinis. We now marched to the east, through precipices, for six hours, till we came to Khássík, a Kurdish village of two hundred houses, and I, poor Evliyá, advanced with two hundred horse to the castle of Zia-ud-dín, nine hours further; it is a strong castle in the territory of Azerbeiján, built by the Princes of that name. It is the frontier of the sanjak of Khinis; its keys were surrendered to the Ottomans after the conquest of Ván, and the inhabitants were exempted from all duties. There is no Serdár and Kiaya-yerí; there is a mosque and six hundred houses, with terraces and lower stories only, a khán, a bath, and from forty to fifty shops. The inhabitants are brave and honest.

Description of the Hot-bath.

Between the river Aras, the lake of Ván, and the castle of Arjesh, is a famous hot-bath, in the neighbourhood of the castle Zia-ud-dín. It is a curious fact that the springs rise in five or six different places; at some of them the water is as cold as ice, in others it boils like gruel. Here is a spring so cold that the hand cannot bear it, and close to it one in which eggs and sheep’s feet are cooked. Only one of these hot springs is covered with a cupola, the rest are exposed to the open air; every one is large enough to drive a mill. We now turned to the west, along the mountains of Súnjáb-Ainí, and arrived after nine hours at the castle of Atík, built like the former, by Zia-ud-dín, the Prince of Azerbeiján; it is a square castle on a rock.


Description of the Castle of Shúshek or Shúshík.

It was built by Zia-ud-dín, the son of Sultán Hassan, and is a square castle, on the top of a high rock. The camp was fixed at the distance of a gunshot from the castle, and the siege began immediately. As soon as the Mussulman victors opened the trenches, all the guns were fired from the castle, and seventy men fell to the ground as martyrs. The Commander, Sídí Ahmed Páshá, exhorting the Begs, Beglerbegs, and other officers, with sweet words and presents and himself making all possible exertions, brought four cannons on to the heights opposite the eastern side of the castle, which being fired, killed Chendán Beg, the nephew of the Beg of the castle. At the same moment a great lamentation arose in the castle, and the Ottoman victors began to ascend the breaches by ladders; in short, the siege lasted twenty-four hours, and the next day the flags of truce were planted on the battlements, and all the Kurds were crying Amán! Amán! O chosen family of Osmán! The commander, Sídí Ahmed Páshá, with his first Colonel, went to the gates of the castle, from which came out seven Kurdish Begs as hostages; they said, “On this night Mustafa Beg, our Beg, deserted the castle and fled to the Persians.” Sídí Ahmed Páshá gave no credit to this report, and told them to find their Beg, lest they might have their hands cut like sheeps’ feet; he fettered them, put seven hundred men into the castle, confiscated all the goods found in the palace of the Beg, disarmed the Kurds, collected three thousand muskets and six thousand swords and other arms, and sent the merry news to my Lord, Mohammed Páshá. The same day the Mohammedan shout (Allah) was proclaimed in the castle; two thousand muskets and many guns were fired as a salute; the whole district of Shúshík, up to the Persian frontier, was ravaged and pillaged, and the Moslím victors enriched with the booty of some hundred thousand sheep, oxen and mules. Men were sent into the interior of the country in search of the Beg, but only found a spy, whose nose and ears were in the first place slit, but at the moment the executioner was about to cut off his head, he implored the Páshá’s mercy, saying that he had something of importance to communicate to him. He said that the Beg of Shúshík had fallen into the hands of the Persian Khán of Magú, and was imprisoned there. Bákí Páshá, Katgáj Páshá, and Dilawer Páshá, with the Beg of Melázjerd, Mohammed Beg, with three thousand men, were ordered to go in search of the Beg of Shúshík at the castle of Magú. I, poor Evliyá, was also in the expedition. We marched across the Minváldereh amidst the mountains, and at the end of eight hours, reached the tomb of Tahmúrass Khán, a Persian, who was killed in the war of Cighálezadeh, and buried at this spot; here are two hundred Armenian houses, which pay tribute to the Beg of Shúshík, and to the Persians. We advanced for seven hours through a woody122 country, and for two more through flowery fields, and arrived at the castle of Magú, built by Núshirván. The Kurds submitted to Súleimán, who made a present of this castle to the Beg of the Mahmúdí tribe. The Persians took it from them, and it is now subordinate to the governor of Melázjerd. In the time of the grand Vezír of Sultan Murad IV. Kara Mustafa Páshá, after the conquest of Baghdád, went to Derne and Derteng, in order to settle the boundary; my lord, Melek Ahmed Páshá, my gracious protector, was then Governor of Diarbekr, and named on this commission for settling the frontiers and renewing the peace. The Ottomans had laid waste the castle of Zálim, in the province of Shehrzol, and the Persians that of Kotúr, in the province of Ván. The Ottomans also took possession of Magú, and transferred the Beg and the garrison to Melázjerd. Under the pretext of the rebellion of the Beg of Shúshík, the Persians laid hold of Magú, which is a fortress, like the castles of Ván, Márdín, Shuban Kara, Afiún Kara Hissár, A’adil Jiwás, Tokát, and Amasia.

Size and Form of Magú.

It is situated on a high and steep rock, the base of which is thin and narrow, and towers into the skies, being inaccessible on all sides. There is but one gate to which you ascend by a small staircase cut in the rock like a minareh. Seven hundred houses afford lodgings to two thousand musketeers of Mazenderán, commanded by a Sultán (Beg) subordinate to the Khán (Páshá, governor) of Eriván. The drawbridge which leads over the river, to the Castle, is raised every night, and it thus becomes entirely isolated; the water is raised by ropes of one hundred fathoms length. The Khán descended with one thousand of his serving men (Dízchoken Túlúnkí), and gave a grand entertainment to Bákí Páshá, who, after dinner, requested that the Beg of Shúshík might be given up to him: this was done accordingly, and he was carried to Sídí Ahmed Páshá, who came on the seventh day to Khinis, and delivered him to Mohammed Páshá the governor of Erzerúm, who spared his life, but put him into prison. Forty thousand sheep, forty horses, seventeen strings of mules, twenty Georgian slaves, and fifty purses were taken from him, he was afterwards released, but his castle was given to Mohammed the Beg of Melázjerd, who furnished twenty purses, twenty strings of mules, a great number of furs and skins of lynxes and leopards; the Moslím victors returned in safety with their booty to Erzerúm. On the same day after seven hours, we reached the village of Alajalar; it is situated on the border of Aras, under the command of the castle of Bayazíd, and consists of three hundred Armenian houses. Here our gracious Lord gave a grand entertainment to the Persian Envoys of the Kháns of Eriván, Nakhshiván and Tabríz, and gave each of them123 letters of amity, with a couple of Arabian horses, beads of coral, bow and arrows, and Genoese and Venetian cloth. He told them in his speech, that in order to satisfy the Khán of Eriván he had reduced the Beg of Shúshík, but that he hoped now that the Persians on their side would fulfil with equal faithfulness the conditions of the peace, and therefore evacuate the castle of Shúshík, and give it back to the Ottomans, if not, that he as Commander-in-Chief would ravage the districts of Eriván and Nakhshiván. The three envoys kissed the ground and were invested with Persian sable pelisses. The Kelárjí Velí Agha was sent with the Envoy to Eriván; Alaja Atlí Hassan with the second to Nakhshiván, and I poor Evliyá in quality of Clerk of the Custom-house was named to go with letters and presents in the third Envoy’s company to Tabríz, to arrange the commercial affairs. I took two horses richly caparisoned to the Khán, handkerchiefs, beads of pearl, and a magnificent quiver. I received myself, on setting out on my journey, a purse of money, and a robe of honour, and was accompanied by ten servants, and ten men of all arms, altogether forty-five men. I took leave of the Páshá, and set out trusting in the Lord for Nakhshiván and Eriván.

Description of our journey along the Aras to Persia.

On the first day, we travelled for the space of eight hours along the Aras, towards the east, and arrived at the village Yailajak, partly Armenian and partly Moslím, subordinate to the Castle of Anek. Further eastward we came to Barúd Kháneh belonging to the Castle Shúshík, consisting of three hundred houses; saltpetre is produced here. Sixteen hours further is the station of Kendúsh Kia, on the banks of a torrent called Okhdere; we pitched our tents here in a flowery meadow amidst beds of tulips. Twelve hours further on is the station of Chághla-ghúrna, the inhabitants are Kurds. We saw the castle of Shúshík, on our left on high rocks, and were saluted by it with seven guns. The new Beg also sent us a quantity of provisions. Here we parted company with Kássim Khán, the Envoy of Eriván, who went to the left, while I poor Evliyá took the road on the right to Nakhshiván. After having travelled thirteen hours through a mountainous tract, we came to Karish, the first town in Persia. It was built by Shárokh, the son of Timúr, and then came into the power of Uzún Hassan the Prince of Azerbeiján. Its castle is situated on a high peak, is square and built of stone, an elegant yet strong fortress, garrisoned by one thousand Dizchoken Túlúnkí. They saluted us contrary to our wishes, by firing eighteen guns, the report of which was re-echoed among the neighbouring hills. We encamped at the foot of the castle, and visited the town at our leisure. It was formerly a large town, but is now in ruins, in consequence of the pillage it suffered at the time of the expedition to124 Eriván by Sultán Murad IV. when the troops of Erzerúm, Achika and Karrs revolted, and plundered this town of Karish. There are seven mosques with minarehs, three baths, and gardens and vineyards in abundance. The town is situated on the banks of the river Karish, which issues from Mount Súkún, and flows to the Aras. The Agha of the Castle invited me with the envoy to a feast, and our horses with difficulty ascended to the castle in half an hour. The Agha of the garrison dressed in an odd way, and giving us welcome, invited us to his house, from which a beautiful view may be enjoyed. He treated us to eleven sorts of pilaw and a great number of other good dishes; he presented me, the envoy, and Alaja Atlí Hassan, with leopard skins, and sent after us when we had returned to our tents, a present of fifty sheep, one thousand loaves of white bread, and from seven to eight mule-loads of delicious fruits, with several sorts of sherbet. We kept the great feast (Bairám) here, remained a couple of days, and were then entertained with a sumptuous dinner in a garden. Returning from the garden we took a view of the outside of the mosque of Evhad Allah, it is an incomparable mosque with a well-proportioned minareh; near it is the bath of Táj-ud-dín Munshí, and seven Kháns. The beautiful women of the place have such fine and brilliant eyes, that one glance from them delights the heart more than a thousand from others. The next morning three hundred Persian horsemen joined us, and accompanied us on our way, which led through a mountainous tract, thirteen hours towards the east, to the station of the village of Kend Massír; Kend is the Persian word signifying the same as the Turkish Kassaba (small town). It is situated on the border of Mount Massír, and consists of one thousand houses with earthen roofs, surrounded with gardens, seven mosques, three baths, and three hundred shops. It is the seat of a Kelenter (provost) subordinate to Eriván. We advanced fourteen hours to Kend Zúh Khán, on the frontier of Nakhshiván belonging to its khass, it is a flourishing small town. Here we took two Persian boys, who delighted us with their songs. We now proceeded for seven hours through a wide valley, where we saw immense trees, to Uch Kilisse. On the top of a mountain are three great convents, in each of which lodge a couple of hundred priests and monks. Fine youths serve the strangers who divert themselves here. One of these three convents was built by Núrshirván, the second by the Greek Emperor, the third by an Armenian lady, which is now inhabited by more than five hundred nuns, who eat nothing but dry roots; but they serve milk, dates and sweetmeats to stranger’s, and take care of their goods and horses. These three Armenian convents are celebrated amongst all Christians, and are therefore well endowed. In each of them are from five to ten guest-masters, and from forty to fifty cooks. The Abbot of these convents gave to me and the envoys, a grand entertainment, and presents after dinner.


Curiosities of Uch Kilisse.

At the grand convent built by Núrshirván, every year forty or fifty thousand Infidels assemble from all countries of Christianity, to witness the solemnity of an old carpet being spread on the top of the mountain. They collect all useful and medical herbs growing on these mountains, and throw them into a boiling kettle which stands upon this carpet; these herbs remain boiling more than an hour in the kettle on the carpet, which receives no harm, to the great astonishment of many thousand spectators. The herbs are then distributed amongst the people, some of whom carry them to their own countries, others eat them on the spot. I talked with the monks about this, who assured me that the carpet was the same on which Jesus fell when issuing from Mary’s womb; when shut up in a cave with his twelve disciples for fear of the Israelites, they cooked their herbs on this carpet, which to witness the miraculous power of Jesus, restored a dead man to life. It is the same carpet on which Jesus gave a dinner to the Israelites. The carpet then passed into the hands of Núrshirván, who when building the Convent gave it to it as an endowment. When Sultán Súleimán went to the siege of Eriván he performed a double prayer on this carpet. It is neither cotton nor silk, but of variegated colours and very heavy. I, poor Evliyá, am of opinion that it is of asbestos, a stone which is found in the island of Cyprus, and worked into linen and paper, handkerchiefs, shirts, &c., which are brought as presents to the great men of Constantinople. Sultán Murád said to his sister Kia Sultán (Kia signifies rock) the Lady of my gracious Lord, Melek Ahmed Páshá. “Lady Rockby! as your name is rocky, I’ll give you a shirt of stone,” and really gave her a shirt, which, when dirty, was cleansed by throwing it into the fire. Great men have abundance of asbestos linen; Captain Hassám-zadeh gave me such a handkerchief, which having become dirty, in the presence of Melek Páshá, I threw into the fire, when it became as pure as a white rose. God knows whether this carpet is not also made of this Cyprian stone. We left Uch Kilisse and passed towards the east through cultivated fields and populous villages, so that we did not see a cubit of ground which was not productive or cultivated, and arrived after eight hours march at a well cultivated village on the border of Mount Sokún, like a small town. We counted no less than eleven minarehs, but as I was indisposed I did not examine it well.

Pilgrimage to Mohammed Sháh’s Tomb.

It is a great Convent of Begtáshís; more than three hundred came with drums beating and banners flying to give us welcome: a crowd of poor fellows all in raptures of divine love, by the prayers of whom I was restored to health. Next126 day we crossed a plain for thirteen hours, and halted three times on it. At the southern end of this field we pitched our tents on the bank of the great river Zengí, where the people of all the Kents of the neighbourhood, flocking together, brought us abundance of provisions as presents, so that our servants feasted as if they were as many Ma’adí Karbs, and our horses feasted on trefoil and other luxuriant herbs, so that their bellies swelled like wine-skins. The river Zengí issues on the south from the mountains of Khárán, flows to the North, supplying water to many thousand Kents, and then joins the Aras, which falling into the Kúr (Cyrus) runs into the Caspian sea. We continued our journey hunting hares, and came at the end of ten hours to the Kent Sídreghí, a Wakf of Imám Riza in the territory of Nakhshiván. It is a flourishing Kent of about one thousand houses surrounded with gardens. The inhabitants are all Shi’ís. The hot-spring of Sídreghí is outside of the town close to the vineyards; this hot-spring is covered with a large cupola, and in the large basin the Persian youths swim like silver fishes; they amuse themselves by disporting in the water, and singing with melodious voices. Fourteen hours further to the east, we came to Zavieí Ahmed Beg, consisting of five hundred houses, in the territory of Nakhshiván. Here are three mosques, one of which was built by Zál Páshá-zadeh Ahmed, when governor of Nakhshiván, in the style of the mosques at Constantinople. This is the reason why the Persians called this Kent (borough) the cell (zavie) of Ahmed Páshá; the whole borough is appropriated to the endowment of this mosque. We passed during sixteen hours through many cultivated Kents (boroughs) until we reached the large town Kara-bághlar, first built by Menúchehr, it is the seat of a Sultán (Beg) in the territory of Nakhshiván, it was wrested from the Ottomans by the Persians in the time of Mohammed III. and laid waste by the army of Sultán Murád IV., so that now ruins are only to be seen. Timúr passed a winter in perfect quietness at Karabághlar; Suleimán Khán and other commanders-in-chief were stationed here at different times for five or six months in the greatest affluence. This place is now recovering from the havoc made by Sultán Murad IV., but in comparison with its former state, it is not as an atom in the sun, nor a drop in the ocean. Our servants counted forty minarehs, and according to the report of our Mihmándár it consisted of ten thousand houses with gardens and vineyards, and seventy mosques (forty of which have minarehs), a great number of Kháns, baths and markets. The mildness of the air contributes to the beauty of the inhabitants; the variety of fruits which abound here, is no where else to be met with. Taking a walk with the Envoy in a garden, the gardener brought us twenty-six different kinds of pears, the best are the Meleje, Abbássí, Ordúbaí, which when eaten, inundates the mouth and127 hands with rich juice, like jelly or sirup; there are also ruby-coloured pomegranates. In the cleanly cookshops you find pilaw of Eriván, with excellent herísse (fricassee). The cooks are extremely clean because they are all Moslíms, and in the whole of Persia eatables are never sold by Armenians or Greeks; indeed there are no Greeks at all in Persia, except a few travelling merchants, but there are a great many Shi’ítes and Jews being the sect of the Teberraites and Karaites. There are also Mulhads (impious); Zindíks, (atheists); Ja’aferites, Jeberites, Kadrites, Húrúfites, Zimínites, and other such heretics. After having taken a good view of the gardens at Karabágh we departed, and in seven hours reached the fortress of Nakhshiván, which by some is spelt Nakhjíván, (the cosmetic water of all the towns of Irán;) it is the seat of a Khán (answering to the Turkish Páshá) on the frontier of Azerbeiján and Avján. Its officers are an Itimád-ud-devlet (minister); Kelenter, (provost, in Turkish Súbashí); a Múnshí, (secretary, otherwise Kiatib); a Dárogha, an Agha of the Dízchoken (the troops) a judge and a muftí. It was originally built by Sháh Efrasiáb, and the cupolas are shewn where his ancestors are said to be buried; in their times it was extremely populous and cultivated: it was then pillaged by the Moghols, who levelled the castle with the dust; Sháh Ismaíl rebuilt it, and in the reign of Mohammed III. it was taken possession of by Zúltakár Khán, and again conquered in the time of Sultán Murad IV. by Tabán Yassí Mohammed Páshá. Such is the state of the world where nothing remains unchanged, but every thing perishes except His (God’s) face. After Sultán Murad’s conquest it consisted of twelve thousand houses with terraces, seventy mosques, forty mesjíds, twenty kháns, seven baths, and one thousand shops. The air is mild, but as it has few gardens, it has also but few fruits, one of its best products, is cotton of seven colours, black, yellow, ruby-coloured and of the purest white. The corn and wheat of Nakshiván is praised every where. Above all its painted linen and its Chít (chintz) deserve to be recommended. Its barley is so rich, that if a horse eats four grains of it, it is satiated; its gardens are repositories of melons and water-melons. The youth are all fair and white on account of its excellent air, they wear the Persian turban, Táj, and robes of painted cotton and Chít (chintz) breeches of different colours, and green, red and orange-coloured papúshes. The women wear pointed caps on which they wrap white muslin, and boots of various colours. The fashionable young men wear pelisses of Isfahán, and walk with great pomp and dignity, but they are wholly attached to women. The people pretend to be of the orthodox sect of Sháfií although they are Persians, but this is a foul lie, they are Ja’aferites, who, however, keep the regular prayer hours five times a day, but never in company. They have some very fine mosques, every one of which may128 be compared to Eden, they are lined with painted pottery, and at some, the cupolas are covered in the same manner, there are thirty-three minarehs in the style of those of Constantinople; that of Ahmed Páshá exactly resembles that of Rostán Páshá at Constantinople. The bath of Jenání is very pleasant, the walls are faced with porcelain, and the floor is paved; the waiters are black-eyed youths from Khoten, whose crystal white bodies are set off by the dark blue of their aprons. Near the house where we lodged, as guests, is the bath of Zál Páshá, which is also a soul-delighting bath, owing to its fine water and excellent attendance; the walls are faced with porcelain, and the floor paved with jasper, marble, and granite of various hues. In the large basin ten feet square, which is underneath the cupola, the young people swim like angels of the sea: the bath-keeper every day pours into the basin, a basket of rose-leaves, which attaching themselves to the bodies of the bathers forms a kind of veil which is very becoming; thus they sport and play like peacocks and doves, their nakedness being covered by rose-leaves; in short this bath is so delightful that such poets as Hassán and Selmán could not sufficiently praise it, how then could it be possible for me, poor Evliyá, to succeed.

Rich merchants are established in the market, who trade by land and sea, each of whom is as rich as Karún; the inhabitants are all given to pleasure, and pass part of every day in each other’s gardens. The Khán of Nakhshiván, Rísa-ud-din, after having met us, carried us directly to one of his gardens, where he read our letters to the principal men of Nakhshiván, and gave us an entertainment, attended by so many singers and musicians, that it was equal to the feast of Hossein Bikara. The Khán, a person of great repute, had been the treasurer of Sultán Sifí, who had delivered the castle of Baghdád to Sultán Murad; he was a man of great judgment, of Georgian extraction, and his name was Devlet Murád Khán. After dinner he gave to Alaja Atlí Hassan, who came as envoy from the Páshá, and to me, brilliant robes of honour, ten tománs of Abbássí, and a horse, investing his own envoy also with a caftán. He has from forty to fifty delightful companions excelling in various arts. The inhabitants of this town generally speak the dialect Dihkáni, or of peasants, but they have poets who speak the Pehleví and Moghol languages with elegance. The languages that are spoken here, are the Dihkání or rough Persian; the Derí, or court language; the Farsí, or pure but less elegant Persian; the Ghází and the Pehleví, two ancient dialects.

In the commentary of Dilemí, it is reported that the Prophet asked Michael “whether God ever spoke any thing in Persian;” and Michael replied,129 “yes, that there were some passages in the books which Abraham received from Heaven:” and the Prophet answered, “whoever ridicules the Ghází dialect is an Infidel”.

The Turkomans, Gokdúlák and Moghols, who are settled in the different districts, again speak other dialects. All these districts are defended by strong castles, some of which I passed on hunting parties, without having leisure to examine them properly. The names of these castles are:—Alánjak Ván, built by Molla Kotb-ud-dín; Serán, Sersú, and Semaraván, built by Merván Ibn-al-himár. The names of Persian towns almost all terminate as follows:—in Tartary the castles are named, Cherkers Kermán, Kiresh Kermán, Sháhin Kermán, Irbát Kermán, In Kermán, Ghází Kermán, Uzí Kermán, and Ak Kermán. The names of Polish fortresses are Kamanija (Kaminiuk), and Alúnjissa. The names of fortresses in Transylvania terminate in ár, as Sakmár, Sakswár, Oivár, &c. The German fortresses are Iran, Comoin, Tata, Papa, Santmarton, Posonium, Bedj (Vienna), the latter is the residence of the German Emperor. Amongst the names of Ottoman towns, those of the Holy land are the most sounding. The whole Ottoman Empire consists of seventy seats of Begler-Begs, three hundred and sixty sanjak Begs, and thirteen hundred and eighty strong castles. May they all remain in the power of the Ottoman family until the end of the World. Amen! The names of Persian castles will be given in the course of our travels.


From Nakhshiván we proceeded for eight hours towards the Kiblah, and arrived at the place Kessik Kunbed, containing one thousand houses with gardens, three mosques, a Khán and Hamám.

Pilgrimage of Riza, the Son of Hossein Bikara.

The inhabitants of the kent told us, that it was the tomb of the son of Hossein Bikara, but on the marble coffin was written Murád Ibn Beháder Shefád Ibn Hossein Bákara. It is a high cupola, and the tomb-keeper is one of the descendants of Hossein Bikara. We continued our journey from hence seven hours along the Arash, which rises in the mountains of the Curds Bínpánshí, in the province of Ván, flows to the North and joins the river Zenghí. It may be crossed on horseback. We now advanced for some time amongst gardens, and arrived at Karabágh, a town of Azerbeiján, which was built by one of the princes of this country, and ruined by Koja Ferhád Páshá one of the Vezírs of Sultán Mohammed the conqueror of Erla. The traces of havock are still to be seen.


When Sultán Murad IV., on his expedition to the conquest of Eriván, came to this country, he again pillaged the town, which is just now rising from its ruins. It is the seat of a Sultán, who commands one thousand men. Its officers are a Kelenter, Darogha, Múnshí, Bínbáshí, and Dizchoken-agassí. The town is situated on a beautiful wide plain, and consists of three thousand houses, seven mosques, seven baths, three kháns, and six hundred shops. The youth of both sexes are pretty; the products good and plentiful; the air salubrious and the water excellent; it is adorned and surrounded with gardens. Among the fruits deserve to be mentioned twelve different sorts of ruby-coloured grapes, and eighteen sorts of cherries; some of its quinces are of the size of a man’s head. Its waters are carried in some places through subterraneous conduits, and are most refreshing in summer time. The cupolas of the mosques are built in the old style of architecture, that is to say, pointed, and are covered with china of different colours; eleven minarehs are conspicuous, but there are altogether seventy mihrábs. The inhabitants have been exempted from the payment of all gifts and duties, on condition that they would rebuild the town; they only contribute annually to the Sháh of Irán an hundred camel-loads of dried fruits. In short, there are three towns in Azerbeiján called Karabágh, each of which is a garden resembling Paradise. We went from hence turning towards the Kiblah, and arrived at the place where the river Irs joins that of Shán. We crossed it amidst a thousand difficulties; it collects its waters from the mountains of Punyánshí (Bínpánshí?) Bíredos, and Bághassí. Three stations below the plain of Nakhshiván the Irs runs into the Zenghí, the Zenghí into the Aras, the Aras into the Kúr, the Kúr into the Terek, (?) and the Terek into the Caspian Sea. After having crossed the river we came in six hours to Kent Kerken, which is situated in the province of Tabríz on the frontier of Merend, consisting of three hundred houses, a mosque, a khán, and a bath; but the inhabitants are extremely uncivil Persians; they are all cotton weavers, of which their plain produces a large quantity; bogassins of various colours are manufactured here.

After a march of nine hours towards the Kiblah, we arrived at the kent of Zeneves, one thousand well-built houses, ten mosques, a khán, and bath. Ten hours further on, towards the Kiblah, is the town of Tessúí; it is situated on the frontier of Merend and the bank of the Irs, and has three thousand houses with terraces, seven mosques, three baths, and six kháns. Its Sultán commands one thousand armed men; there is a Kelenter and Darogha, a Múnshí and Kádhí. It was also destroyed by Murad IV., and is now recovering from its ruins; it is twelve farsangs distant from the town of Merend; the fruits of Tessúí are celebrated. The inhabitants are Shiítes, who live by gardening. We now passed to131 the south, drinking fresh water from wells, because the greatest part of the water is here subterraneous, and at the end of twelve farsangs we reached the town of Merend, the residence of the Khán of Elvend, and the seat of a Sultán commanding one thousand men. Its authorities are a Kelenter, Darogha, Munshí, and Dizchoken Aghá. The interval of fourteen farsangs between here and Tabríz is all well cultivated ground. Merend lies to the east of Tabríz. It was formerly a hunting place of Sháhrokh, the son of Timúr, and was in a flourishing state, but Sultán Murad IV. laid it waste; there are now three thousand houses, seven mosques, three kháns, five baths and six hundred shops, but no Bezestán, no colleges nor abecedarian schools; but praise must be given to its seventy fine walks and gardens, each of which outrivals those of Eden. Its youth of both sexes are pretty and eloquent. The inhabitants are for the most part military men, all the sect of the Shiítes; on the Kiblah side of the town is the tomb of Hossein Teftazání, one of the ancestors of the great Teftazání, also of Alí Khándí, Sheikh Súsemári, and Alí-ud-dín. We received presents from the Sultán of this town, and went on seven hours, on the Kiblah side, through roads planted on both sides with willows and planes, so that we always travelled in the shade, sheltered against the rays of the sun. We halted at the wells, and arrived at Kent Kuherín, belonging to the Secretary of the Khán of Tabríz, of one thousand houses, six mosques, three baths, and two great palaces. It is an extremely flourishing kent. May God destroy it! because they are all Shiítes, and because I heard here for the first time, curses uttered against Omar. Allah confound them! I was obliged to listen quietly to those obloquies, though I had a great mind to kill the rascal, which I might have done without incurring much responsibility, because envoys travelling from Rúm to Persia are free in all their actions, even if they should kill a Persian.

We now marched six hours further to Kent Sehlán, which is the khass of the Khán of Tabríz, situated in a plain, consisting of one thousand houses, seven mosques, a khán, a bath and some small markets (Súk). Its streets are all planted with willows and planes. The inhabitants of Tabríz have their koshks and pleasure-houses in this kent; the inhabitants of the place pretend to be Sháfiítes, but are all cursed Ráfedites; the young people and the air of the place is praiseworthy. As we continued our journey, we saw on our right, the high cupola of Ghazán Mohammed Sháh towering into the skies, conspicuous at six hours distance. We said a Fátihah to his memory, halted on a fine meadow, and sent a messenger to Tabríz. After three hours we mounted our horses for the solemn entry, I and the Envoy of Tabríz side by side; before the envoy marched his soldiers well dressed, and before me forty persons composing my train; the132 Kiaya of the Khán of Tabríz came to meet us in solemn pomp (Istikbál), and accompanied by him we made our entrance into the town of Tabríz, where many thousand persons in the market were collected to stare at us; our march from the town-gate to the palace of the Khán at the other extremity of the town lasted for two hours. The Khán received us in his Diván, where a great Council was assembled, the Persian music consisting of kettle-drums and trumpets were three times sounded, and the troops paraded. After the music was over, I got up, and drew forth from my breast the letter of Defterdár-zadeh Mohammed Páshá, the governor of Erzerúm, giving it into the hand of the Khán, who got up and kissed it, and put it on his head. The Ishek Aghá (master of the ceremonies) then shewed me my place, where I stood in the Mohammedan fashion. The Khán gave the letter to his secretary (Múnshí), who kissed it respectfully, and read it with a loud voice. At the mention of God’s name, and the Prophet’s name, all stood up praising the Prophet, but at the mention of his four friends, some looked askance (not liking to hear Omar mentioned amongst them.)

The reading being finished the Khán said: “With the aid of God I will send to my honourable brother the Vezír of the Emperor, before a month elapses, a caravan of a hundred horses, and one of a hundred camels.” Then adding different kind greetings and words, he made us sit down close to him, and ordered the repast to be brought in. After dinner, I delivered the pearl beads, the quiver and the Venetian stuffs, which, said I, “the Páshá has furnished me with, that I may not appear before your Excellency with empty hands; he has added to these two Arabian horses of high breeding, which shall now make their appearance, if your Excellency would be pleased to see them.” He rose up, and we came to the end of the room; the horses richly caparisoned were on the signal given by me led into his presence: they came dancing and capering to the great astonishment of all the gentlemen of the Diván; saying, “Bismillah!” I gave the bridle of the horse into the hands of the Khán, adding “Mobarek-bád” (Be it prosperous!) The Khán took some turns on the horse, riding without stirrups in the fashion of Persian horsemanship. I then presented him with the second horse (Yelkendiz), with which he was no less satisfied, and sent it to his stable. At a signal by the Khán all our servants were served with sherbet, rosewater and incense was repeated; and we were then given in to the care of the Mihmándár, Kúrújí-báshí, Darogha, and Kelenter. The latter conducted us to his garden, where we remained. The Khán sent me forty tománs bath-money, a caparisoned horse (Karajabuk), with an elegant saddlecloth, and seven camel-loads of provisions. The public cryers now published, throughout the town, an order of the Khán to make known that an Ottoman embassy of Sunnís having133 arrived, every body should be cautious of insulting them, lest they might be killed by the Sunnís. They curse neither Abúbekr nor Osmán, but Omar gives them a terrible head-ache, and they cannot refrain from injuring him by slanderous words. The same day the Khán sent us ten fine youths all dressed in embroidered cloth. They were led by our Mihmándár to kiss our hands, according to the ancient etiquette by which the Kháns of Persia used to send ten fine youths as servants to the Ottoman Envoys. We now began to take a view of the town.

Description of the Capital of Azerbeiján, the ancient town of Tabríz.

In the Moghol language it is called Túris; in the Derí dialect, Táríz; in the Dihkání, Tábríz; and in the Farsí, Tabríz: in all these dialects, tab signifies fever, and ríz pouring [dispersing], because the air is so salubrious, and the water of Aján so good, that people who come from regions where fever prevails, completely recover here; the fortress of Cairo is also a place where no fever is to be found. Tabríz was founded by Zobeide, Harún Rashíd’s wife, who, when pregnant with Mamún, built a pleasure-house here on account of the excellent air. Afterwards a large town was built at an immense expense, and of such extent that it took three days to go round it. In the time of Calíf Motevekel, it was ruined by an earthquake which destroyed forty thousand men. Motevekel came himself from Baghdád to rebuild the town at the expense of immense treasure. It rests on one side upon mount Aján, on another side upon mount Sehlán, on a third side upon mount Senján, and on the fourth upon the Maiden’s mount (Kiztágh). The actual circumference of Tabríz, is six thousand paces, there are three hundred towers, three thousand battlements, and six gates, viz., that of Aján, of Berserván, of Serzúd, and of Shámnemázán, each of which is guarded by five hundred watchmen. The third builder of Tabríz was Húlagú, who resided here seven years, and embellished it wonderfully: Mohammed Khodabende Ibzárgún Sháh transferred the whole palace, built by Húlagú, on camels to his new built town. The timber used in the buildings was all cypress and aloe wood, and they have been faced with china ever since. The fourth builder was Mohammed Sháh Ghazán, who extended the boundaries to the mountains of Senján, Aján, and Sehlán, and surrounded it with a wall, which required four days to make a tour of it. The town formerly built by Motevekel became then the inner castle or citadel of the new town. In the year 959, it was taken by Sultán Suleimán, who did not ravage it, but made a present of it to Sháh Elkáss Mirza. In the year 994 (1585), it was taken by the Persians. In the reign of Murad III., Uzdemir-oghlí Murad Páshá undertook the expedition into Persia with an immense army, the van of which was led by Jighála-oghlí Sinám. Osmán Páshá, one of his generals, took the town of Tabríz out of the hands of the Sháh.


To defend this town a strong citadel was then built of twelve thousand seven hundred cubits, which seems as though it had been built by Ferhád, and on the gate of which the name of Uzdemir is inscribed. Uzdemir Páshá, the fifth builder, finished the castle in thirty-six days, and filled it with all necessary stores, and a garrison of forty thousand men. But he was not so happy as to perform the Friday’s prayer, having died before it; the whole army proclaimed Jighála-zadeh Sinám their commander, who was not however confirmed in his place by the Porte, which when made acquainted with the news, named Khándin Ja’affer Páshá, formerly Governor of Tripolis; under whose government the flourishing state of Tabríz excelled even that at the time of Sultán Gházán. According to the description made in his time, Tabríz reckoned eighty thousand houses, and three hundred thousand inhabitants. During the troubles which took place soon afterwards by the rebellion of the troops, it happened, that the Persians became masters of Genje, Shirván, Shamákhí, Eriván, Nakhshiván and Tabríz, until the time of vengeance arrived in the reign of Sultán Murad IV. He conquered the fortress of Eriván in seven days, ransacked the towns of Nakhshiván, Merend and Karabágh, remained a week at Tabríz, levelled the palace of Sháh Abbás, and set fire to all the wooden houses, so that only stone buildings, such as mosques and baths, remained; after which havock he returned to Constantinople. Sháh Abbás returned, conciliated the inhabitants, and began to restore it to its former splendour. It is now the capital of Azerbeiján, and the seat of the Khán its Governor, who commands ten thousand men. Its officers are the Muftí, Nakíb or head of the Seids (Emírs), the Molla (Judge), Kelenter (Lieutenant of police), Múnshí, (Secretary), Darogha (Provost), Kúrújí-báshí (chief of the guards of the woods and heaths), Dízchoken Aghá, (commander of the garrison), Chiyek-yeyen Aghá (another officer of the troops), Yassúl Aghá (Inspector of the sentinels), and Ishek Aghá (Master of the Ceremonies) Mihmándár. These public officers keep good order in the town of Tabríz, so that justice prevails as it did in the time of Núrshírván, and no person can take a grain of mustard-seed from another.

Description of the Mosques of Tabríz.

There are altogether three hundred and twenty mihrábs, nineteen of which are Imperial mosques. The first is the old mosque of Zobeide, the cupola and walls of which are all inlaid with china (fayence;) the mortar of the Mihráb having been mixed with musk, exhales the sweetest perfume; its minareh is also entirely inlaid with china. The mosque of Motevekel is a mosque in the old style, with one minareh, which like the former is faced with china. In the course of time the builder’s name has been lost, and it is now called Meshkieh. The mosque of135 Sultán Mohammed Shám Ghazán, which was formerly a splendid mosque, is now falling into decay in an obscure place; the mosque of Jihán Sháh Emín is a high building with a dome vying with that of Ták Kesra, like the mosque of Táher Bibars, at Cairo; its walls are white polished like Chinese paper, and before the Mihráb is a fine garden, the scent of which perfumes the air. The name of this fine mosque is Dihshetí-Behesht (terror of Paradise). The mosque of Sultán Hassan, the Prince of Azerbeiján, the same who built the fortress of Hassan Kala’a to the east of Erzerúm, and who was defeated by Sultán Mohammed II. in the field of Terján. He is buried at this mosque, the cupolas of which are inlaid with china inside and out; it is quite equal to the mosque of Sultán Hassan at Cairo. The minber, mihráb and mahfil are adorned with such elegant sculptures and carving, that the greatest masters of the present day would not be able to finish it in that style; the windows shine with unparalleled splendour, but the greatest masterpiece is conspicuous in the arabesques and ornaments of the great gate. Above all the gates and windows are inscriptions in the character of Yakút Mostea’assemí. On the side of the altar are two columns of a yellow stone, each of which is worth the revenue of Irán and Turán: these two columns have no equal, either in Egypt, Syria, Arabia, or Persia. The other Imperial mosques are also faced with china, paved with marble and adorned with paintings and suspended ornaments, so that each is quite a Chinese gallery. These five mosques are not however so much frequented as those in Turkey, because prayers are not performed in community, but singly by persons, who enter and leave abruptly. Opposite to the mosque of Uzún Hassan is that of Sháh Ismail, and near it that of Sháh Makssúd, the son of Sultán Hassan; the old mosque of Chármenán, the mosque of Abbás the first, and the great mosque, so large that from the great gate to the mihráb opposite, a man can hardly be distinguished.

Colleges of Tabríz.

There are forty-seven large Colleges, where lectures are held on all sciences; the first is that of the lady of Sháh Jihán: and twenty rooms for reading the Korán (Dár-ul-kira) but they read it wrong throughout all Persia. There are seven houses for reading tradition (Dár-ul-hadíth), but the doctors of tradition are not much renowned, because they confine themselves to the tradition of Alí and the twelve Imáms, and have some thousand books on the traditions of Alí alone; six hundred schools, where boys are taught to spell and read the Korán, and are clothed once a year; one hundred and sixty convents of dervishes; six fountains, which all issue from mount Semendán. The town is besides furnished with seven canals of water, and there are one thousand and forty Sebíls, or136 places for distributing water, which are well covered. The town is divided into one thousand and sixty quarters which are called Derveze. The water magazine (serdáb) which was cleaned by Uzdemir Páshá furnishes the water of the canals. One thousand and seventy palaces of great men, two hundred caravánseraïs, seventy kháns for merchants and one hundred and ten for single workmen; seven thousand market streets (Súk) many of which are vaulted like those of Haleb; and a great Bezestán, which is the seat of the richest merchants, with four iron gates.

Praise of the Air and Climate.

By the mildness of the climate the inhabitants are all healthy and stout, with red cheeks and black beards, merry faces, and lips like rose-buds; the women are pretty, and conscious of the fairness of their skins are extremely proud; those advanced in age are of sweet company, so that the proverb, “the old is sweeter than the young,” may well be applied to them. The inhabitants are all Shiís or Mulhad (impious), a great number are Dumbúlí, Khaljání, Turcomans, and Gokdúlák. There are two thousand Ulemás, amongst whom are excellent doctors, surgeons and oculists. There are more than seven thousand pious Sheiks, who are much esteemed in this town, the inhabitants never do any thing without consulting them, but their sect is not exactly known. Eighty-two most eloquent poets, authors of Diváns. Yárí and Shábí are the Saíb and Unfí of their time. Of the Mujazib or Santons (Saint fools) we saw Sherímí, whom no person ever saw eating, drinking, lying down, sleeping, or performing any of the natural offices of life for seventy years. The Persians are generally called Kizil-básh or red heads, because they wrap red sashes round their heads, though many of them also wear the Mohammedan white turban; but the cap is always pointed, and that of the Ulemás, which is called Táj, or crown, is more than two yards long. The great men wear sable.

Account of the Persian Crown (Táj).

The shape is founded on a dream of Ibrahím, the founder of the dynasty of Sefí; he dreamt that he bore a child to an ass, that had seventy fingers. This dream having been interpreted as foreshadowing the Empire, he swore, that if it should be fulfilled, he would commemorate the circumstance, by wearing an asinine phallus in his turban, and by imitating the cries of the animal in music. This is the reason why the Persian crown and head-dress have the present shape, and why their music resembles the braying of an ass.

The purity of the air drives away all fevers, and prolongs life to the age of one hundred and seventy years. The water issues from mount Semenden, and is137 distributed into more than nine hundred conduits and pipes, which furnish the town with water. The water aids digestion, and like the air is rather cold. There is also good water in wells, but the water of the canals is better; some of the wells are from forty to fifty cubits deep, in the summer their water is cold, and in the winter it is warm. Astrologers say that Tabríz was built by Zobeide, under the influence of the sign of the scorpion when ruled by Mars, and that for this reason, it has been so many times disturbed and ruined by rebels and by conquerors, such as Timúr, Gengíz, Húlagú, and Murad IV.

There are twenty-one pleasant baths each with one or two basins, a half soffa, and fountains (jets d’eaux). The attendants are fine youths, the water and air are excellent. Besides the public baths there are seven hundred private ones, where the silver-bodied youth swim like angels of the sea. On the china or fayence of these baths, is written the famous poem of Fozúlí, called the poem of the bath (Kassideí Hamám). There are seven sorts of corn growing at Tabríz, besides an abundance of barley. There are also seven sorts of cotton.

Arts and Handicrafts, Provisions, Fruits, Beverages, Gardens, &c.

Painters, architects, goldsmiths, and tailors are nowhere to be found so perfect as here. Precious stuffs manufactured here go all over the world; the velvet is much renowned. The provisions consist of the white bread called Kerde, and Súmún, cracknels, pastry, roasts, chicken pies, forty different kinds of pilaw with spices, the Herisse and sweetmeat, Palúde. Among the abundance of delicious fruits are particularly the pears and exquisite apricots, they are not found in such perfection even at Constantinople. The beverages consist of seven sorts of Muscat wine, the common wine of the Royal grape, the pomegranate, the cherry wine, and oxymel; and for the common people búza of millet and rice.

There are some dining establishments for the poor, such as the Imáret of Sháh Yakúb, of Sultán Motevekel, of Lady Zobeide, and of Sultán Hassan, large buildings with kitchens worthy that of Keikavús, but in the hands of the Persians they have all decayed.

The principal walk is the mount Surkháb (Red-water) near Tabríz; at noon the sea of Rúmie may be distinguished from the top of it; it is at a farsang distance from Tabríz.

The number of gardens amounts to forty-seven thousand, the finest is that of Sháh Yakúb, where the Khán gave me a splendid entertainment. Eleven times in the day, seventy dancers and singers exerted themselves in the practice of their art, so that it resembled an evening party of Hossein Bikara. This garden owes138 its origin to Koja Ferhád Páshá, Governor of Tabríz under Sultán Murad III., who adorned it with numerous koshks, bowers and pleasure-houses; and at the time of the pillage of the town by Murad IV., this garden was preserved by the care of Osmán Aghá. The Chronostic of the koshk where we dined, alluding to the name of the builder, says that, Ferhád built this sweet (Shirín) palace. The walk of Sháh Sefí cannot be praised enough. It is the place of the Maïl; in the centre of it two immense columns lift their tops up to Heaven; on one of them every Friday a silver plate is put, which is aimed at by all the bowmen, who shoot at it, encouraged by the presence of the Khán. On New Year’s day (Nevrúz) or the beginning of spring, battles are fought in this place by horses trained in the dark during forty or fifty days, by camels, buffaloes, sheep, asses, dogs, and cocks. These fights are peculiar to Persia. Every year on the tenth of the month Moharrem, being the feast of A’ashúra, all the population of the town assemble under tents in this large place, and during three days and nights cook many thousand dishes of A’ashúra (a kind of hotch-potch), in remembrance of the martyrs of Kerbela; these dishes are distributed with an abundance of sugar-sherbet, which is carried round in crystal vases, and cups of cornelian and turquoise: at the same time singing certain verses, such as “Their Lord gave them of the purest beverage.” Some of the great men on this day carry cans and tankards round their necks, and go about distributing water like common porters. But the finest show is in the variegated tent of the Khán, where all the great men of Tabríz are assembled, and where a Hymn on the death of Hossein is recited, in the same manner as the Hymn on the Prophet’s birthday is in the Turkish mosques. The hearers listen, sighing and lamenting, but when the reciter arrives at the passage where Hossein is killed by accursed Shabr, a curtain opens behind him, and a severed head and trunk of a body, representing that of the Imám when dead, is thrown on the ground, when there rises such an uproar of cries and lamentations that everybody loses his wits. At this moment some hundred men mingle in the crowd with razors, with which they cut the arms and breasts of all loving believers, who desire to shed their blood on this day in remembrance of the blood shed by the Imám; they make such deep incisions and scars, that the ground appears as if it was blooming with tulips. Some thousands brand the marks and names of Hassan and Hossein on their heads, arms, and breasts. They then carry Hossein’s body away from the ground with much pomp, and finish the ceremony with great howlings.

The town has numerous fine walks and pleasure grounds, each of which may be compared to the gardens of Ispúze and Merám. The beautiful koshks worthy to be the seats of Sherín and Ferhád, of Wámik and Azra, are every where renowned;139 but I must refrain from their praise and description, as I have yet so many other things to mention. God be thanked! I remained here two months, which I spent in full pleasure and delight, and I shall now give the description of the districts and castles, which I visited in the Khán’s company. Round Tabríz are seven districts, which furnish military men, whose office is to train birds and dogs for hunting.

The first is the district of Mehránrúd, five farsangs to the east of Tabríz, the three places Koraúkendrút, Isfenj-kent, and Sa’ád-abád are like large towns, with numerous mosques, kháns and baths. The second district is that of Sera-vurúd on the west side of Tabríz; containing eighty well cultivated villages. The third district is that of Dídeher, four farsangs south-west of Tabríz, twenty-four kents with mosques, kháns, baths and gardens. The fourth district is that of Ardenik, on the west side of Tabríz at only a farsang’s distance; thirty well cultivated villages. The fifth district is that of Rúdkát behind mount Sorkháb, and north of Tabríz, at a farsang’s distance from it; a hundred great kents with gardens, mosques, markets, &c. The sixth district, that of Khánumrúd; twenty elegant villages. The seventh, that of Bedostán behind Rúdkát; seventy villages. If I were to describe minutely all the hunting and pleasure parties on which I accompanied the Sháh for the space of twenty days, it would alone fill a book, because Tabríz is like Isfahán, one of the finest towns in the world. God grant its possession to the Ottomans, and keep it from ruin!

Account of a curious Conversation.

One day being in company with the Sháh he presented me with the purest wine. I said, “By God! with God! through God! and by Ali’s purest spirit, since I was born I never drank wine or any other spirituous liquor, and since our great ancestor Khoja Ahmed Yessúí, none of our family have ate or drank any thing of an intoxicating quality. I beg, therefore, to be excused by you.” The Khán said, “My beloved and darling brother, what are you afraid of; if it is of your Emperor, he is five months journey from you; if it is of your Khán (the Páshá), it is forty days distance from Erzerúm to Tabríz. The Khán of the Sháh of Irán and the dog of Alí, my Sháh, has expressly forbidden me to drink a drop of wine; what do I care for that, I drink it secretly and delight in it; follow my example.” I said, “Very well, my Khán, if your Sháh has prohibited it to you, it is prohibited to me by the express command of the Sháh of Sháhs, the Lord of Lords, who says in the Korán, ‘wine, gaming and fortune-telling are Satan’s work:’ it is of this Lord, that I am afraid.” “You are,” said the Khán, “a rigorous Methodist (Mutea-assib).” “By God!” replied I,140 “I am no Methodist but only a true follower of the orthodox sect of Na’amán Ben Thábet, and a true lover of the Prophet’s family.” At this reply the whole company became silent, the Khán rose up with all his youthful attendants, and sitting down close to me, he said, “My dear Evliyá Aghá, which of these my favourite servants would you like to have, I will make you a present of him if you drink a cup of wine out of his hand. Come drink a glass, if you love red Alí and the twelve Imáms; let us be warm of head and tender of heart, let us enjoy a moment of delight in this perishable world.” So saying, all the youths came to salute me, and I returned their salutes; yet did I implore at the same time Heaven’s assistance, and then said, in answer to his further pressing requests; “You drink wine to get into good humour, but the first thing is to be good-humoured in God; I beg you will let me have a half-drum to accompany my own song, in order to show you how people get good-humoured in God.” “Be it so,” said he, “for Alí’s sake bring a half-drum to Evliyá, my brother;” I took it, and sang three tetrastichs on Divine Love, in the tune Sigáh, which made all the hearers appear as though they were drunk. The Khán, being extremely pleased, invested me with his own sable pelisse, gave me a thousand praises, and a Georgian slave as a present, ten tománs of Abbássí, and a racehorse (Karajubúk). “Now,” said he, “I will not plague you any more with a request to drink wine,” and I continued to enjoy his conversation undisturbed during a whole month, feasting every night. I spent this time observing all that was worth seeing at Tabríz, the good order and government of which is worthy of all possible recommendation. The inhabitants are merry, but orderly people, and I never saw a drunkard in the streets. It is in their praise that the verse was composed, which says, “The people of Tabríz, though given to pleasure, are as pure as the glass of a mirror; and if you say they are not true to friends, you must know that the mirror only reflects the object before it as it really appears.”

General Praise of Tabríz.

The first and most agreeable properties of Tabríz is the abundance of water, by which means the streets are washed and cleansed from all dust, as though it was continually New Year’s day. The second praiseworthy circumstance is, that the Sherífs or descendants of Mohammed do not give their daughters indiscriminately to servants, but only to their equals. They proposed the following nice point to me, saying:141—“You take Infidel girls as women, because you say that the man plants the seed, and that is very well; but you also give your own daughters to Moslíms, who were first Infidels and afterwards converted; now if this new Moslím relapses into his former error, what then becomes of the children, who though their mother be a true descendant of the Prophet, may become apostates and fly into the land of the Infidels?” I answered, with the tradition of the Prophet, which says, “that even the children of Christians and Jews are born true Moslims, but that they are afterwards seduced into error by their parents.” There was no reply to that. The third good thing is that all sales are transacted with Persian money coined in the country, and that no foreign coin is received. Money is coined in seven towns, viz. at Erdebíl, Hamadán, Baghdád, Isfahán, Tiflís, Nehávend, and Tabríz. The inscription on one side is, “There is no God, but God, and Mohammed is the Prophet, and Alí the friend of God;” on the reverse is the name of the Sháh, with the epithet of Alí’s dog: their small coins or pennies are called Kázikí, they bear only the place of the coinage on one side, and the date of the year on the other: on their measures and weights are also written the words, “There is no God but God,” and who dares to cheat in the name of God is blinded by a heated stone drawn over his eyes. Before their shops and markets, scales of yellow brass are suspended, which are never taken away, but always remain, and all eatables and drinkables are sold by weight according to the fixed market prices; even corn and wheat are sold by weight. The fourth good things are the cookshops, fitted-up with china and furnished with plates of the same material; they are opened with prayer as usual in the morning, and then filled with all kinds of pilaws, and stewed meat (Herisse), which are also sold by weight. The waiters, clean and smart, stand with pewter dishes under their arms, on which are inscriptions like the following: “No nobility above the Islám;” “The nobility of the place depends upon who occupies it;” “The nobility of the house depends upon its inhabitants; and the nobility of the inhabitants upon their generosity.” After dinner these waiters bring clean basins and cans for washing, but vulgar people (Tolúnkí and Tokir) wipe their right hand under their left shoulder, and their left hand under the right.

Bad and reprehensible things in Irán.

It is a bad custom in Persia that only twelve classes of the troops and as many of the Ulemás and the other ranks of society are allowed to have regular kitchens in their houses; all the rest eat from the market, therefore, although their dinner is cheap it is very bad. The army has its cooks, who cook in that way at a fixed price, so that they are not allowed to take a grain more or to furnish a grain less than the established quantity. When the army takes the field, the kitchen is established in tents made of felt.

Another bad thing in Persia is that they do not kill or hang their delinquents, but the Darogha and Mohtessíb (two officers of police), bring them to the public142 place, where the executioners torment them in a most cruel manner; during three days and nights, they inflict on them three hundred and sixty different kinds of torture. They first give them three hundred strokes of the whip and Korbáj, press their knees, introduce reeds under their nails, cauterize the whole body with fire, force them to swallow greasy rags with a rope attached, which if dragged out again brings the stomach and bowels with it; nail their hands and feet down, bore holes in the elbows and knees, and then pour melted lead in the holes so that the lead runs out with the marrow: they tie the four first fingers and toes tight together, suspend the delinquent and perfume him with sulphur and asses’ urine, so that the poor men’s cries pierce the skies; they cut pieces out of the back, and attach burning candles to the shoulders; they squeeze the testicles, tickle the nose with pointed thorns, put iron kettles on the head, and blind the eyes; and inflict even more horrible tortures than those already described. God forgive us our sins! They paralyse thieves by cutting the sinews. They cut off the ears, noses, and hands and feet of false witnesses, and fasten other delinquents to seven different kinds of gibbets and pales, and leave them so exposed during three days and nights. The Khán having one day glorified himself with these cruel tortures, in my presence, I asked him, “What was the object of such manifold cruelties;” he said, “That death being pronounced on these culprits, the tortures were added, in order to terrify others by the example.” I said, “That it was not lawful, because the text of the Korán states no other punishment for thieves but cutting off the hand, and retaliation in cases of murder; and that this was quite sufficient to keep the people in terror and awe.” He was obliged to acknowledge that I was right. These additional tortures have been contrived by them, because their people are all riotous and heretical, that they may be kept in order the easier. So they established it as law.

Pilgrimages and Visits in the town of Tabríz.

In the cemeteries are many places of pilgrimage of great and holy men. In the cemetery of Súrkháb are the tombs of poets, such as Enwerí, Khakání, Zahír-ud-dín Faryábí, Felekí of Shíráz, and Felekí of Shirván.

Of Saints buried in the neighbouring villages, there are, in the village of Gúchúchán the Saint Khoja Mohammed Gúchúchání; in the village of Sabádabád, no less than seven hundred learned writers. Essáma Ben Sherík, the Prophet’s companion is buried near Tabríz on the martyrs’ mount; and Sárut-ul Jebel, the brother of Hamza, who was carried wounded from the battle of Nehávend to Tabríz, died here. The Sheikh Sejid-ján Memí, a writer deeply versed in ancient and modern sciences and in mystics. On mount Súrkháb, two children of143 Alí are buried; in the quarter of Serde the place is shown where Efasiáb’s head is buried. Sheikh Nassr-allah, the son of Ak-Shems-ud-dín. It would be too long to describe all the monuments which exist at Tabríz, and we contented ourselves with these.

Description of the Expedition we undertook with the Khán to Shám Gházán.

We left Tabríz accompanied by one thousand horse, and after a march of five hours through flowery gardens came to Kent Ajisú, half way to Kúmla, two hundred houses with gardens belonging to the Khán’s khass, a mosque and three convents. The waters of this plain are subterraneous, flowing from village to village, and there are some thousand wells on the great roads, this place is called A’jisú (bitter water) because its water is a little brackish. We continued our road next day to the burying-place of Mohammed Shám Gházán; it is called so because this country bears great resemblance to Damascus (Shám). Mohammed Gházán Sháh built this castle, and peopled it with from ten to twelve thousand subjects free from all duties and gifts. He then built this monument, which has no equal either in Arabia or in Persian Irák, it is a tower lifting its head to the skies like that of Galata. When I saw it, it was a little damaged on the side of the gate by an earthquake; it is a monument well worth seeing. I entered it with the Khán, said a Fátíhah, and read the inscription on the marble coffin. More than two hundred Dervishes inhabit the convent; outside of the gate, piles of sheep’s heads are erected, many thousand sheep being immolated here by the inhabitants of Persia, who have great confidence in this place; a well ten yards deep affords refreshing water in summer.

The name of Shám Gházán is a corruption of the Moghol language, in which this Prince is called Shanb, whence Shám originated. The castle which bears his name on Mount Welián is now in ruins. At the foot of it is the Kent-Welián consisting of three hundred houses with a fine mosque, khán and bath, founded by the Vezír Rashíd-ud-dín Dembolí. We reached after five hours from hence, the Castle of Kúmla, built by Koja Ferhád Páshá, the Vezír of Sultán Murad III. in the year 998 (1589), it is a square castle at the foot of Mount Welián. It is eighty paces in circumference, has seven towers, and two gates, one to the east and one to the west; the eastern one is that leading to Tabríz. It was from this place that Ja’afer Páshá, when besieged by the troops in rebellion, made a sally at night, and completely routed the rebels. He afterwards built this gate. Within the castle are seven hundred houses and a mosque; the suburb forms the town of Kúmla, which abounds in gardens; the grapes and pears of Kúmla are much celebrated. There are seventy mosques, eleven of which are Jamiís144 (wherein Friday prayer is said), the best is that of Ferhád Páshá. It is the seat of a Sultán subordinate to Tabríz. A Kelenter and Darogha keep public order; a Sultán is here the same as in Turkey a Sanjek Beg, and a Begler Beg is called a Khán; a Vezír of three tails is called Itimád-ud-devlet; a Commander-in-chief (Serdár) is here named Sipehsalár; Múnshí answers to the Turkish Reis Efendí; Kelenter is the same as Alaï Beg, that is to say Colonel of the Militia, and Darogha is the same as Súbashí or Lieutenant of police; the head of the Chaúshes or ushers here takes the name of Yessaúl Aghá, and the Aghá of the Dízchoken is the same as an Aghá of the janissaries in Turkey. The names of Kúrúji, chief of the forest guards, and Mihmándár or travelling commissary, are common both to Turkey and Persia. We advanced from hence five hours to the district of Serawerd, a great Kent north-west of Tabríz, with a mosque, khán, and bath. We were entertained here during a whole night by the Kelenter, and continued our journey next day, hunting along the river Serawerd to the Kent-Dúsht, where we dined and halted a little. We proceeded for six hours to the Kent-Jevlán Dorúk in the district of Serawerd on the river of that name, with one thousand houses, a bath and mosque. Further on is the Kent of Kánidlis, three hundred Moslim houses and a mosque; the Armenians have three churches and three thousand houses. Three hours further is the Kent-Lákid, the khass of Rokhsháh’s Lady; the inhabitants are Armenian weavers, there are two thousand houses, a mosque, a khán, and three convents; on the mount of Serawerd stands a ruined castle. The Kent of Kujabád has five hundred houses, a khán, a mosque and a bath. We now went eastward to the district of Rudkát on the north of Tabríz behind mount Sorkháb, a district of a hundred Kents, which we passed in hunting during three days.

Description of Merágha.

It is the seat of a Sultán commanding a thousand troops, and has a Judge, Kelenter, Darogha and Múnshi; it was built in the earliest time by Húshenk-sháh, and is the first town of Azerbeiján and its ancient capital, surrounded with fruitful gardens, eleven farsangs distant from Tabríz; eleven mosques, forty kháns, sixty mesjíds, forty convents of Dervishes, eleven baths and three thousand shops. The inhabitants are all weavers, who manufacture excellent Bogassin. The beautiful youth of both sexes at Merágha are everywhere renowned. The town has risen from its ruins since the havoc it suffered from the army of Sultán Murad III. Its builder in the time of Islám was Merván Ibn Mohammed Al-Himár, in whose time it extended to Mount Sehend and comprised seventy thousand houses; but since it was destroyed by the Moghols in Húlagú’s time, the buildings are at some distance from Mount Sehend, which as it intercepted the145 north wind, was the reason that the air of its former situation was so heavy. The water, however, issues from the mountain, and abundantly furnishes the houses and gardens. Its pomegranates and cotton are famous, the inhabitants are white and gazelle-eyed, of sweet words and shining faces; a great part of them secretly follow the orthodox rite of Hánefí. They mostly speak Pehleví; the whole country is divided into eight districts, viz.: Serajún, Penajún, Jerút, Kaodúl, Hestrúd, Behsánd, Engúrán, and Kizilorán; each district containing from eighty to one hundred cultivated kents; altogether five hundred and sixty kents, sixty towns, and seven castles; the description of which, if we could undertake it in detail, would alone fill a volume. We left Meragha and entered the district of Túrnachairí, wherein the town of Aján is situated; the kent of Petiker of one thousand houses is situated in this district.

Description of Aján.

On the east side of mount Aján a large town was built by Peshen the son of Keiúmerth, and, being ransacked by Húlagú, fell into decay, so that all its inhabitants were transferred to Tabríz; it was rebuilt by Gházán, who also built a castle of two thousand paces in circumference on the edge of the mountain, with an iron gate opening to the east; within it are one hundred houses, but no garrison, outside there are three thousand houses, seven mosques, three baths, seven kháns, and six hundred shops. The water comes from mount Aján; the inhabitants are Sháfiítes, but keep their doctrine secret, they are merry fellows (Ehl meshreb), and no rigourists (Ehl mezheb). The Armenians have two convents. After having seen the town we continued our journey, hunting, to the district of Mehránberúd, five farsangs to the east of Tabríz, of sixty great kents. We passed those of Werd, Isfej and Saídabád, built by a Vezír of that name in the time of Sultán Tahmurass, a large kent of two thousand houses, seven mosques, a khán and bath, which was ransacked by Sultán Súleimán in his way to Baghdád, but escaped the havoc of Sultán Murad. We remained one night here and next day proceeded seven hours towards the south-east to the Kent of Mán, built by Máhkúr the daughter of Khodabende; nine hours further we arrived at the castle of Kehreván built by Sháh Tahmáss, out of fear of Sultán Súleimán. At the time of the expedition of Kojá Ferhád Páshá, as soon as he arrived at Baghdád, he sent the General Solák Ferhád Páshá against this place, who besieged the castle in vain during seventeen days. This Khán Meimendí made continual inroads, till at Tabríz he was completely routed by Ja’afer Páshá of Tabríz, who took seven thousand heads and five thousand prisoners from him. The next day Ja’afer set out with seventy thousand men for the siege of Kehreván, which was taken on146 the third day. Meimendí being brought into the presence of Ja’afer Páshá, his ear was cut off, his property confiscated and himself hanged at the gate of the castle, the keys of which were sent to Sultán Murad; there is even now a mosque named after Sultán Murad: it remained eleven years in the hands of the Ottomans. It is situated on a hill on the road to Baghdád; it is six thousand paces in circumference, and has two gates, one to the south, and one to the north; its Sultán commands one thousand men. The suburb consists of seven thousand well-terraced houses, and sixty mosques, in eleven of which public prayer is performed on Friday, seven baths, eleven kháns, and eight hundred shops; the sheets and blankets manufactured here are celebrated. We advanced seven hours further eastward, to a large kent embellished by a mosque of Jíghála’s son; and nine hours further on we arrived at the large town of Erdebíl, the first residence of the Persian Sháhs of the Safí dynasty. It has been taken and retaken several times by both Ottomans and Persians, and is now the seat of a Khán, who commands three thousand men; it is a day’s journey from mount Seilán, and is surrounded by high mountains at the same distance; it lies in a fertile valley close to a lake. It was built by an Armenian King in fear of Omar’s power, in the same year that Sáriet-ul-jebel was sent to Nehavend; this is one of the principal reasons why Omar is so much hated by the Persians, who do not show so much dislike to Abúbekr and Osmán. This town formerly extended as far as mount Seilán, from which it is now two farsangs distant; the farsang is equal to twelve thousand ordinary paces, so that two farsangs are equal to twenty-four thousand paces. The top of Seilán is always covered with snow, which shines like silver in the middle of summer, and furnishes all the water of the town; it is a very digestive water, which enables the inhabitants to feast like Ma’adikarb. The inhabitants pretend to be Sháfiítes; they are great liars. The distance between Tabríz and Erdebíl is twenty-five farsangs, which with a good horse may be gone over in two days. The climate much resembles that of Erzerúm; hard winter, and a fruitful soil, the corn multiplying eighty fold: there are no fruit-trees and vines, but gardens for vegetables and rosebeds.

The lake near Tabríz on the east side is covered with many hundred fishing-boats, on the west it is but a farsang’s distance from Rúmie; between Erdebíl and the lake the country is covered with wood, and villages are interspersed in the forest; there are seventy sorts of fish; the boats on the lake also trade to Rúmie, Dúmdúmí and Dúmbúlí; the circumference of this lake is greater than that of Wán, a man may go round it in ten days; the water of the lake of Wán is bitter as poison, but this is sweet as the water of life. Its depth is seventy cubits. This lake was produced on the birthnight of the prophet, when the vault147 of Chosroes, and that of Ayá Sófiyah, and the idols of Mecca fell down by an earthquake; forty-five large and small springs flow into it; the river Seilán which affords water to Erdebíl, the river Kuherán and others fall into this sea. On the banks of the river Seilán lies a large round mass of iron, three quintals in weight, extremely well polished, on which ancient philosophers have written a kind of Hebrew inscription with a figure lifting its two arms up to Heaven; if rain is wanted this stone is carried in procession into the town, and it never fails to rain day and night without ceasing till the stone is replaced. The basis on which this marvellous stone reposes is a large rock, covered with strange inscriptions; it also has twelve holes, from which as soon as the iron mass is rolled away, water begins to rush forth, and ceases not until the stone is returned to its place. Some persons assert this to be the stone which Moses struck in the desert, others believe that this miracle is performed in favour of Sheikh Safí; be it as it may, it is a great talisman. Erdebíl is famous for its immense number of mice which are great destroyers of cloth. Cats are, therefore, so dear that they are sold in cages by public auction; some of Dívrígui fetch the price of a hundred piastres, but they are short-lived like all cats of Erdebíl. The cryers at the auction call out; “A good hunting cat, well bred, a good companion, an enemy to rats, which steals not!”

Places of Pilgrimage at Erdebíl.

The first of all is the tomb of Sheikh Safí, the son of Sheikh Khoja Alí, the son of Sheikh Sadr-ud-dín Mússa, the son of Sheikh Safr-ud-dín Abú Ishák of Erdebíl, the founder of the dynasty of the Safís. His tomb-keepers are some hundred dervishes, a large foundation. Sheikh Safí governed only in a spiritual sense; his son Hyder was his successor, and Ibrahím the son of Hyder having dreamt of concubinage with an ass, his possession of the Empire was foretold by his grandsire Sheikh Safí; indeed Sheikh Ibrahím was the first who enjoyed the rights of sovereignty; from Sheikh Safí to Sháh Abbás are five Sháhs who coined money. We left Erdebíl, marched nine hours further to the north, and came to Kent Rarám, a kent of six hundred houses with gardens; eight hours further we came to the Kent Yár Alí, three hundred houses, a mosque, no khán or bath, but a large number of shops and a weekly market; six hours further to the north, the Kent of Merzáde Amád in the district of Dídher, eight hundred houses. After eight hours, we arrived at Tabríz again, where I remained some days more, passing from one entertainment to another. Letters were now written for the kháns and commanders of the places I was to pass through on my return, and the letter of the Khán to the Páshá made ready. The presents sent to him consisted of ten camel loads of rice, dried raisins, dried pears, pomegranates, and two race148horses of the breed Karajubúk, four trotting horses, and two boys dressed in precious cloth perfumed with musk. To me he gave ten tománs Abbássí, a Georgian slave, a Persian pelisse, a Persian dress, six turbans, and a string of camels, loaded with rice, a black horse of the race Karajubúk, a trotting one (Chapár-átí), with Persían bridle and saddle. I took leave of all my friends, and next day left Tabríz in grand procession with the khán, accompanied by the Royal music of trumpets and kettle drums. We halted at the place Ain Alí, where a grand dinner, and five tománs Abbássí more, were given to me for the expenses of the journey. My suite received twenty tománs of aspers, a piece of velvet, three of Alas, and six turbans. The Khán recommended me to the care of a Yessavúl Aghá, who was to escort me with three hundred men, embraced me, and returned to Tabríz, while we took the road to Eriván.


In God’s name we set out from Tabríz to the north, and reached the Kent Hají Harámí, of three hundred houses surrounded with rose gardens; a foundation of Shám Ghazán, whose tomb may be seen from hence. The next day the Kelenter took leave, and we continued our way to Kent Safián, which was formerly a great kent, but has since been ruined by the Mogols and still more by Sultán Murad IV., it is a delightful place on the territory of Tabríz. Some learned men and writers are buried here, but I don’t know their names; there are more than twenty cupolas. In the month of Moharrem on the day of A’ashúra, the feast in commemoration of the murder of Hossein is celebrated here with great pomp, the people are all Sháfiítes. Further to the north we reached Mezídkhán on the frontiers of Tabríz; five hundred houses covered with terraces, two mosques, a very spacious khán, a bath and royal market-place. Seven hours more to the northward is the station of Kent Keremish, on the frontier or Nakhshiván; a thousand houses, seven mosques, a khán and bath. Our way now led northward through marshy grounds, and we pitched our tents on the borders of Wishlechaí. This river issues from the mountains of Nahkshiván and joins the Aras. We suffered much from dust here, and after two hours travelling reached the castle of Khúí, a fine town of Azerbeiján, the seat of a Sultán, who commands a thousand men; the public authorities are a judge, Muftí, Darogha, Kelenter, Nakíb, Múnshí, Kúrújí and Dízchoken Aghá. The castle is built in a square form on the plain, its circumference is seven hundred paces; the ditch is not very deep. Of its two gates one leads to the south, the other to the west; it contains a hun149dred houses and a mosque. Its builder was Ferhád Páshá, but the old town was built by Sháh Haider, and it has been sacked more than once since. This suburb or outer town consists of seven thousand houses with terraces, seventy mosques, eleven of which are Jamis, two baths, seven kháns, and a thousand shops with gardens. I and my boys measured the circumference, which is ten thousand paces. The air is rather warm and favorable therefore to the culture of rice. The river issues from Mount Selmás, and flows into the Araxes. The fruits are famous, above all the Prophet-pears, which have no equal in sweetness and delicious taste. Owing to the mildness of the climate, the inhabitants are all white, and the women are innumerable. Some historians call this town Asháristán, Iránistán or Turkistán. Its districts reckon one hundred and eighty villages, the inhabitants of which are for the most part Sunnites, Sháfiítes, who paid a capitation tax to Sháh Ismail for the privilege of letting their beards grow (Sakál Túlí), but have been exempted since the time of Sháh Sefí.

Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Shems Tabrízí.

He died in the year 495 on his way from Antiochia to Isfahán, in this town of Khúí. After a stay of two days, we continued our journey with two hundred armed guards to the north, and arrived at the end of nine hours at the town of Behestán, the seat of a Kelenter. It was anciently a town of the size of Tabríz but was ruined by Húlagú; it is now a small place of a thousand houses, three mosques, a khán, bath and small market, with innumerable gardens. Three hours further northward, we reached the castle of Joris on the frontier of Nakshiván; the seat of a khán, who commands two thousand troops, a judge and twelve public officers in honour of the twelve Imáms. The castle, a pentagon, is situated on a hill, simply walled and therefore not very strong. It was first built by Uzún Hassan the Sháh of Azerbeiján and was ruined by Murád IV. its ruined parts are now chalked off [fenced off?] like a Palanka. Though situated on a hill, yet the hill itself is at the foot of a high mountain. It has a gate looking to the south-east; within the castle there is no remarkable building but the mosque of Rúshen Hassan Páshá. The outer town consists of seven thousand houses, and eleven mosques, of which that of Uzdemír Osmán Páshá and Ferrúkh-zadeh Sháh Ibn Timúr are the best; there are three mosques, seven kháns, and two hundred shops. The young people are extremely pretty, with eyes like the roes of Khoten, sweet-tongued with merry faces, who, if they walk dressed in red embroidered dresses, like peacocks of Paradise, make all their lovers lose their wits, and by half a look make as many Mejnúns of them. We spent three days and nights here with Eyúb Khán the Khán of the town, continually entertained by music. On the fourth day we continued our journey, after having been overwhelmed with presents.


We now passed on towards the east where the river of Karajubúk issues from the mountains of Joris, and then joins the Araxes; in the summer months this river may be crossed by sheep and goats. We advanced to the north amidst Kents for four hours to Kent Hallí, on the frontier of Eriván; five hundred houses with gardens, a mosque and a bath, on the banks of the Hallí river, which issues from the mountains of Sepend and joins the Aras. Passing on to the north through woods, we came after eight hours march to the pleasant meadow of Tútolúmí, where there are some hundred shady trees, but no village. The Daroghas and Kelenters of the neighbouring kents flocked together to furnish us with necessary provisions. We passed one night here, and next day continued our journey along the Aras, crossed it, and came to Kent Kagáj situated on the eastern bank of the Aras; it has a mosque, a khán, a bath, and three hundred houses, with a great number of rice fields. We passed through sandy ground with great dust, nine hours to the north, and reached Kent Ashárlí in the territory of Eriván, with a thousand houses, a mosque, a khán, and a bath; its product is rice; it takes its name from the inhabitants, who belong to the tribe Ashárlí. Travelling along the Aras through well cultivated fields and gardens, we reached after seven hours the town of Shúreglí, the seat of a Sultán, who commands one thousand horsemen; there is a mosque, a khán and a bath. After ten hours we came to Sheráb Khán with five hundred houses, a mosque and a khán; then to Kent Seif-ud-dín on the frontier of Eriván, and on the banks of the Aras, it was built by Seifkúlí the Khán of Eriván, and belongs to the khass of Eriván, there are a hundred and eighty houses, a mosque, and some plantations of rice. Five hours further to the north along the Aras is the Kent Tílfirák, of a thousand houses, a mosque, a convent, a khán, a bath, and plantations of rice. At the time of the siege of Eriván, Murad IV. cut down seventy thousand trees which were used as bulwarks, but since that time an immense number of trees have grown again. We sent a message from hence to the Khán of Eriván, next day crossed a lively river, halted on a meadow, and met a great procession (Alaï,) which was the Kiaya of the Khán of Eriván who was sent to meet us (Istikbál); we made our entrance into Eriván with him, were saluted by twenty guns, and lodged in a palace of the Khán. Hassan Beg went on from hence with the letters and presents of the Khán of Tabríz to Erzerúm, and I occupied myself in delivering those for the Khán of Eriván.

Description of the Town of Eriván (Reván).

In the year 810 (1407) Khoja Khán Lejchání, a rich merchant of Timúr’s suite settled here with all his family and servants, cultivating plantations of rice, by which means a great Kent was soon formed. Five years later Sháh Ismail gave151 to Reván Kúl, one of his Kháns, an order to build a castle here, which being finished in seven years, was named after him, Reván or Eriván. It is situated on the eastern bank of the Zenghí river, and is of brick and stone. In the year 995 (1586) Súleimán Khán, having undertaken the expedition against Nakhshiván, pillaged Eriván, and returned to his residence with immense booty. In the reign of Murad III. Ferhád Páshá, his general, pillaged Kenje, Reván, Shamákhí and Nakhshiván, destroyed the palaces of the son of the Sháh, killed a great number of Persians, fixed his camp before the castle, and assembled a council of war to deliberate on the siege, and begun it by digging a ditch on the bank of the Zenghí from south to north. By the exertion of all the siege was finished in forty days. Jigálazadeh Yússúf Páshá, who had been bred in the Turkish Harím, was named the first Commander of Eriván with a garrison of seventy thousand men. Ferhád Páshá, took care of the repair of the castle of Shúreglí and Karss, and filled them with Moslim troops. In the same way the castle of Erdehán and Akhichka were garrisoned, and Ferhád Páshá returned to Constantinople. Under the government of Jigálazadeh Yússúf Páshá, the town of Eriván was even in a more flourishing state than in Súleimán’s time, and the neighbouring villages grew thereby populous. In the year 1011 (1602), the Persians having usurped the possession of the castles of the Genge and Shirván, forced the garrison of Eriván, which had received no succour from Erzerúm, to surrender to Tokmák Khán, after a siege of seven months; in the year 1037 (1627), the Khán of Eriván, Emírgúneh, having infested the districts of Kághzemán, Karss, Cheldir, Akhichka and Erdehán, and complaints having arrived from the Begs of Georgia and from the Governor of Erzerúm, ambassadors were sent from the Khán of Persia, and at the same time the Imperial tails fixed at Scutari as the signal of Asiatic war. In the following year 1044 (1634) Sultán Murad IV. completed his Imperial camp of Scutarí according to the canons of the Empire, with the greatest splendour and pomp, heaped presents upon his forty thousand janissaries and twenty-two thousand sipáhís, left Bairám Páshá, Kaima Khám at Constantinople, and moved on the 5th of Shewál from Scutari, marching over Konia and Kaissarie to Sivás; at which place he appointed his sword-bearer Mustafa to the office of Second Vezír, and the sword-bearer Mússa Páshá to the post of Quarter-master General. The Nishánjí was made Silihdár, and Melek Ahmed, Chokadár (First Lord in waiting). When he entered Erzerúm report was made to him, that his army then amounted to two hundred thousand men: Jánpúlád-zadeh Mustafa Páshá, the governor of Rúmelí, alone mustered thirty-one thousand men, with seventeen hundred excellent horses; Khalíl Páshá the Governor of Erzerúm fell into disgrace, to the joy of his enemies, the Silihdár Páshá152 and Murteza Páshá; the government of Erzerúm was conferred on the Governor of Damascus, Kúchúk Ahmed, but the revenues, as barley-money, were given to Silihdár Mustafa Páshá. The army marched in three days to Hassan Kala’assí, and from thence by Karss to Eriván. On the 21st day after having left Erzerúm, the army of two hundred thousand men fixed its camp before Reván. The river Zenghí was crossed in spite of the long guns of the Persians, with which they endeavoured to annoy the Ottoman army. On this occasion it happened that one of the Soláks (bowmen) of the Sultán’s guard, crossing the river on foot by the side of the Sultán’s horse, was carried away by the water, the Sultán having observed it rode after him, caught hold of him by the necklace and dragged him out of the river; this anecdote is much celebrated in Persia. The river being crossed, the trenches were opened, and Jánpúlád-zadeh Páshá entered them with the Rúmelian troops from the side of the gate of Tabríz; on the right Gúnjí Mahomed Páshá with the Asiatic troops entered the trenches, and in the midst of them the grand Vezír Tabání Yassí Mohammed Páshá took his station; the Aghá of the janissaries Kara Mustafa Páshá, with his Kiaya, battered the castle day and night with a battery of twenty guns, and similar batteries were prepared on five sides. One day Sultán Murad himself entered the trenches of the Rúmelian troops, and fired a good shot at the Khán’s palace from the gun called Karabálí. The governor of Erzerúm, Kúchúk Ahmed, battered the castle from the north side, and the Kapúdán Páshá, Delí Hossein, from the hill of Mohana-depeh.

Murteza Páshá, with the Sipáhís, were placed as sentinels on the side of the earth castle, while Mússa and Cana’an Páshá with the Moteferrika kept guard over the Imperial tent. The castle was surrounded by troops in the space of five hours, and every day many thousand Sunnís came to claim mercy. On the ninth day they asked to capitulate, and Emírgúneh brought the keys. The next day the Persian Aghá of the Fusileers, Mír Fettáh, was allowed to kiss the Emperor’s feet, and to return with the garrison to Nakhshiván. Emírgúneh, by birth a Georgian, and Aded Khán kissed the Emperor’s feet, and each received an Imperial tent as a present. The Islamitic prayer was proclaimed, all the banners and standards waving during seven days and nights on the walls; after each prayer the Mohammedan shout (Allah) was repeated three times, and at night a great number of candles and lamps were lighted. The castle was repaired in forty days, and Mustafa Páshá appointed Governor of Eriván, with forty thousand men as garrison. Sultán Murad appointed the Khán Emírgúneh first governor of Haleb, but afterwards removed him and gave the government to Kúchúk Ahmed Páshá. Emírgúneh remained the favourite of Sultán Murad IV. until the death of the Sultán, when he was killed by Kara Mustafa Páshá.


The towns of Shureglí, Joris, Behestán, Khúí, Ordúbárí and Tabríz were pillaged during seven days and nights, together with the castles of Bágjenán, Aján, Kuherán, Kúmla, Merend, and Selmás, after which havoc he returned by Betlis, and Diarbekr to Constantinople. The Sháh then laid siege to Eriván for the space of seven months, which received no relief on account of the enmity existing between the Grand Vezír Tabání Yassí and Murteza Páshá, who was shut up in Eriván. The latter having no subsistence left, killed himself by swallowing his diamond ring, and the next day the whole garrison, half naked and starved, threw themselves on the mercy of the Persians and were killed by them, a great number being driven into the Aras, of whom a few being saved by charitable Sunnís fled to Karss and Bayazíd. Sultán Murad IV. hearing this sad account, girt himself on two sides with the sword of religious zeal and high enterprise, with the intention to conquer Baghdád, and to deliver the tomb of the great Imám Na’amán Ben Thábet out of the hands of the Infidels.

Eriván meanwhile remained in the hands of the Persians, who increased its flourishing state; it could not however resist an assault of the Ottoman army for seven days, because it is only surrounded by a simple wall. It is situated on the bank of the Zenghí, extending from the south to the north, having so little breadth, that the balls fired on it by Sultán Murad bounded from one extremity of the town to the other; many of these balls are even now seen fixed in the towers. The walls built by Ferhád Páshá are forty royal cubits high; those built by Tokmák Khán, fifty cubits high and twenty broad; it has no ditch on the side of the Zenghí, but it has a wall on the south, north and east sides, which however is not deep, being a marshy ground. It has three iron gates; to the south, the gate of Tabríz; to the north, the gate of the Meidán called Yaila Kapússí, on this spot they play Maïl; to the west, the gate of the bridge; there are seven hundred cannons large and small, which remained from the time of the Ottomans, and an immense number of other stores, because it is the frontier of Azerbeiján. It is garrisoned by three thousand men of the fortress, three thousand men of the Khán, and seven thousand men of the province. Sometimes its Khán enjoyed the title of Khán of Kháns. A judge, Nakíb, Kelenter, Darogha, Múnshí, Yessaúl-aghá, Kúrújí, Ishek Aghá, Dízchoken Aghá, seven Mihmandárs and Sháhbenders, keep public order. The town consists of one thousand and sixty elegant houses covered with earth, the best is the palace of the Khán much embellished by Emírgúneh. Near it is the mint where large and small silver coins (Abbássí and Bestí) are coined. The suburb outside of Yaila Kapússí is called the old town; at the head of the bridge is the Khán’s garden, and a suburb with mosque and bath. In the year 1045 (1635), when the Persians conquered this154 fortress, they also built a castle on the east side, with walls of clay and straw, which is even more solid than stone. At the time I was looking at all the curiosities of Eriván, I received an invitation from the Khán to assist at the ceremony of the circumcision of his sons. His Kiaya gave me ten tománs of Abbássí, for the expenses of the journey, and I began my journey from Eriván to Shirván, by Shamákhí, Tiflís, Termís, Aras and Bakú. We first travelled to the north through cultivated fields of rice, along the river Zenghí to Kent Khoja, the khass of the Khán of Eriván, with five hundred houses, a mosque and a bath; then fourteen hours further to Kent Demijí Hassan, which was anciently a town of the Turcomans, and is even now inhabited by a Turcoman tribe. It was destroyed by Murád IV. We arrived at last at Genje.

Description of the important town of Genje.

It was wrested from the hands of Sháh Tahmás, in the year 1014 (1065), by Kojá Ferhád Páshá. At the time when Mohammed Páshá the Kiaya of Sárí Ahmed Páshá, was governor of Genje, the Sháh besieged it for seven months, and killed the whole garrison. Since that time it remained in the possession of the Persians, a large town, but the Sháh destroyed its castle; it is now an elegant town of six thousand houses with gardens and vineyards, a khán, a bath, and imáret, situated in a large plain. Its gardens are watered by the Kúrek, which joins the Kúr; the Kiblah side of the town is a mountainous tract, and the foot of the mountains is cultivated in gardens and vineyards; the silk of Genje is famous. On the plain round Genje are seven districts of Infidel villages, where cotton, silk and rice are cultivated; here are rich Moghs (ancient Persians, worshippers of fire) and beautiful youth of both sexes; the horse-shoes of Genje are not less famous than the silk. The town is governed by a Khán, who commands three thousand men. The public officers (the Khán included) are twelve in number, in honour of the twelve Imáms. Its first Ottoman governor was Khádim Hassan, who conquered Berda’a.

Pilgrimages (or Tombs) of Martyrs.

Twelve thousand Moslims, who had surrendered the castle by capitulation to the Sháh, were unmercifully killed, and are now buried outside the town in a place called Shohedaí Ervám (martyrs of Rúm). We remained three days as guests in the khán of the town, and continued our journey with about fifty companions to the north; on our right was the Khánlik of Loristán. After seven hours march we arrived at Gilkzár Ahmedí, formerly a town, but now a kent of seven hundred houses, the khass of the Khán of Genje, with a mosque, a khán, and a bath; fine155 silk is manufactured here. Nine hours further, is the Kent of Megúchúr of seven hundred houses, with a mosque, and a fine garden. On the opposite shore of the Kúr is a great kent called Kendere; we passed in boats to Megúchúr, the frontier of Genje, and after eight hours we reached the great town of Aras.

The town of Aras was built by Keyúmerth, and conquered in the year 985 (1577), by Kara Mustafa Páshá, the Vezír of Murad III. Emír Khán arrived with forty thousand men to succour the town, and finding it taken he fought a battle, which terminated in his being made prisoner, and all his troops consisting of Turcomans, Koks, Doláks, and Georgians were dispersed. They were routed for the second time by the Kiaya of Uzdemir-oghlí on the banks of the Kúr river which swallowed up a great number of them, the bridge having broken down under the weight of the fugitives; their bones are yet seen in heaps, and the bridge still lies in ruins. The Turkish general having convinced himself of the importance of the town of Aras, situated between Genje and Shirván, collected masons and workmen, and enclosed the town with a wall, including the garden Sháh Khiabán, which was outside of the town; three gates led through this wall of clay, the circumference of which is nine thousand six hundred paces. It was finished in forty days, and the governorship, with the rank of a Begler Beg, conferred on Kaitáss-Beg, who had been brought up in the Harím of Sultán Murad. From its situation at the foot of a mountain, the town resembles that of Brússa, surrounded with gardens of fruits and flowers, vineyards and rosebeds. It consists of ten thousand houses with terraces, and forty mosques; in the castle are those of Murad III., of Ferhád Páshá, and of Kara Sinán. The Turkomans and Komúks of Dághistán, pronounce the name of this town Arash. In the beginning of the reign of Sultán Mustafa, this town like that of Merend fell into the hands of the Persians. Forty quarters may now be reckoned, and as many mosques, sixteen baths, eight hundred shops, and seven coffee-houses. The youth are gazelle-eyed, with faces shining like the sun, because their women are Georgians, Dadiáns, Achikbásh, and Shúshád. The air is mild and the water of the royal mountain (Sháhkúh) most excellent. Around it are seven great districts each of which reckons one hundred populous kents, the most populous is that of Levend Khán near Aras. On crossing the bridge of Uzdemir-oghlí Osmán Páshá, the traveller arrives at the district of Palvanaí, and the district of Shair Abadán, where a castle is seen on a rock, the name of which I do not remember.

The royal mount, opposite the town, is the summer abode of the Turcomans. Amidst the districts of Aras is also that of Shekí, which is now governed by the governor of Aras, though it was sometimes ruled by the power of the Princes of Dághistán. The Khán of Aras leads twenty-three thousand men into the field.156 Twelve public officers keep order in the town. After a stay of three days in this town, we advanced to the north, and after two stations reached the castle of Shekí.

Description of the Castle of Shekí.

It was built by Alexander a Prince of the Shúshads, from whose hands it passed into those of the Prince of Dághistán, and then into those of the Persians. Lala Kara Mustafa Páshá, the Vezír of Murad III. conquered it, and it was conferred on Erkelád Beg, the son of Levend Khán. In the beginning of the reign of Sultán Mustafa it returned into the possession of the Persians, and is now the seat of a Sultán, who commands one thousand men. It is a nice castle built on a rock, its circuit three thousand paces, a ditch is not required; its two gates are that of Genje and that of Shirván; though situated on the frontier of Dághistán it is reckoned to belong to Georgia, the more so as its builder was a Georgian; there are three thousand houses, and seven mihrabs; in the market is the mosque of Mirza Alí Beg, in the castle that of Lagúsh-oghlí Ahmed Beg; that of Murad III. is falling into decay. In the gardens great quantities of silk are produced. At a journey’s distance east of this castle passes the river Kanúk, flowing into the Zenghí. Advancing to the north, we crossed the river of Uzdemir-oghlí Osmán Páshá and arrived at the place Koyún-gechid, where we saw piles of human bones; our companion Yasser Alí Aghá told us, that it was on this spot that Mustafa Páshá, the general of Murad III., was attacked by the Kháns of Tabríz, Lor, Nakhshiván, and Karabágh, who with more than two hundred thousand men surrounded him. Koja Lala Mustafa Páshá ordered a general attack, which was instantly made on one side by Uzdemir-oghlí, on the second by Mohammed, the governor of Haleb, and on the third by Mustafa, the governor of Mera’ash, who cut to pieces more than a thousand men, and drove the rest like sheep to the ferry of Koyún-gechid, where a great many of them were drowned, some in the river Kanúk and some in the Kapúr. In short there remained altogether more than forty thousand men on the field of battle, whose bones are piled up as an everlasting monument; I said a Fátihah for their souls, and crossed the sheep’s ferry. Further on to the north we passed the white river (Aksú), which is called by the Persians the river of Gilán. It comes from the mountains of Aras, and flows into the Kúr. At the end of three hours we entered the district of Mahmúdabád consisting of two hundred highly cultivated kents, which produce a thousand Yúks of silk, each kent resembling a large town. The inhabitants are Turkománs, Kok, Dulák, Moghols, and Ettels.


Account of the Tribe of Ettels.

Ettel signifies in the Mogolic language, tongue of dogs; they take this name from their war-cry, which is a kind of howling. Near Márdín, in the sanjak of the mountains, which I entered with Melek Ahmed Páshá, the Ettels are a tribe like that of the hairy Kurds, impure, impious, irreligious robbers, who pretend to be of Hamza’s sect, keep neither prayer-hours nor fasts, are ignorant of moral duties and of God. Seven or eight of them share a woman amongst them; if she gets with child, her seven or eight keepers after some time assemble, and the woman gives an apple into the child’s hand, the man to whom the child gives it is reckoned to be the father, and henceforth the woman belongs exclusively to him, without any man being allowed to raise pretensions to her. The famous sect of the candle-extinguishers (Múm sonduren), must be a branch of them, because I saw or heard nothing of them any where else. It is a certain fact that they drink out of the shoes of their Sháhs, to whom they are most obedient.

The Kaitáks are about twenty thousand men on the frontiers of Dághistán, who sometimes come to the towns of Aras and Shekí; a strange race of men like the beast of the day of judgement, with heads in the form of kettles, brows two fingers broad, shoulders so square that a man may easily stand upon them, thin limbs, round eyes, large heels, and red faces. They pretend to be Sháfítes; if they come to the market of Aras and Shekí, they come on waggons, or ride on buffaloes, because horses and asses could not carry their weight: as they pass with their turbans of the size of a cupola, saluting on both sides with great dignity, they seem to be of the race of Dejál (the Antichrist) true Oghúzians. These Kaitáks come originally from the province of Mahán, are Mogholian Turks, and therefore speak the Mogolic language, of which I could only collect a few words, as I remained but two days among them. I saw these people in the district of Mahmúdabád, and after having travelled further to the north, reached the kent Chailán on the frontier of Shirván on the banks of the river of Guílán, with six hundred houses of Turcomans and Oghúzians. Further on is the town Niázabád on the frontier of Shirván built by Yezdejerd-sháh, great ruins of its ancient magnificence are yet extant, it was ruined by the Moghols, who united with the Komúks and Kaitáks of Dághistán. In the reign of Murad III., Ferhád Páshá fixed his winter quarters here, and levelled the castle, when he left it in the spring. It is now the frontier between Dághistán and Persia, with forty quarters and as many mosques, a khán, bath and market-place, the seat of a Sultán who commands a thousand men. There are twelve magistrates; according to the statement of the Kelenter, there are more than six thousand houses surrounded by gardens. It is a pity that its strong castle lies in ruins; if God should again grant that158 it be restored to the Ottoman power, it might be easily repaired, and become a very strong castle. This town is surrounded by an endless plain on all four sides.

Pilgrimage of Ashár-Baba.

Ashár-Baba was one of the disciples of our great ancestor the Turk of Turks, Khoja Ahmed Yessúí; as the rites of Yessúí are liked in Persia the convent at this place is inhabited by more than a hundred Dervishes. It is a general pilgrimage, the inhabitants profess to be of the sect of Hanefí. We here took some companions and advanced to the north to the kent Ferrakhzád on the frontier of Shamákhi, and on the bank of the white river (Aksú) with five hundred houses, a mosque, a khán, a bath and a small market. The mihmándár of this place paid me many attentions. We advanced to the north amongst shady groves, dined at a hunting place of Sháh Khoda-bende, and arrived at Nílchaí, the same as blue river (Goksú), which coming from Dághistán joins the Kúr at this place.

Praise of Mount Caucasus.

The rivers which come from Mount Caucasus, on the south, flow into the Kúr, and those towards the north, straight into the Caspian Sea. Again there are rivers on the south side, which fall into the Black Sea, and on the north side into the Kúbán. Mount Caucasus is the greatest mountain in the world, its tracts are ruled by five different monarchs, and to the south the Abáza tribes are settled to the extent of eighty journies. On the east side on the border of the mountain are the Mingrelians, Georgians, Ajíkbásh, Shúshád, Kúrdíl, and Dadián to the extent of forty journies. Again there is the province of Tiflís on the Persian frontier, and the throne of the Alans (Serer-ul-allán) on the border of Mount Caucasus nineteen journies long; Dághistán, within Mount Caucasus, twenty journies long to the north. Inside of Mount Caucasus is also Circassia inhabited by the tribes Kabartaí, Bestí, Púltakaí, Khatúkaí, Memsúkh, Bozadúk, Takakú, Zana, Shefáke and other Circassian tribes, eighty-one journies. According to this reckoning the extent of all the tracts of Mount Caucasus is two hundred and forty journies. It is so high that it is seen at ten days distance. God has created on the surface of the earth one hundred and forty-eight mountains, twelve of the highest par excellence, are, Mount Caucasus, Mount Bingol, Mount Demavend, Mount Siján, Mount Kamar, the mountains in Germany at the source of the Danube; the mount Samúr, where the Zeiro and the Dniester take their origin. No man has ever reached half the height of Mount Caucasus: passing on our way through the districts of Dághistán we saw its top wrapped in clouds. But we shall now return to the description of our journey.


The kent of Kokchaí (the blue river) is a great place with a Kelenter and Mihmándár, seven hundred houses with gardens. The inhabitants are Sunnís, who pay tribute to Sháh Ismail for permission to wear beards. We continued our journey through fields to the north, for seven hours, and reached the kent Aksú, on the territory of Shamákhí, of one thousand houses, a mosque, khán and bath. The White River passes through the place and flows into the Kúr, it comes from the mountains of Shirván, waters the fields of Shamákhí and falls into the Kúr.

Description of the Town of Shamákhí.

It was first built by Yezdejerd Sháh the Persian Monarch; it is the centre of seven Khánliks, some spell it Shám Akhí (the brother of Damascus), and some Shám Ahí (the sigh of Damascus), because its first inhabitants were a colony from Damascus; forty Sultáns and forty judges are attached to it, seventy castles and thirteen hundred kents like large towns: Ulama Páshá and Pírí Páshá, two Vezírs of Sultán Súleimán took possession of it in their Emperor’s name, and Ulama Páshá was named governor of Shirván; Sháh Tahmás then besieged the town during three months, conquered it, and gave the government to his younger brother, Elkáss Mirza, who remained three years at his post, but then, being afraid of his brother, took flight with all his valuable things, came through the steppes in forty days to Kafa, embarked himself and paid his homage to Sultán Súleimán at Constantinople. In the year 954 (1547), Elkáss Mirza undertook with Lala Mustafa an expedition to Persia, and then took up his abode in the palace of Pertev Páshá at Constantinople. Having witnessed the pomp of Sultán Súleimán’s solemn entrance, he said, “How it is possible that with such power your Emperor of the Ottomans should not be at the same time the monarch of Iran?” Súleimán carried Elkáss along with him on the expedition to Wán and Azerbeiján. Lala Mustafa Páshá was named governor of Shirván, and Elkáss Mirza, his predecessor in this government, ravaged the provinces of Nakhshiván, Eriván, Genje, and Shirván. Sháh Tahmas having died, the castle of Shamákhí was taken after a siege of seven days from his son; Lala Páshá was named governor of Shamákhí, and Elkáss Mirza Khán of Mahmúdabád. He ravaged Persia as far as Isfahán in order to quench his thirst for vengeance. Shamákhí was then contested for by both powers, till in the reign of Murad III. it was conquered, and then repaired by Uzdemír-oghlí Páshá. The Persians reconquered it and lost it again to Ferhád Páshá. It remained in the hands of the Ottománs till the time of Sultán Murad IV. when the Persians took Derbend and Shamákhí by usurpation, and sent the garrison prisoners to Constantinople. It has ever since remained in the power of the Persians, and is now160 the seat of a Khán. The castle is on a hill on the bank of the river, the interior one is very strong, but the exterior is in decay. The town consists of about seven thousand well built houses, stone walls, and terraces, each house provided with water; there is an infinite number of gardens, and twenty-six quarters; the quarters called Meidán and Shabúrán being in the inner castle are the most elegant; there are seventy mosques, the oldest is that of Div Alí, who was one of the Kháns of Shah Tahmáss, but a Sunní; in the suburb is the great mosque of Sháh Safí, which rivals the vault of the palace of Chosroes. In the court-yard is a basin, and round it cells for students; the gates of the mosque of Ferhád Páshá are closed, because it has no endowment; the mosque of Uzdemír Osmán Páshá is a college, where the Muftí holds lectures: there is a dining establishment of Sultán Khodabende’s foundation, forty schools for boys, seven pleasant baths, the best of which is that of Shabúr, with numerous private rooms and a basin, its waiters are fine youths. Besides the public baths, there are private ones in every garden. There are forty caravánseraïs, in each of which many thousand tománs of wares are deposited. The public security is so great, that every man leaves his shop open, without the least danger, when he goes away on business; there are altogether twelve hundred shops. There is no Bezestán of stone, but nevertheless a great number of valuable articles; the coffee-houses are meeting-places for wits and learned men; the air is mild and the land fertile; rice, cotton, seven sorts of grapes, pears, and water-melons are in great perfection. The greatest part of the inhabitants are Sunnís of the Hanefirites, who perform their prayers secretly. I remained during seven days a guest of the Khán of Shamákhí, Takí Khán, a generous, liberal man, who liked society and good company. He presented us with many pieces of silk stuffs, ten tománs of Abássí, and a horse (Karajubúk). Being himself invited to the entertainment of the Khán of Eriván, he set out from Shamákhí with one thousand men. Marching to the north we came to the pilgrimage of Pírderkúh (the old man of the mountain) a great saint, a fine walking-place the view from which embraces all the buildings of Shamákhí; the inhabitants of three hundred adjacent villages are for the most part Dervishes of the order of Begtásh, belonging to the Convent of this Saint. We advanced from hence six hours to the north through a cultivated country, and reached the station of Pír Merízát, where we were treated as guests by the Kelenter. The convent of this place is called Pír Mirza by some, and Pír Mirka by others, but the proper mode of spelling the word is Merizát, which signifies incurvated, because his body is seated in one of the corners of the convent in an incurvated position, his face turned towards the Kiblah, his head recumbent on a rock. His body is light and white like cotton, without corruption at all. The Dervishes who are busy all day long in cleaning161 and sweeping the convent, put every night a basin of clear water at the feet of the Saint, and find it empty in the morning; his dress is thus always washed white without the least dust upon it. The brains of those who visit this place are perfumed by the scent of ambergris. Sheikh Sefí who came from Erdebíl to visit this Saint spent treasures in building this convent of Dervishes Begtáshí, which has its equal perhaps only in the town of Meshhed Mússa Riza. Its entrance fills all who visit it with a sacred awe, like culprits appearing before a great monarch as their judge. I visited it, read the Súra Yass in honour of the Saint, and made spiritual acquaintance with him. I am unable to quote the date of his death, as there is no chronostick on the gate; but one of the Dervishes told me that he was the Múëzzin of Sheikh Ibrahím Shirvání, who had arrived at such a degree of sanctity, that when he proclaimed prayers at the five hours, the skies all moved in uproar. Sheikh Ibrahím touched his back bone, which is the cause of his incurvated position and good preservation. Whoever says at his tomb the seven verses of a Fátihah may be sure to have for seven days the object of his wishes. Passing about a mile to the north of the convent, through gardens, we came to the Kent of Kharjdeh, another place of pilgrimage, which was covered with a cupola by Khodabende Sháh; in seven hours more, to the caravánseraï of Kúzlí, a great Khán, the foundation of Sháh Ismaíl; further on, to the station of six trees, a great caravánseraï with a ruined Kent, on the frontier of Derbend; and then to the pilgrimage of Khizrzende, who lies beneath a cupola in good preservation. Uzdemir-oghlí Pásha who came here hunting, built this cupola because he had great faith in the Saint. Still further northward in the district of Musekker, on the frontier of Shaburán, is the place Regál.

There is a Regál, a small Kent, near Shamákhí, but this has a mosque, a khán, a bath with gardens, and three thousand houses with terraces; it belonged formerly to Derbend and is now a dependence of Bakú, the inhabitants are for the most parts Turcomans, Kaitáks and natives of the towns of Dághistán, Enderí, Tarkhú, Koúk, and Thálibserán; they are not duellists, though many exist in these parts. We halted on the border of the river Regál, and afterwards continued our journey through the fields; all at once we saw a great troop coming from the Black Sea, which as we approached proved to be the troops of seven great Persian Kháns, viz. Eriván, Genje, Lor, Bakú, Kílán, Moghán, and many Sultáns, all in state dresses, with more than ten thousand men of Turcomans, Moghols, Kalmúks, Kodeks, Valács, and Cossacks, with a variety of dresses and arms, sounding trumpets of Efrasiáb, beating drums and kettle drums, and playing Persian tunes in a style beyond all description. The Khán of Eriván leaving the troops and advancing to meet us, the Khán of Shamákhí acquainted me with it. He162 saluted me first, and then the Kháns of Kílán and Bakú, and we continued improving our acquaintance till we arrived at the town of Bakú. So many salutes were fired from the walls and towers of Bakú that it seemed like a salamander in the fire of Nimrod’s pile. We met with Envoys who had arrived from the Russian towns of Astrakan, Heshdek and Terek, to compliment the Khán with presents on his feast; thus we entered the Castle of Bakú on Friday the first Moharrem of the year 1057 (1647).

Description of the fortress of Bakú.

After a grand repast we delivered the letter of Defterdár-zádeh Mohammed Páshá the governor of Erzerúm, our gracious Lord, with the presents consisting of beads of pearls, Irák stuffs, and a fine sword. I also delivered the letters of the Kháns of Tabríz and Nakhshiván, complimenting him on the feast of his wedding; the Khán entertained me as a guest in his sister’s palace, the festival lasted ten days and nights, during which he praised the presents he had received through me, in the presence of all the Kháns and Sultáns; he then presented me with a Persian dress, ten tománs of Abbássí, and ten tománs of Bisití; after which, with my companions, I went to view the town.

The castle of Bakú is built on a hill and is of a square form; the gate looking to the west is of iron from Nakhshiván, the circumference is seven hundred paces, it has seventy towers, and six hundred battlements, the height of the wall is forty royal cubits; being situated on a rock, there is no necessity for a ditch. Within the castle are seventy houses with terraces, a mosque of Hyder Sháh, but without a minareh. In the castle is no khán, bath or market, but on the shore of the Caspian Sea the suburb (Robát) consists of a thousand houses with gardens, mosques and kháns, surrounded with walls on three sides; there are three gates, the gate of Guílán to the north; the gate of Derbend to the south; and westward towards the sea-shore is the harbour-gate. Seven minarehs of as many mosques are to be seen, the names of which I am ignorant of, and three baths, the most brilliant of which is that of Mirza Khán. This place being a frontier fortress opposed to Russia is garrisoned with excellent troops called Sháhseven and Dizchoken (who love the Sháh and bend their knees before him.) It is the seat of a Khán in the province of Shirván, ruled by twelve magistrates. The Russian Cossacks have several times pillaged the town of Bakú, and the province of Guílán; they besieged it at the instigation of the Persians soon after its conquest by Uzdemír-oghlí Osmán Páshá, when Kobád Páshá was governor, but were all cut down, and their bones are yet piled up on the shore. The climate is mild and favourable to the cultivation of rice and cotton; the water all smells163 of Naphtha which is found in seven mines near the town, of different colours, yellow, red and black. The inhabitants of the districts of Musekker, Sedán, and Ríneb do not use oil or grease, but all burn black Naphtha. The people are sound and stout, and some of them fine figures; they are for the most part Sunnís. The distance between this town and Derbend is four days journey, peopled by wandering Turcomans. Three journies east of Bakú is the town of Shabúrán, and Shamákhí is five journies to the east; the port of Shamákhí is much frequented by Chinese, and Tartars, Kalmúks and Russians, who bring different wares, in exchange for which they take salt, naphtha, safian, and silk. Round the town are many places, where if a portion of earth is dug up fire bursts forth, which is used by the Caraváns in cooking their victuals. Near the town to the north flows the Kúr, which is sometimes navigated by Cossack and Russian pirates, who ravage the Persian provinces, and sell their prisoners privately in the markets of Guílán. It is a great river like the Danube, broad but not deep. I remained some days at Bakú to witness the festival at the wedding of the sister of the Khán of Eriván, who was married to the Khán of Bakú. If I were to describe minutely all that took place at this festival it would more than fill a large book. During a fortnight’s stay I received many valuable presents, from the Khán and others, viz. rich cloth, seven horses, three Georgian slaves, a Persian sable pelisse, two camels, ambergris, &c. ten tománs of Abbássí for the expenses of the journey, and as much to be distributed amongst my servants. We took leave of our friends, and the Khán himself, out of friendship, accompanied us when we left the town.

Description of our journey from Bakú through Georgia.

We passed to the south over a dreary tract along the sea, where we saw mines of Naphtha in seven places; it boils up from the earth on the seashore, and in the district of Musekker in hot springs, on the surface of which it collects. It is a Royal lease, let for seven thousand tománs of aspers per year. The men belonging to the inspector of the Naphtha collect it from the surface of the springs and small lakes, fill jacks of goatskin with it and sell it to the merchants; the yellow is the most esteemed; the black Naphtha is carried as a Royal revenue to the fortresses, and used to light the walls on dark nights, and to be thrown on the besiegers. It is also used by the Mihmándárs for torches; all the torches at the Court of the Sháh and at their great houses are made of Naphtha of Bakú; if it catches fire it burns to the last drop; to prevent, therefore, the destruction of the mines, heaps of earth are piled up near them, and if one of them should be ignited by a spark, all the people flock together and throw earth upon it to quench the fire. There are also mines of Naphtha in other places, which,164 however, I did not see. We advanced to the south, and halted in the district of Musker, beneath tents of felt belonging to Turcomans, who with Moghols and Kúmúks pass the winter here; it is a fertile tract of country.

Description of a Whale with ears like an Elephant.

A whale had been driven on shore, one hundred yards long, with two heads, one at the tail end, the other of the size of a cupola. In the upper jaw it had one hundred and fifty teeth, each a yard long, ears like an elephant, and eyes of the size of a round table, and covered with beaver’s hair. The inhabitants of Bakú, Derbend and Shamákhí flocked together to see it. Khoja Sarúkhán, a voyager in the Caspian Sea, told me that this kind of whale was common in that sea; there are certainly many strange creatures and animals in that sea which are not to be found elsewhere; the shore is covered with bones and carcasses of strange kinds with square and pentagon heads, and an immense number of extraordinary fish. According to the reports of sailors, the circumference of the Caspian Sea is twenty-four thousand miles; it has no islands like the Black Sea and White Sea, wherein two thousand and forty islands are reckoned, forty of which are great ones, like Cyprus, Creta, Rodos, &c. with large towns and rivers. The conflict of the waves of the Caspian Sea is stronger than those of the Black Sea; it is bounded on the west by the Russian provinces; and on the east by the country of the Uzbegs, Kalmúks, and Cossacks. In winter-time the Kalmúk Tátárs pass over the ice of lakes and rivers which are frozen for the space of seven months, committing depredations in the Russian provinces, and carrying a great number of prisoners away. On the western side its extremity is at Derbend, and south to it, in the district of the Avárs, which is comprehended by a gulf on the frontier of Dághistán, is the castle of Terek on the river of the same name. Its length from north to south is four thousand miles, and its depth three hundred cubits; thousands of boats and vessels carry on trade, but they are all afraid of Russian Chaiks, with whom they fight; the vessels are not large ships like those of the White, Black and Red Sea, but small boats of reeds with small guns; there are no men of war or great Caravellas like those of the White Sea, which are necessary to meet the vessels of the Franks in the Archipelago and Mediterranean; such great means of defence are not required on the Caspian, as there are only Cossack boats to be met with.

We continued our journey eastwards through plain fields, and arrived at the great town of Shabúrán, an elegant yet ancient town, which was first built by Isfendiár, and ruined by Húlagú. Uzdemír-oghli Osmán Páshá, the Vezír of Murad III., took possession of this town after the conquest of Derbend, and it165 became the seat of a sanjak Beg. In the beginning of the reign of Sultán Murad IV. the Persians became masters of it again, and it is now the seat of a Sultán which is the same as a sanjak Beg in Turkey, it is a well inhabited town, with seventy mosques, the largest of which are the mosques of Uzún Hassan, of Tokmák Khán and of Ashár Khán. The fountains and china work, with which the mosque of Uzún Hassan is inlaid, are no where found in such profusion. Uzdemir-oghlí used to come every Friday with a great train from Derbend, in order to perform his prayers here; it is adorned with so many arabesques and carvings in marble, that the greatest architects are astonished on beholding it. The town is situated in a valley rich in bowers, roses, flowers and fruits. Its districts are seven, named after the seven planets. We continued our journey to the south in the district of Musker, and reached the station of Kent Charkhí on a wide plain at a great distance from the Sea. It is the khass of Shah Mikhál, the Prince of Dághistán, with five hundred houses, a mosque, a bath, a caravánseraï, and a market-place. The inhabitants are for the most part Kúmúks of Dághistán. We travelled further on to the south, leaving Regál on our left, and arrived at last in the district of Musker at the capital of it, the pass of Alexander, the strong fortress of Derbend.

Description of Derbend the Gate of Gates.

It is generally known that Alexander having designed to build the dike of Gog and Magog, when he arrived at this place, thought of executing a project for uniting the Caspian with the Black Sea, by means of a canal which was to join the Caspian Sea with the Phasus; but being advised by his Vezírs of the danger of this union, as the Black Sea was a great deal lower than the Caspian, he left it unexecuted, and built three immense walls with three ditches as a stronghold between the Black and Caspian Seas, and as a line of defence against the Bení Assfar Sala’at, Rús, and the people of Crimea and Kipchák. These triple walls, on Mount Caucasus in the mountains of Irák Dadián, with triple ditches, I, poor Evliyá, saw, and which all those who travel from Crimea into the country of the Kúmúks also see; by the lapse of time some of the towers are in ruins and the ditches choked up with earth. The author of the History of Tophet pretends that the Caspian Sea issues by subterraneous canals cut by Alexander into the Phasus, but this is an evident blunder, as I can most positively assert, because when I saw the Phasus on my journey to the siege of Assov, I found its water clear and fresh, while that of the Caspian Sea is so salt and bitter, that it burns a man’s skin if used for purification. This is a case for applying the Persian proverb; “Where is hearing, and where is seeing?”

We have already mentioned in our journey to Trebisonde, that Alexander166 built a strong castle on the shores of the Black Sea at the mouth of the Phasus, and on the shores of the Caspian he built this gate of gates or iron gate.

Size and figure of the Castle.

Yezíb Ben Abd-ul-Melek, the son of Atika, the daughter of Moavia, took this place from the Khavarej, and the whole district of Dághistán was then ennobled with the glory of Islám. In the year 986 (1578) Uzdemir-oghlí the Vezír of Sultán Murad III. appearing with a great army before its walls, the Sunnís who were inside bound Jírágh Khalífeh, the Sháh’s commander, cut off his head, and surrendered the fortress to the Ottoman general, who was appointed by the Porte, Governor General of Shirván. He repaired the castle and made subject to it seventy surrounding villages. One thousand janissaries, four regiments of Sipahís, ten of armourers, ten of gunners, sixty cannons, five hundred boxes of ammunition and fifteen hundred militia of Eriván completed its means of defence. Communications were opened with the Tátárs of Crimea and Kipchák, with the garrisons of Akhichka, Genje, Tiflís, and Shamákhí, and the town was in a highly flourishing state, till in the beginning of the reign of Sultán Murad IV. the troops rebelled and surrendered the fortress to the Sháh of Persia, in whose hands at the present time it is in a most prosperous condition. It is the seat of a khán and judge and twelve public officers, garrisoned by nineteen hundred good troops. I occupied a place here on the bulwark of Kainák khán, and was extremely well treated by the khán who gave me five tománs for the expenses of my journey.

Description of the Iron Gate.

Alexander closed this passage with an iron gate, which remained up to the time of Núshirván by whom it was renewed. Jezdejerd Sháh, Ismail Sháh and Uzdemír Páshá repaired the castle situated at the foot of mount Arghan and Deneb. The foundations of the western walls are washed by the Caspian Sea. The walls were built by Herzsháh, as is recorded by the Persian chronostick on the gate of the harbour. The remains of the wall of Alexander also, which was a broad thick wall, are still to be seen projecting from the Sea. If the government would undertake it, it would be easy to extend the harbour from these walls up to the fortress. The length of the wall from the sea to the high mountain is an arrow’s shot, and the breadth of the castle itself is the same. It is built in a pentagon form on a high hill, the strongest I ever saw during my travels; the intelligent architect distributed it into three parts, one of which looks eastward to mount Safah; the second gate is the entrance to the town. In the wall which looks to Mount Arghan are also two gates, and two others leading to167 the lower town; the first is called Meskúr because it opens towards the district of that name, persons leaving this gate in waggons, may arrive at Shamákhí in three days. Another gate leads towards Kipchák, Crimea and Circassia. In Dághistán, waggons with horses cannot travel, but the roads to Terek, Kazán and Desht Kipchák are all practicable for those vehicles. The third division of the fortress looks towards the sea; it is not so well inhabited as the other two, as the barracks for the garrison are the only buildings. The waggons of the merchants who come from Kílán and Bakú with goods are all put in array in this castle; the circuit of the whole fortress is eleven thousand paces, it has seventy towers, at each of which is a college and a mosque. The students are allowed Naphtha instead of candles, and are fed twice a day. In this way they have contrived to interest the Ulemás in watching the castle; there are besides these seventy towers, seven thousand and sixty battlements round the fortress; on dark nights the whole fortress is illuminated with Naphtha, which is a most necessary precaution, as the castle is continually threatened by no less than thirteen mortal enemies, the worst of whom are the Cossacks, who come in boats and ravage all these districts; they cannot, however, come near the border of the castle on account of seventy large cannons, which defend the avenue, and whose brilliancy dazzles the eyes of all the beholders. The other powerful enemies are the Tátárs, Kalmúks and the Ottománs on the west side; the Circassians on the south side; and the worst of all enemies, the Kúmúks of Dághistán on the south-east or Kiblah side; to the east is the inimical district of Georgia belonging to Tamaras khán: for this reason the men of the garrison pass the whole night on the walls crying Khoda Khob (all’s well!) There is also a post of fifty watchmen (Túlúngí) stationed on mount Deneb at a great distance from the town; if an enemy appears anywhere his arrival is made known to the town by fires lighted on the top of this mountain.

Buildings within the Castle.

The stones of the wall are each of the size of an elephant, but cut square, and are so large that fifty men at the present day, could not lift one of them. In the castle are two hundred well terraced houses; close to the southern wall is a large palace, the architectural ornaments of which are not to be found in any other palace in Persia; near to it is a great mosque with a ruined minareh, and a bath built in the Ottoman style, and a fountain. Near the gate of boats opening to the east, is the mosque of Uzdemir-zadeh Osmán Páshá, with some kháns and shops. The suburb outside the castle consists of about a thousand houses, with no imáret, but kháns, mosques and baths. The people get their living by cultivating168 silk, they are Sunnís and Shafiís, rich men, and fine youths. On the opposite side of the Caspian Sea are the Russian provinces of Heshdek and Kazán; and further on Kipchák and Heihát, where twenty years ago Taissi Sháh, Moyunják Khán, and Kúba Kalmákh Khán with fifty or sixty thousand men wandering about in the steppes, pushed their inroads up to the bank of the Kemúklí river and there killed Gúrgí Mustafa Páshá; these Kalmúks are all Infidels, who have no idea of religion and faith, but are a careless slavish set of people, some of whom now begin to come with Russian merchants to the harbour of Derbend, which is frequented by Chinese, Tátárs, and Russians in great numbers.

When it was governed by the Ottomans its annual revenue was two hundred and forty-seven thousand aspers, besides the revenues of the seven Sultáns or sanjak Begs, and the annual sums given to the Prince of Dághistán for the preservation of peace. This is according to the description of Zál Mohammed, made after the conquest of Uzdemir-oghlí Osmán Páshá. The province of Shirván at present consists of seventy jurisdictions, seven khánliks, and twelve Sultánliks. May God bring it back to the possession of the Ottomans!


Yezíd Ben Abd-ul-Melek, son of Atika the daughter of Moavia, came from Damascus with a great army to make war against the heretic rebels (Khavarej); seven hundred moslim martyrs, who were killed on that occasion, are buried outside the western wall at a mile’s distance. Another army came in the time of Heshám Ben Abd-ul-Melek, which conquered the provinces of Dághistán, Kúmúk, Thábserán, Kaiták, and Derbend. The martyrs who fell on this occasion were also buried in this cemetery; their names are written on the tombs in Cufic characters and in Thúlúth writing; the inhabitants of Derbend boast that amongst this crowd of martyrs seventy-five doctors of true tradition are buried. Amongst these tombs some are to be seen with inscriptions in Jellí (great Neskhí) of Ottomans, giving an account of their lives and deaths.

The Pilgrimage of the Forty.

There are forty tombs much frequented by visitors. The tomb of Derekhorkhot, a great Saint, in whom the people of Shirván had great faith. Several thousand great Saints are buried here, but I visited and made myself acquainted with those only that I have mentioned. God’s mercy upon them all! After having seen all the curiosities of this town I received from the Khán a horse of the race (Kádhibeg,) and a trotting horse (Chapár), ten pieces of cotton stuff of Guzerát, and two hundred guards to accompany me on the journey; I took leave169 of all my friends the Kháns and Sultáns, and set out on my journey to Gúrjistán, or Georgia.


After a march of sixteen hours to the south-east through woods, we arrived at the place called Kúr, of a thousand fine houses and a mosque, on the frontier of Dághistán, not far distant from Táyeserán, the residence of Mikhál Sháh, Prince of Dághistán. Every Friday people flock here together to buy and sell, not for money, but by exchange. There are ten thousand inhabitants, all Sunnís and Sháfiítes. I saw no women at all here; the women of Dághistán are not allowed to leave the house, excepting on a journey to Mecca, or to be carried to the cemetery after death. The men are hospitable. We left this place, passed a ruined castle in the midst of woods, and then entered the great district of the Avárs: it is a district belonging to the khass of the Prince of Dághistán, and during three days journey we saw seventy great kents with mosques and kháns.

Description of the Castle Serír-ul-allán.

This ancient town was built by Hormúz the son of Núshirván; it was wrested from the hands of the Princes of Dághistán by the Persian Sháh Kor Khodabende, and fell into those of the Ottomans, who destroyed the castle that it might not be used as a defence against them; it is now a large ancient town situated on the border of Mount Caucasus, belonging to the government of Aresh. According to fabulous history it was in this town that Solomon set up his throne, which had been carried through the air by Genii, when he came with Balkis and an immense army to view Mount Caucasus; this is why it was called the throne of Lán, a Persian word signifying both a nest, and one who walks or travels. It is situated between the towns of the gate of gates, Shamákhí, and Niázabád, but is not much cultivated as it is on the extremity of the frontier, its gardens are few on account of the coldness of the climate; there are three thousand houses with terraces, and some mosques not much frequented, seven baths, eleven caravánseraïs, and seventy shops: as we remained here but one night, it was impossible to see much of it. It is the seat of a Khán, Judge, Kelenter, Darogha, and Munshí, and has a garrison of a thousand men; there are a great number of Sunnís, who get their living by cleaning cotton. The waters which give life to the plantations of cotton, all issue from the west side of Mount Caucasus, and fall into the Kúr. We marched for some hours towards the170 Kiblah, to the district of Khata a dependence of the Princes of Dághistán, a woody tract comprising three hundred kents, with mosques, kháns, and gardens. We remained here for three days as guests, and continued our journey on the fourth to the district of Zákhor, consisting of a hundred and fifty villages and large kents, governed by Yússúf one of the Princes of Dághistán, who commands seven thousand brave warlike men; the Beg, with whom we spent a night, presented me with fifty skins of wild cats, and I gave him three handkerchiefs embroidered by Sultána Kia.

Tomb of Emír Sultán.

He was a great Saint. The Divines of this country, all learned Doctors, have no enmity amongst themselves, but they shun all communication with the Reváfes (heretic Persians). Here ends Dághistán, and the province of Georgia begins.

The frontier castle Ur belongs to the Persians; we passed it on our left, and skirted the boundaries of the castle of Shekí, which I formerly saw on my way to Shamákhí, and arrived at the kent of Zakhorie on the frontier of Tamarass-khán, belonging to the Khán of Tiflís; the inhabitants are all Georgians, Armenians, and Gokdúlák.

Description of the Old Town of Kákht.

This town is situated on the frontier of Georgia and now governed by the Persians. It was built by Núshirván to keep the tribes of the Caucasus in order. It is a pentagon castle, fourteen thousand large paces in circumference, with one hundred and seventy bulwarks, three gates, two thousand houses within the castle, a mosque, a bath, and a khán. Its waters, so many springs of life, issue from the west side of Mount Caucasus, and after irrigating the gardens fall into the Kúr to the eastward. The climate being rather cold, its silk is not much praised. The inhabitants are Georgians, Armenians and Gokdúlák; the Sultán commands a thousand soldiers, all Shiís, and there are twelve civil commanders and a judge. Sháh Ismail liked its climate so much that he remained here three years before the battle of Cháldirán, and built a suburb outside of it, so that it bears much likeness to the town of Kaschau in the middle of Hungary. After the loss of the battle of Cháldirán, the Ottoman flying troops arriving at this town destroyed it, and since that time many thousand loads of stones have been carried away by Ferhád Páshá for the repairs of the Castle of Aras. The Sultán of this place accompanied me, out of kindness, to the next station, and we passed the night in Khodraí, a kent of a thousand houses, with a mosque, khán and bath, on the frontier of Tiflís.


Description of Georgia or Shúshádistán, viz. Betlís.

According to the author of the Sheref-námeh, this town was first built by Betlís the Treasurer of Alexander, who also built the castle of the same name in the province of Ván; its name is now Tiflís, which for a long time was a great Persian government, till in the time of Sultán Murad III. Lala Kara Ferhád Páshá with an immense army undertook the conquest of Georgia, and conquered Chaldír and seventy castles. Daúd Khán, who was then governor of Tiflís, garrisoned it with forty thousand men, and fortified it in all possible ways. On the other side the Ottoman commander summoned the town to surrender to his Emperor; at an assembly held on this occasion it was advised to send back the bearer of the summons, and to put themselves into a state of defence, but the more prudent foreseeing that they would not be able to make resistance, they all fled away one night, and left the Castle without defence. The Ottoman commander pursued them with the greatest speed, and came up with the Khán of Tiflís at the Castle of Zekúm, where he had entrenched himself with all the treasures carried away from his capital. A great battle ensued, in which no quarter was given by the Ottoman victors, and forty thousand Persians were cut to pieces. The booty taken by the Ottoman army was immense; the Aghá of the janissaries with seven regiments of his corps was sent to garrison Tiflís, and the castle of Zekúm was taken in the year 956 (1578). A few days after, the Castle of Kerím also fell. I have not seen the Castle of Zekúm, but I saw that of Kerím without entering it, when passing through the plain of Kákht. Lala Ferhád pursued his victory as though he had been on a hunting party; he took twenty-six great and small castles, some of which he destroyed, and some he repaired, placing a Dizdár in each, and made his entry into Tiflís amidst the greatest demonstrations of public joy. He fortified this castle to such an extent, that no fortress of Georgia or Azerbeiján is equal to it, except that of Bakú and Megú. The province was given with the rank of a Begler Beg to Mohammed Páshá the son of Ferhád Páshá, then in possession of the sanjak of Kastemúní; its works were repaired, and its stores completed. He sent the keys of no less than seventy large and small castles to the Ottoman Court and then returned himself to Constantinople. After his departure the Persians besieged the town of Tiflís for the space of seven months. The garrison being in the greatest distress for food, eat their dogs first, and then the dead; the famine was so great that the dog belonging to the Súbashí Alí sold for seven thousand aspers. At last the governor of Erzerúm, Mustafa Páshá, arrived with a flying troop, put the Persian General to flight and relieved the garrison. Hassan Páshá the son of the Grand Vezír arrived with a caraván, bringing three thousand camel loads of provisions, which were placed in the Maga172zines of the small castle. In short, this fortress remained in the hands of the Ottomans from the time of Sultán Murad III. till that of Sultán Mustafa, when the Persians united with the Georgians took the castle by surprise, and gave it up to the Sháh; and it has remained ever since in the hands of the Persians. It is the capital of Georgia, to which belongs sixteen Sultáns, seventy judges, forty districts and seven tracts called Oimák. Three-tenths of Georgia are occupied by the province of Tiflís; the khán commands two thousand soldiers, it has also a judge and twelve public officers in honour of the twelve Imáms.

Size and Figure of the Fortress.

It consists of two castles opposite to each other on the banks of the Kúr which separates the rocks on which they stand, and which are connected above by a bridge leading from one castle to the other. The great castle is on the south side of the Kúr and the small one on the north of it. This river rises in the mountains of Chaldir, passes Erdehán, Akhiska, and Azgúra and flows into the Caspian Sea; the Persian historiographers say, that its waters are supplied from a thousand and sixty sources; it is the largest river in these countries next to the Euphrates. The circumference of the largest castle is six thousand paces, the wall sixty cubits high, with seventy bulwarks, and three thousand battlements, but no ditch; the water-tower which supplies water to the garrison in time of siege is situated on the Kúr. In the castle are six hundred houses, terraced, some with and some without gardens, the palace of the Khán, a mosque and a bath. The small castle was built by Yezdejerd Sháh, it is of stone, in a square form with only one gate at the head of the bridge, and has no Bezestán or Imáret.

Three thousand watchmen light fires every night, and continually cry Khoda Khob (all’s well.) Though it is a Persian town, yet its inhabitants are for the most part Sunnís and Hanefis from the time of the Ottomans.


The white bread of Tiflís, and the peaches are renowned; the vegetables exquisite; there is no silk, but most excellent grapes: all these productions prosper through the quantity of rain water which falls, and do not require water from the Kúr, this is the case with an hundred and fifty towns and villages, which it passes on its way.

The Hotbath of Tiflís.

On the east side of the large castle a hot-spring boils out of the ground without the assistance of fire; sheep’s heads and feet are cooked therein. There are also several pilgrimages at Tiflís, as those of Imám Hossein Efendí, Rizwán Agha,173 Jem Alí Efendí, &c. Tiflís is five hours distance from Kiákht, from the Castle of Aras, four journies, and the same from that of Genje. We took from the khán two hundred men to accompany us, and received three tománs for the expenses of the journey.

Description of the Castle Kúsekht.

It stands on a chalk cliff, is of a square form, and belongs to the district of Tiflís. The castle Lorí near Tiflís was seen on our right side in the mountains, but we passed it at a great distance.

Description of Súrán.

Though a small castle on a hill, yet it is extremely strong and high: it is one of the oldest castles of Georgia built by Núshirván. Its inhabitants are Georgians, Gokdúlák and Armenians. We proceeded four hours to the west, and reached the old town Azgúr: according to the author of the Sheref-námeh, it is the oldest town in Georgia, and was built by Alexander. In the Georgian language Azgúr signifies the King of Kings. The immense blocks of stone used in the formation of the walls, show that it must have been built by Alexander, because five hundred men of the present age would not be able to move one of them; it stands on a high hill, and is of a square form; it has one gate opening to the south, a mosque, a bath, a khán, and forty small streets; the gardens are beautiful owing to the mildness of the climate; the river which passes below it, issues from the mountains of Akhiska through which it passes, and waters the gardens of the town, falling into the Araxes. This town being on the frontier of Gurgistán Shúshád, the inhabitants all speak Georgian.

Specimen of the Georgian Shúshád Language.

One, árí; two, úrí; three, sám; four, otkhí; five, khotí; six, egsí; seven, shudi; eight, revaí; nine, khújraí; ten, atí; bread, púrí; water, chígál; meat, kharj; wine, ghita; cherries, bák; pears, bishál; figs, lefi; grapes, kúrzení; hazel-nuts, inikhlí; melon, nesú; &c.

Genealogy of the Georgian Kings.

Their first kings were Jews, then Dadiáns and Shúshád, from whom originated the people of Gúriel, Achikbásh, and Mingrelia, who are all Christians. They speak twelve different languages, and only understand each other by the aid of interpreters. The purest language, according to their opinion, is that of the Shúshád and Dadián. If the dynasty of the Moscovites should be extinguished,174 the Princes of Georgia would succeed. The Aiza and Cherkessians who are an Arabic colony, have no books at all; according to the histories of their priests they descended from Keikavús, and then from David.

There was formerly here a Queen who pretended to reign unmarried; one night having drank with some young men, she was violated by one of them, and got with child, which happened to be a girl. To get rid of the ravisher, the Queen sent him fowl-hunting on a frozen canal, when the ice broke, and the man was swallowed up, so that all talk about the matter was at an end. The daughter married a Prince named Begdiván, and had three sons, who when of age, divided Georgia into three parts. The first Prince obtained the district of Cotatis otherwise called Básh Achik, and its inhabitants derive their descent from him. To the second, Simon, was allotted the district of Tiflís; and to the youngest, the province of Bághat; from the latter, the Dadiáns derive their lineage. This Dadián Prince was a just monarch, and even now the whole of Georgia pay homage to the Princes of Achikbásh and Dadián. When Sultán Selím I. was Governor of Trebisonde, he lived on good terms with the Beg of Achikbásh, and spent some time in the castle of Cotatis, and when he ascended the throne after Bayazíd II. he exempted by a Khattí-sheríf, the inhabitants of Achikbásh from all gifts and duties, a privilege they enjoy up to the present day; since that time it has only been the custom to send annually falcons and fine youths as presents to the Porte. We left the castle of Azgúr, and going westward through woods and fields, we arrived all well at Chaldirán and Akhaskha.

Description of the Stronghold of Akhaska, Sultan Selím’s conquest.

This strong fortress of Akhaska is also spelled Akhachka, Akhjaska, Okhaskha, and Oksakha, according to the difference of the languages of the surrounding people. In the Imperial register it is laid down by the name of Chaldir. The builder was Núshirván, the great Persian monarch who built the Ták Kesra. He used to spend six months of the summer here, on account of its climate. It would be too long to relate all the changes that this place underwent under different kings. The first moslim conqueror of it was Heshám Ibn Abd-ul-Melek, of the family of the Ommiades, who, proceeding from Syria with an immense army, conquered Aintáb, Mera’ash, Malátia, Haleb, Diarbekr, Erzerúm, and this castle of Akhaska, which then became the Capital of Georgia. He also conquered Genje, Shirván, and Derbend, and returned to Damascus. Kara Yússúf, the Prince of the dynasty of the Kara Koyúnlí, not being able to resist the arms of Timúr, fled to Bayazíd I. for assistance, and Sultán Uzún Hassan became the possessor of the castle of Akhaska. Paying homage to Timúr he was put in175 the number of eleven tributary princes, that marched by the side of Timúr’s horse, who conferred upon him, the province of Azerbeiján. It afterwards came into the power of Sháh Ismail of the Safí family, who chose Akhaska for his summer quarters and subdued the whole of Georgia. He ravaged the Ottoman provinces, and pushed his incursions up to Sivás, the granary of the Ottoman capital. Selím I. was then governor of Trebisonde, and many times pursued the Persian troops. Having himself ascended the throne, he immediately began the Holy war, and fought the famous battle on the plain of Chaldir, which cost the lives of one hundred thousand Persians, and nearly that of Sháh Ismail, who had a narrow escape. He then conquered the castle Akhaska, and subdued the whole of Georgia. A survey of it was commanded, and it was assigned as a government to a Páshá of three tails. As this town is the frontier of Gúrjistán (Georgia), Turkistán, and Kurdistán, in immediate contact with Persia, it was declared a separate Eyálet or government, of which the following is the description in the Kanún-námeh of Sultán Súleimán. The sanjak of Chaldir consists of thirteen sanjaks, the officers are a public treasurer of the timárs (Timár Defterdárí); an inspector of the rolls (Defter Emíní); a kiaya, an inspector and a secretary of the Chaúshes, (Chaúshlar kiayassí, Emíní, and Kiátibí). The sanjaks are as follow: (1) Oltí; (2) Khortíz; (3) Ardíkh; (4) Khajrek; (5) Erdehán; (6) Postkhú; (7) Mákhchíl; (8) Achárpeník; (9) Akhachka, the seat of the Páshá. There are also four hereditary sanjaks Yordlik, or Ojáklik, viz. Portekrek, Lesána, Nussf Levána, and Shúshád; making in all thirteen.

Khass or Revenues of the Sanjak Begs.

Khass of the Beg of Oltí, two hundred thousand and seventeen aspers; Portek, forty-six thousand two hundred and nineteen; Ardenj, two hundred and eighty thousand; Erdehán, three hundred thousand; Shúshád, six hundred and fifty six thousand; Lesána, three hundred and sixty-five thousand; Khartíz, two hundred thousand five hundred; Khajrek, three hundred and sixty-five thousand; Postkhú, two hundred and six thousand five hundred; Makhjíl, twenty thousand three hundred and eleven; Ajára, two hundred thousand; Penek, four hundred thousand.

Number of Ziámets and Timárs.

The ziámets and timárs are altogether six hundred and fifty-six swords, which with the Jebellis form eight hundred men; and with the troops of the Páshá fifteen hundred troops. In the sanjak Oltí, three ziámets, a hundred and thirteen timárs; Erdehán, eight ziámets, eighty-seven timárs; Ardíkh, four ziámets,176 forty-two timárs; Khajrek, two ziamets, seventy-two timárs; Khartíz, thirteen ziámets, thirty-five timárs; Postkhú, twelve ziámets, twenty-eight timárs; Penek, eight ziámets, fifty-four timárs; Sászín, seven ziámets, thirty-two timárs; Khatla, nineteen ziámets, seven timárs; Isper, four ziámets, fourteen timárs. These feudal troops are commanded by their Yúzbashí (Lieutenants), Cheribashí (Captains), and Alaï-Beg (Colonels). They possess a thousand and sixty villages on condition of going to war when called upon, the annual revenue of which amounts to three hundred and twenty Ottoman purses. In the time of Selím I. the Páshá of this province, commanded those of Erzerúm, Sivás, Mera’ash, Adana, and Rakka. The place of a judge with the rank of Molla was given to Ramazán Efendí with five hundred aspers, now it has a judge with three hundred aspers; he may however annually collect from the districts belonging to his jurisdiction, the sum of eighty purses. The Khass of the Begler-beg amounts to four hundred thousand aspers; the garrison consists of two thousand men, regular troops, with an Aghá of the janissaries, of the Jebejí and of the Topjí. In the year 1044 (1634) the Persians became masters of Chaldirán, but after the conquest of Eriván, Canaan Páshá was sent by Sultán Murad IV. with an immense army who conquered the fortress of Akhachka, and put it in a good state of repair, in which it is kept by the Ottomans, up to the present time.

Form and size of the Castle of Akhachka.

It is a square castle built of stone, standing on a chalk cliff, with two gates and about a thousand houses without gardens covered with terraces. One of the two gates leads to the east, and the other to the west, there are twenty-eight mosques. The old mosque in the upper castle is covered with earth. There is no Imáret (religious foundation) covered with lead in this fortress. The mosque of Kunbet-oghlí is also covered with earth, and without a minareh. In the lower castle is the mosque of Khalíl Aghá. Besides the five legal prayers a day, there are certain lectures in all these mosques on the Korán and tradition, but there are no private rooms or establishments for these lectures. The Muderris (Professors) hold them in the mosques, the students (Thelebe) are numerous. The suburb outside of the castle is well built, and its baths pleasant, but the bath inside the castle is very small; the best is that outside the eastern gate of the castle, the waiters are fine Georgian boys; there are a great number of kháns; no vineyards (Bágh), but in some places gardens (Bághje); a large number of gardens of fruit trees (Mushebek-bostán) full of valuable trees, well watered by springs. The water of this place comes from the mountains of Uda, waters the fields of the town, goes straight to the castle of Arghán, and falls near the Castle of Kúrehkt177 into the Araxes. The passage between the castle and the suburb is established by a bridge; the suburb is not surrounded by walls; the market consists of about three hundred shops, but no Bezestán of stone. The temperature of this place being fresh and invigorating its people are strong and brave also; the Páshá Sefer Páshá, by birth a Georgian, is one of the most wise and virtuous Vezírs of the Ottoman Court. Eriván is six journeys from Akhashka to the east, and mid way is the Castle of Karss. From Akhaskha to Tiflís is five journeys towards the north-east, to Genje five journeys direct east, and seven journeys to the north is the castle of Georgia. The fortress of Akhaska is situated between them all in the plain of Chaldir.

Castles of Georgia belonging to the Province of Chaldir.

The castle of Khartíz near Chaldir was conquered in the year 886 (1481), by Lala Páshá, together with the castle of Adhil, and the castle of Perkán near Chaldir at a journey’s distance, situated between two high mountains on a high hill. The castle of Cotatis is two journies distance from Chaldir, it is the capital of the district of Ajikbásh near mount Perírat. It is the proper residence of Georgia otherwise called Shúshád, and Selím I. when governor of Trebisonde, sometimes came hither to divert himself. It was created by him a hereditary province (Ojáklik), the khass of which amounts to six thousand and six aspers. There are no ziámets and timárs. The castle of Khajrek, situated between Akhachka and Erdehán, is the residence of the Sanjak-Beg of Burdehán, and was conquered by Lala Páshá; the Khass amounts to three hundred and sixty-five thousand aspers, six ziámets and twenty-two timárs. The castle of Shatán, which by mistake is called Sheitán Kala’am, (the Castle of Satan), was conquered by Ferhád Páshá in the year 990 (1582); it is situated near Chaldir, on a steep rock. The castle of Kizlar (of the maiden) near Chaldir, on the border of the river Jágh, is a magic castle. The castle of Altún (gold), the conquest of Lala Páshá, is three hours distance from the latter. The castle of Odoria near Chaldir, the conquest of Lala Páshá. The castle of Al near Akhaska. The castle of Postkhú, which is the seat of a Sanjak Beg in the province of Akhaska, was conquered by Lala Páshá in the year 998 (1589); a jurisdiction, the judge of which is appointed with one hundred and fifty aspers. There is an Alaï Beg and Cheríbashí. Shúshádistán is the name of one of the principal provinces of Georgia, governed by a Begler-beg. Shúshád, the castle, has no judge. Shúshádistán is a mountainous tract full of precipices. The castle of Kharbe on the border of a valley, is a steep castle. The castle of Ardíkh, the seat of a Sanjak-beg in the province of Chaldir, a conquest of Lala Páshá. The castle of Akhanjí, the seat of a Sanjak-beg. The castle of Jághirmán near178 Chaldir, conquered by Lala Páshá. Besides these castles there are a great number of others seen on the great road. Georgia is indeed a fine and well cultivated country. After having seen all this, I took leave of Sefer Páshá, who presented me with two Georgian boys, a horse, and a hundred piastres; I took an escort and began my journey westward to Erzerúm.

Stations of the Journey from Akhaska to Erzerúm.

We passed the summer quarters of Ulghár, and arrived at the end of four hours at the castle of Kínava on the frontier of Ardehán; we passed through a mountainous tract and at last arrived at the Castle of Kara Ardehán, which was conquered in the time of Selím I. and made the seat of a Sanjak Beg; the khass is three hundred thousand aspers, eight ziámets, and eighty-seven timárs; an Alaï Beg, (Colonel); Cheribashí, (Captain); Dizdár, (Commander of the castle); are the commanding officers of the garrison, which consists of two hundred men; the whole contingent in war time including the troops of the Beg amounts to one thousand men. The judge is appointed with a hundred and fifty aspers. There is no Nakíb-ul-ishráf (head of the Sheriffs or relations of the prophet) and its Muftí resides at Akhaska. The castle is built on a rock, and is five hundred paces in circumference; it is not commanded by any neighbouring height, it has two hundred and seventy towers, and three gates. A company of armourers (Jebejí) of the Porte, is in garrison here. In the town, the family establishment (Khandán) of Kia Páshá is the most renowned.

Castles in the neighbourhood of Erdehán.

The castle of Wálá, conquered by Lala Páshá 987 (1579); the castle of Kermek, conquered by Lala Páshá in the year 982 (1574); the castle of Akhársin, conquered by Lala Páshá in the year 982 (1574); the castles of Mamerván and Nazarbán, the latter built by Ghází Sefer Páshá in the year 1053 (1643); the castle Kense Dusál in the district of Erdehán on a hill; its water flows to Erdehán. The houses all have terraces; there is no college, but a school for boys. No gardens on account of the temperature, which is rather cold. Its fruits come from the castle of Tortúm and Acháras; the inhabitants are all Sunnís, and live by agriculture. This castle is five journeys to the east of Erzerúm; and Karss is one journey’s distance from Erzerúm by the way of Kargha-bazár. We then passed westward sometimes on a stony and woody ground, sometimes in rich meadows, and arrived at the castle of Gúle. It was built by Levend-Khán, a Georgian Prince, and is the seat of a Sanjak Beg, the khass of which is three hundred thousand aspers; it has a Colonel, Captain, Dizdár and garrison; it is179 an elegant castle on a chalk hill. Eight hours further to the west, we reached the castle of Penek also named after its Georgian builder, it is the seat of a sanjak Beg subordinate to Chaldir; its khass is four hundred thousand aspers. Its feudatory militia with the troops of the Beg are a thousand men; there is a judge with a hundred and fifty aspers, no market nor garden. The water of the river is very good, its subjects are Armenians, Gokdulak, and Georgians. Seven hours further is the Castle of Uliní, built by a Georgian king, and conquered by Sultán Selím; it is the seat of a Sanjak Beg, whose Khass is two hundred thousand and seventeen aspers. And has a Colonel, a Captain, a Judge with a hundred and fifty aspers, a Dizdár, and garrison; the castle stands on a chalk hill with two gates, one opening to the east, and the other to the west. At the foot of the castle flows the river Oltí, which waters the gardens of the town, and enters the Aras on the Kiblah side. The houses are all inhabited and covered with terraces. There are a number of mosques, a khán, a bath, garden, and school for boys; its beauties are celebrated. The inhabitants are good moslims. From hence we travelled direct north, and came at the end of two hours to the castle of Maverván built by the Georgian Kings, and conquered by Lala Kara Mustafa Páshá; it is the seat of a Sanjak Beg subordinate to Erzerúm, whose khass amounts to two hundred and three thousand aspers; the officers are a Colonel and Captain of the feudal militia. The militia of the Beg amounts to fifteen hundred men; the judge is appointed with a hundred and fifty aspers. The castle is of a square form and gigantic size, standing upon a hill; its gate looks to the Kibláh, there are eight hundred houses, a mosque, a bath, and a khán, the inhabitants are almost all poor people. Three hours further on to the west, is the village Aide Mamerván, a village inhabited by Armenians and Moslims. Further on among bleak mountains is the village Karakunk, it belongs to the district of Erzerúm; we passed the straight of Georgia and arrived at the village of Osmúdúm Sultán, a fine kent of a hundred houses on the border of a high mountain; it is situated at the very source of the Euphrates, which issues from a cavern in the mountain of Dúmlí Sultán, a delightful, refreshing water, which seems to be alluded to in the Korán by the verse: “I gave thee the Keuther.” Trouts of a cubit’s length sport in it; their bodies are ruby-coloured and interspersed with smaragdine spots. Umúdúm Sultán the Saint, who is buried here, protects these fish, so that it is impossible to catch them; but a farsang below they are taken by fishermen, and fill the brains of those who eat them with ambergris; however much a man may eat, he is never incommoded by them. The Pilgrimage to Rúmlí Sultán is much frequented. We marched five hours to the south, on the plain of Erzerúm and entered it, God be thanked! in perfect180 health. Before I changed my dress, I laid the letters and presents of the khán of Eriván at the feet of my gracious Lord the Páshá, and gave him a detailed account of all the castles, towns, kents and villages, which I had seen on my journey. He gave me a splendid dress and three hundred piastres bath-money, besides two purses, which he assigned to me on the extraordinary revenues of the custom-houses. I had remained scarcely a week, when a message arrived from the Khán of Eriván complaining that some of the soldiers of Karss had molested one of his caravans, and requesting that an Aghá might be sent to convey the caraván safe to Erzerúm. In consequence of this letter I was sent back into Persia on the tenth day.


From Erzerúm twelve hours to the east, is the castle of Hassan Kala’a which has already been described; and further on to the east, through the plain of Pássin, the village Bádil Jovánlí, an Armenian village. We passed it, and reached in nine hours the station of Meidánjik; the inhabitants are all Armenians. Ten hours further is the castle of Mishingerd in the province of Erzerúm, a square castle on a chalk cliff; which has a Dizdár and a hundred and fifty men, two hundred houses, but no market; a mosque of Sultán Súleimán Khán, without a garden. We passed to the east, through the valley of Khándere, by the ruined convent called the seven churches, through a narrow straight, and then to the west by a flowery meadow for six hours to the castle Bardúz, in the territory of Karss, built by Lady Kerím-ud-din, the daughter of King Azz-ud-din of the dynasty of the Auk-koyúnlí. The chronograph is written on the gate; there is a Dizdár and a hundred and fifty men in garrison, a small bath, but no garden. From hence we went southward to the castle of Gejkerán built by Núshirván; this is the old town of Dúdemán Gejkerán which is mentioned in the ancient histories of the wars of Pízen and Efrasiáb. It was ruined by Holagú at the same time as Baghdád, but flourished again under the government of Kara Yússúf Sháh of the family of the Kara Koyúnlí. Timúr again destroyed it. It was conquered by Lala Kara Mustafa Páshá, and now belongs to the government of Karss, it is a square castle. The karss of the Beg amounts to fifteen thousand three hundred and fifty aspers. According to the canon of Sultán Súleimán there are two thousand two hundred men including the troops of the Beg; a Dizdár, an Aghá of the Azábs and Gonullí, with three hundred men in garrison, a judge of a hundred and fifty aspers, twelve hundred houses covered with earth, three small mosques, and from forty to fifty181 shops. Eight hours further to the east we reached the frontier fortress of the Ottomans, the castle of Karss. There are three towns of that name; one is in Silefka, the Karss of Karatáshlik; the second, the Karss of Mera’ash, and the last that of Dúdemán, which is the present one. In the time of Murad III. it was conquered by Lala Kara Mustafa Páshá. The repairing this town after it was ruined by the Persians, was undertaken by the Ottoman generals, and on this occasion a large square marble stone was found, which they placed on the gate looking to the south-east, and which had the following inscription:—“This Castle was built under Vezír Fírúz Akaí in the time of Sultán Azz-ud-dín; and repaired by his daughter Sultana Karím-ud-dín. May God illuminate her tomb!” Lala Páshá who is the last builder of Karss, placed this stone on the wall, however, out of reverence for its ancient builders. Lala Páshá repaired it in seventy days, within which time he completed its munition. A soldier came to relate to him a dream which he had, and which was as follows. An old man appeared to him, saying, his name was Abúl Hassan Kharkaní, that he was buried here, and that if a well at his feet was to be dug, marvellous things would be seen. Some hundred workmen were instantly set to dig the well, when they found a red granite tomb, on which was written “I am the martyr, Saíd Kharkání.” He was found quite fresh, and the blood yet flowing from his right arm. The tomb was re-covered amidst prayers, and Lala Páshá raised a convent upon it. The government of Karss has been given at different times to Vezírs of three tails as barley-money (Arpalik); the karss is sixty thousand aspers. It belonged formerly to the government of Erzerúm, but is now a distinct province with the addition of Pássin. There are seven sanjaks, a Kiaya, and Emín of the Defter, a Defterdár of the treasury and of the timárs, but no Kiatib Kiaya and Emín of the Chaúshes, Its sanjaks are; Little Erdehán; Khojúján; Zárshád; Gejewán; Kaghzmán; Werishán, and Karss the seat of the Páshá, there are seven ziámets and a hundred and two timárs, with the Jebellis and troops of the Páshá, three thousand exquisite troops; a Colonel, a Captain, a judge with three hundred aspers, a Dizdár, an Aghá of seven companies of Azábs, and an Aghá of the Janissaries, armourers, and gunners; the Colonels reside for the most part at Erzerúm: the garrison consists of fifteen hundred excellent men; the garrisons of Wán, Karss, and Akhachka are decidedly brave men. Their pay is collected from the produce of the ferry-boats at Bírejik on the Euphrates, and from the villages Súrúj and Bombúj at Haleb, amounting annually to seventy thousand aspers. The government of Karss is divided into ten jurisdictions, and eight districts; there is a Sheikh-ul-Islám (Muftí); Nakíb-ul-ishráf (head of the Emírs), and other distinguished men.


Size of the castle of Karss.

At a gun-shot distance on the north side is a high mountain, at the foot of which this fortress rises on a separate hill; the lower castle is situated in the plain, and has five strong walls. The gate of the outer or lower castle looks to the east, and that of the inner or upper castle to the west. There is only the house of the commander, and barracks for the garrison of two hundred men; no bath, market, or any remarkable building. The lower town or suburb is surrounded by two strong walls, and has three iron gates which are adorned with all kinds of armour. One of these gates on the west is the water-gate, also called the gate of the troops, looking towards Erzerúm; the second or middle gate opens to Kaghzmún; the third to the east is the gate of Behrám-páshá, opening towards Eriván. Watchmen keep watch the whole night, lighting torches and lamps. The lower castle is surrounded by a lake instead of a ditch, which encircles it from the middle gate to the gate of Behrám-páshá, and hence it is impossible to get possession of the fortress. There are two hundred and twenty strong towers, and two thousand and eighty battlements; the circumference of the whole is five thousand seven hundred paces. The buildings consist of three thousand houses, forty-seven mosques, in eight of which prayer is performed on Fridays; the most remarkable is that of Sheikh Hassan Kharkání, built by Lala Páshá; the mosque of Waíz Efendí at the water-gate; the great mosque of Súleimán Efendí, which was formerly a church; the mosque of Hossein Kiaya called the red church; the mosque of Omar Efendí, which was destroyed when the Persians got possession of the castle, solely on account of being named after Omar, and turned into a stable; the mosque of Káltákjí-zadeh, at the gate of Behrám-páshá; the mosque of Beirám Chelebi-zadeh; and on the south side of the town across the bridge, the mosque of Emír Yússúf Páshá, all covered with terraces. There are eighteen schools for boys, but no colleges for lectures on the sciences, which are all held in the mosques. Within the water-gate is the bath of Emír Yússúf Páshá; within the middle gate is the old bath. There are no houses for reading of the Korán or tradition, or for dining the poor, who are, however, well taken care of by private generosity; there is no stone Bezestán, but two hundred shops in which Indian and Persian wares are found. No gardens and vineyards on account of the cold temperature of the climate. The inhabitants are a lively set of people who gain their living by agriculture and commerce.

We travelled from Karss twelve hours to the north, passed the village of Arjúk and the valley of Bághirsak, and the summer quarter (Yaila) of Olghár twelve hours long. It is three journies from hence to the castle of Akhiska (otherwise Akhaska, Akhachka). From Karss to Erdehán is one journey by the way of183 Korgha-bazár. I arrived at last at the object of my journey, the castle of Gúle, and on the same day I entered it, read the letters of our gracious Lord, the Páshá of Erzerúm, to the Aghás of Gúle, who excused themselves, saying: “that they never had disturbed the Persian caraván, and that it was a calumny of the inhabitants of Kaghzemán.” Next day we mounted our horses, proceeded for a whole day to the south, and arrived at the castle of Kaghzemán. The towns and castles on the Kiblah side of the Aras are all reckoned to be on the frontier of Azerbeiján. The river Aras rises on the west from the mountains of Bíngol (thousand lakes) flows to the east, joins the barley river (Arpachayí), and the Zenghí. The castle of Kaghzemán being situated on the Kiblah side of the Aras is reckoned to be on the frontier of Azerbeiján, but belongs to the Ottoman government of Karss. It is named after its builder, one of the daughters of Núshirván. It was taken out of the hands of Uzún Hassan by Sháh Ismail, and then submitted to Sultán Súleimán. It is the seat of a Sanjak Beg whose khass amounts to two hundred thousand aspers, nine ziámets, a hundred and seventy-eight timárs; nine hundred feudal militia, a judge appointed with a hundred and fifty aspers, and a garrison of three hundred men, who are paid by the impost on salt; the salt mines, and a quarry of mill stones, are on the west side of the castle. The mill-stones of Persia and Rúm come from Kaghzemán; the borax of the goldsmiths, barbers, whetting-stones, and the common whetting-stones are extracted from the mines of Kaghzemán; in two places gold and silver are found, but as the product was exceeded by the expenses, they were abandoned; there are altogether eleven mines. The castle is a square strong building standing on a hill on the bank of the Aras, there are seven hundred small houses; it is not a commercial town (Bender), but a frontier town (Serhadd). Mount Aghrí which appears to the west, is one of the most praiseworthy mountains in the world, it is near the town, and is the summer abode (Yaila) of Turcomans. The air is temperate and allows of the cultivation of gardens on some spots; the inhabitants are mild and some of them fair.

The Levend troops (irregular levies) sing Persian songs with harmonious voices. As soon as I entered the town, the Diván assembled, and notwithstanding the repeated oaths of the members of it, that they had not molested the Persian caravan, but only taken their custom duties, I took seven Aghás of them with me to prove the truth of what they said, by their presence at Erzerúm, whereunto I returned. The Beg and eleven Aghás presented me with a purse of money, two horses (Mahmúdí), and two Georgian slaves; and we travelled towards the east for nine hours, to the castle of Moghazberd, it is a district belonging to Karss, built by Mogház a Persian Khán; it passed into the hands of the Ak-koyúnlí of Sháh Ismail, and then into those of Sultán Súleimán; the garrison consists of a184 hundred and fifty men; the castle is built of stone in a pentagon form on a rock, not commanded by any neighbouring height; it has six hundred houses with gardens and vineyards; a mosque, khán, bath and ten shops; at the foot of this castle flows the river Arpachaí, which comes from the mountains of Georgia, and mingles with the Aras at the Kend of Tekeltí. The castle of Mogházberd is contiguous to the territory of the Persian castle Shúregil, which alone remained in the power of the Persians, meanwhile all the districts of it belong to the government of Karss; the river Arpachaí forms the limits: the eastern tract of this town is Persian, and the western, Ottoman, belonging to Karss. Opposite to Mogházberd, at a journey’s distance, is the castle of Ana on a hill, a square mud castle, built by Núshirván, the inhabitants are Armenians; between Ana and Karss are two mountains; we passed this castle and after nine hours journey we arrived at Zárshid on the utmost frontier, built by the Persian Sháhs, it is the seat of a Sanjak Beg subordinate to Karss; in the time of war, twelve hundred men bear arms, the judge has a hundred and fifty aspers; there is no Muftí nor Nakíb; but a Dizdár (Commander of the castle) and a hundred and fifty men. The castle is situated on a hill in a plain, at a day’s journey from Karss to the east on the road to Eriván, there are three hundred houses with terraces, a mosque, a convent, a bath, and a khan. Nine hours further eastward is the kent Thálish, on the frontier of Eriván; we passed Kara Taib, and arrived after twelve hours march to the east at Three Churches, a great convent built by the Greek Emperors; the convent is divided into three parts, in one are Greek, in the others Armenian nuns; these Three Churches and the Seven Churches on the road to Nakhshiván are the most famous convents of Persia. It is a convent well worth seeing on account of its monuments and strange talismans.

The balsam, called Mirún-yághí, is made here, of plants boiled in a kettle upon a carpet, to which fire does no harm; the balsam which is skimmed off from the kettle is put into jars, and used through the whole of Frengistán as a panacea or universal remedy. In the neighbourhood of this castle is an iron bar suspended in a cave without being supported up from above below; the Infidels believe it to have been suspended by a miracle of Simeon the Apostle: if a strong wind blows it vibrates, and it is enclosed by iron rails to prevent it being touched by the profane. The explanation of this matter is, that the architect who made the vault of this cave, placed on the top of it a great magnet, and a similar one on the floor, so that the iron bar is kept in equilibrium between them. This is what I, shortsighted Evliyá, found out by my own weak intellect. If it please God, there is no blunder in our guess. The convent is inhabited by about five hundred monks; almost every night five or six hundred horsemen, either from Persia185 or Turkey arrive here, and are entertained by the monks with milk, honey and dates. From hence we passed to the east through level fields for nine hours, crossed the great rivers Aras and Zenghí, and arrived for the second time at Eriván, where the Khán had just returned from the wedding of his sister at Bakú, and lodged me at his house. The next day I repaired to the Diván with the Aghás of Karss and Kaghzemán, who complained, in the strongest terms, of their having been unjustly accused of molesting the Persian caravan; a long discussion ensued, at the end of which the Aghás appeared to be innocent, and the men of the caraván to be calumniators. Takkí Alí Khán feasted the Aghás three days, gave me five tománs Abássí, and a horse, and for the Páshá a string of camels, laden with rice, also some letters. Charged with these, I set out to return to Erzerúm.

Journeys on our Return.

We set out from Eriván, with a caraván of seven hundred persons toward the west, and reached after five hours the kent Abdallí, a Persian village of a hundred houses, which at the time of the conquest was fixed to be the frontier of Karss. We advanced to the north four hours to kent Ayárán with five hundred houses; the inhabitants of which are Gokdúlak; from hence through mountains of luxuriant vegetation to kent Sheráb-kháneh, situated on a hill, of three hundred Armenian houses with many gardens, it is a ziámet on the frontier of Karss. We continued our journey to the west, passing over fertile steppes, and seeing many castles, which had been ruined by Sultán Murad IV. After four hours we arrived at kent Begum; the daughter of Uzún Hassan Sháh of that name built it; the Persian Princesses are even now styled Beghum: there are three hundred houses of Armenians and Georgians; it was ruined by Timúr, but seven high arches are still extant among the ruins on the border of Arpachaí, where the Princes of the Ak-koyúnlí, Meimendi Khán, Ashár Khán, Otgabai Khán, Gúndúzbai Khán and other Sháhs are buried, some lying, some seated on their thrones, as if they were in life, with their names, and the chronographs of their deaths. The three sides of this old town are a great Yaila. From hence we went to the west through marshy ground, and some meadows, to the old castle of Shúreger; Hossein Bikara, delighted with its situation on the river Arpachaí, built this town according to the advice of Doctor Shúrgerí; it passed into the hands of Kara Yússúf and was destroyed by Timúr; Lala Kara Mustafa Páshá ruined it again; large vaults and masses are yet conspicuous amongst its ruins. The musical tune Shureh is said to have been invented by Shúreger at the time he was building this town, whose inhabitants all delight in music, and are famous singers. The castle is in ruins, and no more than three hundred houses with186 terraces are now existing. The half of its districts being situated on the other bank of Arpachaí belong to the government of Eriván; those on this side to Karss. It is a mountainous fertile tract of Georgia which extends northward to the Aras and Zenghí, and along Mount Caucasus to the Caspian Sea; and on the west to Erzerúm. From Shúreger we advanced to the west, crossing five small rivers, some of which come from Georgia, some from the mountains of Azghúr, and flow into the Aras; some of the ground is marshy. We then arrived at the ferry of a river, the name of which I am ignorant of. Sultán Murad crossed this river on his expedition to Eriván, and the spot is yet marked, where his tent was fixed; the inhabitants planted trees round it, and made it a prayer-place. Five hours further to the west through fertile ground is the village of Búlánik, a free ziámet of Sefer Aghá, of three hundred houses. Seven hours further is the castle of Karss; we remained a night as guests with Alí Aghá, and continued our journey next day to the village of Dushen Kia (the falling rock), on the frontier of Karss, with two hundred houses; then five hours, ascending and descending through high fir-woods and meadows to Wernishán on the frontier of Karss, formerly a sanjak. The opposite shore of the Aras belongs to the castle of Bayazíd, and the Alaï Beg of Wernishán resides here; it is an Armenian village of three hundred houses. Akhiska is two journeys from hence to the north; six hours further to the west through fields to Zeinkhán on the territory of Karss, of two hundred houses, a Dizdár, a garrison, a khán, a mosque, a bath, and forty shops; it is the seat of a Súbáshí subordinate to Karss; the castle is square and built of stone, the inhabitants are an obstinate people. We continued our journey through fir woods for seven hours to Soghánlí Belí, a strait famous all over Persia and Turkey for the difficulty in crossing it; three hours beyond this straight we reached the kent Kúmadámí, of a hundred and fifty houses, on the frontier of sanjak Pássín, an Armenian village on the banks of the Aras. Eight hours further is the village of Pássín, of three hundred Armenian houses, in a plain, it is the ziámet of Ja’afer Efendí the land registrar (Moharerí Wiláyet) at Erzerúm; five hours further along the Aras is the station of Goz; we passed in sight of the bridge of Chobán, built by the dynasty of that name, through level fields, and arrived at Hassan Kala’a, which has been already described. Four hours from hence we arrived safe at Erzerúm, where we found our gracious Lord the Páshá, on the walk of Abd-ur-rahman Ghází; I presented the camels, letters and caraván of the khán of Eriván, and reassumed my functions as Clerk of the Custom-house, assisting every night at the assemblies of the Páshá. At this time the Capijí Alí Aghá arrived from Constantinople, with a Khattí-sheríf of Sultán Ibrahím, by which the Páshá received the Imperial command to repair with all the troops of his government to187 Karss, to be ready for the war against the Infidel Persians. The Páshá paid obeisance to the noble túghra and instantly dispatched commissaries to Erzerúm, Mera’ash and Sívás, in order to raise and collect troops. I, poor Evliyá, received a commission to go to Sídí Ahmed Páshá, the governor of the sanjaks of Sánja and Tortúm.


I left Erzerúm with nine servants, proceeding to the north in the plain of Erzerum, two hours to the village of Kán, of two hundred Armenian houses; five hours more to the north we came to the village of Sheikh Umúdúm, which has been described in our journey to Georgia. Six hours further to the north, through vallies and hills, to the bridge of the Georgian straight, a bridge built over the Euphrates by Shah Uzún Hassan. It is on this spot that the rebel Abáza Páshá cut to pieces forty regiments of janissaries sent against him; their bones are piled up near the bridge: the village of Gúrgí-boghází (Georgian straight), has two hundred houses, in the district of Erzerúm. We passed to the north over flowery meadows nine hours to Rúmlí Sultán, a great saint buried underneath a cupola. Here is the cave whence springs the Euphrates, which is above all praise, since it is mentioned with praise in the Korán. At Keifí, one of the sanjaks of Erzerúm, are the iron mines, where iron shot are cast; several hundred little rivulets run from these iron mines into the Euphrates, and somewhat spoil the sweetness of the water; but from its source in the rock of Rumlí Sultán unto Keifí it is the most delicious and most healthy water in the world. Rumlí Sultán was a Saint, who appreciating the good qualities of this river, took up his residence at its source; it is a village of two hundred houses. We advanced three hours to the north to Akchekala’a in the territory of the sanjak of Tortúm, built by Ulama Páshá in order to control Georgia; in course of time the castle has been dismantled of its walls and garrison. It lies north of Tortúm, and has six hundred houses, a khán, and a mosque; it was destroyed by Bayazíd II. when governor of Trebisonde in his youth. We proceeded six hours to the west, to the village of Saúlú of a hundred houses in the territory of Jánja, on the top of a high mountain without gardens; and seven hours further to the west, to the castle of Jánja, otherwise Gumish Kháneh (silver house). I went straight to the Court of Justice, and read the firman, which all the inhabitants were ready to obey. I remained as guest in the house of the inspector of the silver mines and began to visit the town. It was built by188 Alexander, one of whose philosophers discovered the silver mines. Mohammed II. conquered it by the sword after the defeat of Uzún Hassan in the field of Terján. Silver is here found in such abundance, that every child has a silver plate. The inspectorship is let for seven million aspers; the inhabitants are exempted from all taxes, because they are obliged to labour in the silver mines, seventy of which are worked. These are the richest silver mines in Turkey, the others are those of Kághzemán, Hakkárí, Bingol, Sanjar, Akár, Aswán, Libanon, and Merzifún. These are the Asiatic and African silver mines of the Ottoman Empire; the European ones are the following: on the frontier of Bosnia, Sira, Berinjesse near Uskúb at Karatova, Novaborda near Pereshtina, Sidr Kaissi near Salonia; but their veins are thin; those of Jánja are as big as an arm, perfectly pure silver: There was also a mint here, but it is now abandoned, I however, got some aspers with the inscription, coined at Jánja. After taking a good view of the town I was presented by the principal men with three hundred piastres, a vase for rosewater (gulábdán), and a censer (bokhúrdán) of silver, and after two days march through mountains and straights I arrived at the old fortress of Baibúrd. The Princes of the family of Akkoyúnlí, who came with the Dánishmend family, and with the ancestors of the Ottomans from Mahán to Rúm, first settled here, and having found a rich treasure of silver in the mines, by which they became rich (Bai), the place was called Baiyúrd, which was changed into Baibúrd. Mahmúd Pasha the Vezír of Mohammed II. conquered it from Uzún Hassan. According to the description of Sultán Súleímán, it is the seat of a Súbashí separated from the khass of the Vezír of Erzerúm, a jurisdiction of a hundred and fifty aspers, the revenues of the judge amount annually to six purses. There is a Muftí, a Nakíb, Sipáh-kiayayerí, and Yenicherí-serdárí.

Form and size of the Castle.

It is a pentagon, and stands on a high hill, the height of the wall is forty royal cubits, it has no ditch, on account of its position; there are three hundred old houses, but no market, khán, or bath; two gates, one to the east, opening towards the gardens, and one to the west, by which you descend to the lower town, consisting of more than a thousand houses with terraces; there are nineteen quarters of Moslims, and nine of Armenians; no Jews nor gipsies, but a great number of Greeks, because it is not far from the seashore. A great number of its inhabitants are Turks and Turcomans. Mohammed II. transplanted hither a colony of three thousand men of the inhabitants of Tíre, whose descendants are very orderly, good men. Its mosques are pleasant, the most frequented of them is that of the conqueror, in the Castle; in the market that of Záhid Efendí, a189 mosque covered with a terrace in the olden style; its minareh is a slender building of bricks; at its left are the Court of Justice, the Imperial dyeing-house and the Flour-hall. Near to the women’s bath is the mosque of Kázizádeh Mohammed Chelebi, an old but sweet mosque; near the river Jorúgh, is the mosque of Shengel-baí; the part of the town beyond the river Jorúgh is called Yoris Mahallessí; there is a dining establishment and college, with three baths, the first is the bath at the bridge; the second, that of Alí Shengáh; the third, the red bath; the temperature of these baths is most excellent: there are three convents of Dervishes, and a great khán close to the mosque of Kázizádeh; before this khán there is a market every Sunday attended by from five hundred to a thousand persons; three hundred shops, an elegant Bezestán, and some coffee-houses. Of its provisions, fresh butter, white pies, and a kind of wheat called camel’s teeth are much renowned; so are also the carpets and felts of Baibúrd, light, well-coloured, fanciful carpets, which are exported into all countries. The air being rather cold, it is not very favourable to flowers and fruits, but it is amply provided with fruit from the neighbouring places. There are some pretty faces, and seventy schools for boys, who are quick and clever; the old men live to the age of a hundred and fifty, who losing their teeth pronounce with difficulty the letter S, but the women are very eloquent. Erzerúm is two journeys direct north from hence. A man may go from here to Erzerúm, by footpaths, in two days, and on horseback in four days.

Description of the River Jorúgh.

It rises in the mountains of Erzerúm, supplies water to a great number of fields, and flows straight to the lower town of Baibúrd; the two banks are adorned with many elegant palaces and koshks and gardens, where the inhabitants delight to fish; its name is corrupted from Júírúh (river of spirit) a name it well deserves by its most excellent qualities. The inhabitants of the town cut their wood on the mountain, and putting on it a private mark throw it into the river, which it floats down until it is stopped in the middle of the town by a great rake, where each person comes to fetch out his wood. This river comes to Baibúrd from the east, washes the rocks of the castle, passes through many well-cultivated villages, and flows at the bottom of the Castle of Conia, a large river, into the Black Sea. Some hundred boats of the Lázes, which are called Sarpúna and Mengesila, navigate this river to Georgia and Mingrelia, and exchange their merchandize for slaves.


The mountain facing the mosque in the quarter on the opposite bank of the Jorúgh, is called the parrot’s mountain, it is the burying-place of Abd-ul wahháb190 A’ari, and is a general walk. This high mountain commands the town, but cannon shot cannot reach it from hence, the distance being too great, and the river Jorúgh flowing between. The hill which rises in the town, opposite the mosque, is ascended in half an hour. The Pilgrimage of Osmán Ghází, who is here buried underneath a cupola of bricks. The Pilgrimage of Jághir Kánlidedeh has the greatest credit with the inhabitants of this town, as he is a recent Saint; people yet alive having witnessed his miracles. Near this place, an able architect built a bridge of fir-tree across the river Jorúgh, in the shape of a swallow’s wing, to which the fir bridge over the Duina at Fúja Shehrí in Herzgovina can alone be compared; but this bridge of Baibúrd having only a single arch, is higher and finer than that of Fúja. In the cemetery to the Kiblah of the town, are buried many thousand great men, but I have mentioned only those I visited. After taking a good view of the town, and having collected the number of troops fixed by the firmán, I received from the Súbashí a present of three hundred piastres, and continued my journey accompanied by fifty armed men.

Description of the Castle of Tortúm.

It was built by the old King of Georgia Mamerúl, was conquered by Uzún Hassan, and by Mohammed II., and then fell again into the hands of the Georgians. Selím I. first retook it when Governor of Trebisonde, and Sultán Súleimán lost it again. He despatched his second Vezír Ahmed Páshá to reconquer it, who took it after a siege of seven days and an assault of seven hours, cutting all the Infidels to pieces; and providing it with stores and men. He then advanced further into Georgia, and the two castles of Nejákh and Mírakhor surrendered. From hence he proceeded to Akchekala’a, which being a stronghold was not taken till the seventh day. The Begs of the castles of Penkerd, Asherd, and the little Akchekala’a paid obeisance. The district of Bevána with three hundred villages did the same, and the inhabitants remain Ottoman subjects even to the present time. The castles Isper and Pertekrek yielded to the Ottoman power; so did also the district of Dadánlí with seventy-six villages, and fifteen castles, large and small; the castles of Tekkhíss and the valley of Bersássa were conquered, and Tortúm was put down in the register as the seat of a sanjak Beg belonging to Erzerúm; it furnishes sixty thousand men, and the Páshá’s revenues amount annually to twelve thousand piastres in a fair way: Its judge is appointed with a hundred and fifty aspers, and there are nine well cultivated districts, the principal of which are those of Bervána, Dadánlí and Isper, their annual revenue amounts to three thousand piastres.


Size and Shape of the Castle.

It is built in a square form, on a high rock; an iron gate opens to the east; in the castle is a mosque of Sultán Súleimán’s time, and in the lower town is seven hundred houses and seven mosques, two baths, two kháns, twelve schools and seventy shops, but no stone bezestán, imáret or medresseh. The pears, grapes and peaches are much praised; as it is only two journeys from Erzerúm, the merchants send chests full of fruit to that place; the inhabitants are righteous, hospitable men; the river which flows through it goes into the Black Sea; in the town of Tortúm saltpetre is produced for Government. While I was collecting troops here, and visiting the town, news arrived to Ghází Sídí Ahmed, the Páshá of the place, that the Cossacks had assailed the castle of Gonia; he instantly put on his armour, mounted on horseback, summoned all the Zaims and Timariots who wished to volunteer in this expedition, assembled about a thousand men, and started with his troop under the triple shout of Allah. We marched a whole day and night, reinforcing our number on the road, and halted next morning in a valley. We continued our course to the north for the whole of the second day, passed on to the frontier of Trebisonde and entered that of Gonia: here we met the Mingrelian troops, which came to join the Páshá, and were honourably received, they consisted of three hundred well armed horsemen with lances, and about a thousand riflemen with flying hair, between forty and fifty years of age, with strange figures and ugly faces, whom the Páshá flattered with good words. This night we passed along the river Jorúgh, and arrived next morning at the castle of Gonia on the Black Sea, which we saw filled with Infidel Cossacks, who at the moment they saw us roared out, Jasus! Jasus! (Jesus); seventy Chaikas were moored behind the castle. The Páshá with a hundred and fifty Aghás, and all the troops which had joined him on the way, with loud cries of Allah, attacked the ships lying in the river, cut the cables, and let the boats float out into the Black Sea, cutting down or making prisoners, those who were left to guard the boats, and towing the Chaikas into a bay at a gunshot’s distance from the castle; the Infidels, seeing they could not escape in their boats, acted like swine that are laid hold of, and began to fire. The Moslim troops on their side prepared every thing for an assault; and made ladders of the masts and rigging of the captured ships. The Mingrelian and Georgian troops entered the trenches in broad daylight, the walls were fired upon, and the assault was made from all sides. The Páshá led the assault himself with such courage and spirit, that the Infidels had not time to recollect themselves, but fled to some ships, which were left on the Jorúgh. Some of these boats being overloaded went to the bottom, those who by swimming reached the opposite shore were received by the muskets192 of the Moslims and went to Hell: seventeen of the ships on the Jorúgh were burnt, and two hundred Infidels, who could not re-enter the castle, were taken prisoners; seventy Moslims fell martyrs in this triple assault. The Páshá now pressed the arrival of the troops from the district of Sanjak Batúm. Finally there arrived some thousand Lázes armed with lances, casques, muskets, and sounding their war fifes, called Zígúla, with white banners waving; they joined the Páshá, halting on the bank of the river. The Páshá left them not a moment’s rest, but encouraged them by addressing them in the Circassian language. Thus a crowd was collected who threw up earth and faggots in mounds before the castle, on which the storming ladders were fixed. The neighbouring mountains re-echoed the shouts of Allah! the Moslims heaped bundles on bundles of twigs, and began to climb the ladders like spiders and goats of Isper; the bundles heaped up before the gate were set on fire. Ghází Ahmed Páshá himself mounted on the tower at the eastern corner, and by his example encouraged the general assault. From early dawn till the afternoon, neither the Páshá nor his troops had tasted a bit of bread; in the afternoon the castle was conquered, and I, poor Evliya, had the advantage of first proclaiming on its walls the sound of Ottoman prayer. The castle being now filed with victors, seven hundred Infidels were taken prisoners, and eight hundred heads cut off, and planted on the walls; the seventy-seven boats were towed back to the castle, and moored ready with all provisions and munition. The rejoicings lasted three days and three nights, during which the castle was illuminated. God be praised that I witnessed such a conquest. At the moment when prayer was first proclaimed on the wall, there appeared, on the eastern side of the Jorúgh, some thousand standards and banners, who answered the report of the salutes fired with the shouts of Allah; these were the troops of the Páshá of Karss, who had arrived before Gonia after a flying march from Erzerúm, and now encamped on the bank of the Jorúgh.

Gonia now became the meeting-place of the whole army summoned by the governor of Erzerúm; forty or fifty boats of Láz Mengesile, who descended the river of Jorúgh, took to flight as soon as they were aware, that the castle was again in the hands of the Moslims, and that an Ottoman army was encamped along the shore of the river. They were pursued by Sídí Ghází Páshá, who captured forty-seven boats, made three hundred Mingrelians prisoners, and drowned about six hundred in the river. This expedition was thus crowned with three victories: 1. The conquest of the boats; 2. that of the castle; 3. the conquest of the Mingrelian boats, which had arrived to the assistance of the Cossacks with provisions. Sídí Ahmed Páshá distributed those provisions amongst the Moslim victors, so that plenty now prevailed in the Ottoman camp. The night was again193 passed with illuminations and feasting; the shouts of Allah, and the sounds of the Ottoman drum interrupting the silence of the night. The next day clouds of dust rising on the side of the Jorúgh announced the arrival of a new army, whose glittering armour dazzled the eyes; it was that of Koja Sefer Páshá, the Vezír of Chaldir, who summoned by the command of our Lord the Páshá of Erzerúm, arrived with the Georgian army in great speed to the assistance of the Castle of Gonia; Sídí Ahmed Páshá went with the other Páshás to meet them, and it was a grand sight to see these troops on fine horses, well armed with spears, swords, shields, and muskets, with flying hair and strange figures. When Sefer Páshá himself came with the train of his guards (Matarají, Tufenkjí, and Shátir), he received Sídí Páshá’s salute, and then rode on his right, Báki Páshá keeping on the left. When they approached the castle a general salute of guns and musketry gave them welcome. Provisions now arrived in abundance at the Imperial camp from Georgia, Mingrelia, Láz, and Batúm. Next day fresh troops appeared to the south of Gonia, it was the Páshá of Trebisonde, who came with three thousand good troops; in seventy boats (sandal) and a hundred ships of the Lázes, called Mengesila, he carried plenty of provisions, and ten guns. Sídí Ahmed Páshá being acquainted with his arrival neither went himself to meet him, nor sent any troops to perform that ceremony. He halted with his troops on one side of the castle. Having waited on Sídí Ahmed Páshá he received him without the least honour, but with the following speech.

“I am the Páshá of Tortúm, which is from four to five journeys distant from Gonia, and it was not my duty to hasten to its assistance; but I did it for the sake of the faith and the Empire. You, Páshá, who are the Governor of Trebisonde, and Begler-beg of two tails, and at only two journies from Gonia, why did you not arrive till within these seven days to its assistance. Quick, executioner!”

The Páshás of Pássín, Akhiska and Kaighí interfered, saying, that it was against constitutional law, that he being only a Páshá of one tail, should kill one of two. He replied, “By God! if it is righteous, according to religious duties, I’ll cut off his head, even if he be a Páshá of seven tails; in consideration, however, of your intercession, I won’t kill him, but relate the business to the Emperor; call quickly for the Diván Efendí (Secretary).” While the dispatch was being drawn up, orders were given to put seventy of the principal officers of the troops of Trebisonde into prison, and they were accordingly shut up in the castle, for not having urged the Páshá to hasten to the deliverance of Gonia. The Diván Efendí made out the account of the conquest of Gonia, and the accusation against the Páshá of Trebisonde; it was signed and sealed by the three Begler-Begs, by the Judges of Gonia and Trebisonde, and was ready to be sent off, when the inhabitants of194 Trebisonde threw themselves at the feet of Sídí Ahmed Páshá, supplicating not to be accused to the Porte. Sídí Páshá persisting in his resolution, showed all the obstinacy of a Circassian. The principal men of Trebisonde however, solicited the Páshás to intercede with the Commander-in-chief Sídí Ahmed; and it was ultimately arranged, after three days negotiation, that the Páshá and principal men of Trebisonde should give forty-three purses of money, three sable pelisses, twelve beautiful boys, twelve girls with eyes like Narcissuses, and of sweet language, a silken tent richly embroidered with gold, a sword set with jewels, a mare, seven quivers, vases of silver, the work of goldsmiths of Trebisonde, bridles, hatchets, candlesticks of silver, three strings of camels, three of mules, and a hundred and twenty horses. By these gifts they obtained the favour of not being named in the report to the Emperor; to whom only were mentioned the Begler Begs, Alaï and Sanjak Begs, who had hastened to the deliverance of Gonia, and this report was sent by Gurji Beg Zadeh to Constantinople. Another Kapijí Báshí was despatched with the same news to the governor of Erzerúm, but at the moment he was setting out, clouds of dust announced the arrival of fresh troops on the banks of the Jorúgh; these were the troops of Erzerúm sent to the succour of Gonia, under the command of Hassan Atlí Aghá. The Zaims, Timariots and Jebellis of Erzerúm with half the garrison, and the guards of the Páshá, forty banners of Segbán and Sáríja (irregular levies of the Páshá), led by their colonels (Bolúk Báshí). They were followed by a squadron of Delí, by another of Gonullí (Volunteers), six squadrons of Tatar horsemen, a squadron of six hundred Moteferrika, a squadron of two hundred Cháshnegírs (carvers), a squadron of two hundred Serraj (saddle-men), squadron of two hundred Kílarjí (men of the cellar), and lastly a squadron of two hundred Ichaga (indoor servants), led by the Key-keeper (Miftáh ghúlám agassí). They were also followed by forty chamberlains, each one surrounded by from forty to fifty men clad in armour, on horses of the finest breed, caparisoned with silver, and ornamented with sea-horses bristles; they rode two and two, and immediately after them came Hassan Atlí Aghá himself, with trumpets sounding, and took up his encampment on the border of the fortress. All these chamberlains were men, who had seen service in the quality of Kiayas (substitutes), Kaima Káms (Lieutenants), Motessellims (Vice-governors) and Administrators of provinces. Sídí Ahmed Páshá gave them a great repast, and next day assembled all the architects of the country to repair the castle of Gonia. The Turkish music played from seven sides, seventy tables were spread, and day and night was spent in festivities. The side of the castle that was damaged by the fire, and the mosque of Bayazíd II. was first put in repair. Seven hundred men forming a new garrison, with a new Beg, as Commander, were put into it195 with sufficient stores, and all the arms taken from the enemy. Thus the castle of Gonia shone forth in greater splendor than before. God be praised that I, poor Evliyá, was so fortunate as to proclaim the first prayer on its newly conquered walls!

The troops of the sanjaks of Trebisonde and Bátúm were left for the safety of the castle of Gonia, and the whole army of sixty thousand men, then began to march along the banks of the river Jorúgh towards Erzerúm. The army having halted on the bank of the river Jorúgh on a large meadow surrounded with trees, a council was held, and Sídí Ahmed Páshá, said:—“The Mingrelians, though belonging to the Province of Trebisonde have rebelled, and I have related to the Emperor, that we took their boats; which, together with those of the Russians, may now wait in the port of Gonia for the Emperor’s decision. I have also acquainted His Majesty that so many thousand Cossacks and Mingrelians have fallen to the share of the Ottoman victors, as prisoners, and I now intend to take vengeance on the Mingrelian infidels with this army, ready for expedition, that it may gain some booty as compensation for its journey.” The governor of Georgia, Sefer Páshá, who was very angry at the Mingrelians, proposed that all the horsemen should join the foot and undertake an inroad for booty, the Moslims of Akhiska and Georgia leading the way, who were then also to share the spoil. The Council broke up with this resolution, for the happy execution of which I said a Fátihah. The cryers gave notice, that all Moslims who wished for breeches and horses, for boys and girls, for money and booty, should be ready in arms. This notice produced an astonishing effect, the Moslim victors roared like lions, armed and washed themselves, and waited for the orders of the Commander.

Account of our Inroad into Mingrelia.

Ketgáj Páshá led the van of three hundred men, towards the Kiblah, followed by three thousand men of Georgia and Akhaska, and by Sídí Ahmed Páshá, at the head of nine thousand men. Bákí Páshá commanded the rear of three hundred men; the troops of Erzerúm and Kara Hissár formed the two wings; the sanjak Begs of Khinissin, Tekmán and Melázjerd were deputed to provide the forage. We marched this day ten hours to Zárchairí, a pleasant position between Mingrelia, and the sanjak of Batúm. The next day we passed the Jorúgh, and Sefer Páshá began to pillage the district of Darína; the twenty-two companies of Sárija (irregular levies) of the Páshá, our gracious Lord, two thousand two hundred brave men, pursued the fugitives in the mountains, made seven hundred prisoners, and lost seven men as martyrs. The troops proceeded till they arrived under the walls of castle of Merava, which was taken by assault, with the loss of seventy Moslims,196 who drank the sherbet of martyrdom; seven hundred men, five hundred women, two hundred girls, and six hundred boys, were made prisoners. The pillage was pushed as far as the districts of Georgia, and we arrived at the end of nine hours, at the field of Boghdú; here a Soffa (or meadow seat) is shown, where Sultán Selím I. was seated when Governor of Trebisonde. Two spies sent by the Prince of Mingrelia, were taken prisoners, and they showed the way (the necessary precautions being taken) to the district of Tamaras Khán, whose son with a thousand horsemen and two thousand infantry, met the Commander-in-chief, and led the Ottoman party of pillage further against the Mingrelians, with whom he was angry.

The pillaged districts were those of Pernák, Selsel, Perkán, Penák, Gúmle, and Samárgha; we halted before the castle of Akhár, a small round castle on a hill, built by Hormúz the son of Núshirván; the inhabitants are not very brave, but great thieves; two hundred and fifty castles and villages were pillaged, and nine thousand prisoners taken. Ketgáj Páshá, the leader of the van, alone took two thousand beautiful girls, whom the commander-in-chief bought for a thousand piastres, and sent them to Sultán Ibrahím with twenty other fine maidens; they were so beautiful that the text of the Korán, “We have created man in the finest shape,” seems to have been revealed only for their praise. The booty was so rich, that a slave was sold for ten piastres, an ox for half a piastre, and a sheep for five aspers. The Beg of Báshajik sent to the Commander-in-chief a present of five boys and five girls, and also gave me a boy and girl. We arrived after eleven hours predatory march at a plain, in the middle of which was a building raised by the Beg of Mingrelia, it was ruined by Uzún Hassan, and is now contiguous to Batúm on the frontier of Mingrelia. We passed the Castles, Nejákh, Merkhor, Akchekala’a, Chepek, Penkerd, Asherd, Kúchúk Akchekala’a, the Begs of which all came with presents, paying obeisance to Sídí Ahmed Páshá. These castles being situated on high mountains, and in woody tracts, were passed by indulgently, but the villages situated in the plain were all ravaged; the district of Yúvána, overrun for the space of seven days, furnished such beautiful boys and girls, that each of them was worth a treasure of Egypt. We halted underneath the castle of Tekrek, the inhabitants of which came with presents, to ward off the danger of the pillage, they were threatened with; six districts more, the names of which I am ignorant of, shared the common fate of havock. The Ottoman victors were now so loaded with spoils and booty, that it became impossible to carry it all away. Many of them returned bringing their booty to the Castle of Gonia, and from thence to Trebisonde.


Of the Language of the Mingrelians.

Georgia is inhabited by seventeen Christian tribes, the principal of which are, the Achikbásh, Dadián, Shúshád, and Gúriel. The Mingrelians are the last and most despised specimen of their language: one, artí; two, sherí; three, shumí; four, ámekh; five, khotí; six, pishkúí; seven, ishkúí; eight, rúo; nine, júghúr; ten, wetí. Bread, gúpál; fire, dájkhir; shield, púr; sheep, ashkhorí; girdle, derkát; head, dúdí; wood, deshke; dog, joghúr; ox, khijú; calf, kissin; salt, ajém; swine, gháj; ass, kirút; bear, nút; cheese, kúl; curds, merjván; come, wai; man, chaí; sit down, dakhúr; girl, tíne; go, halawlí; come mother, waí diás, &c.

Mingrelia is inhabited by a great number of different tribes, who speak different dialects; there are seventy different products; its sheep, goats, swine and fine breed of horses (Kohailán) are renowned; there are neither mules nor asses in the whole of Georgia and Mingrelia, but a great number of foxes, wild cats, and martens; corn and wheat are scarce as hardly any thing but millet and Lazúd (?) is sown; on the high mountains are many nut and fir-trees, box-trees and cedars. The inhabitants, like those of Mingrelia, Abaza, and Circassia, are settled in the mountains; they have castles with gardens and churches. In short, during seventy-seven days, we made the tour of Mingrelia and Georgia, after which time the Ottoman troops took the direction of Erzerúm; on the third day we came to the district of Darátlí, which is contiguous to the sanjak of Tortúm. Perfect security being restored, the troops were licensed to break up by the Vezír of Akhiska, Sídí Ahmed Páshá, and we then went with the Georgian Begs towards Chaldir. After fourteen hours we reached the valley of Yúvána, where the inhabitants of Isper and Tortúm met us with presents. At the public entrance into Tortúm, the Cossack and Mingrelian prisoners were dragged along in chains; the inhabitants of Tortúm all assembled to form the Istikbál (solemn meeting. See Morier’s travels). Sídí Páshá himself wore the plumes of honour (Jíghatelí) which the Governor of Erzerúm had sent to him, put on his well caparisoned state horse, trappings of six pieces of steel of Nakshiván, wrapped round his head a red sash in the Mohammedan fashion, clad himself in blue steel with armour on his thighs, and, looking of stupendous size, like a seven-headed dragon he passed through the crowd who received his salute crying, “Aleik awnallah eí ghází seifollah!” “God’s assistance be upon thee, O victor, sword of God!” The guns of the castle of Tortúm saluted and the mountains re-echoed the thundering noise. Sídí Páshá repaired to his palace, and Ketgáj Páshá, Bákí Páshá and eight Sanjak Begs encamped before the town for three days, and on the fourth the whole of the troops moved towards Erzerúm, the territory of which we reached on Kássim (St. Demetrius’ day) and198 passed the straight of Ghází-boghází. The governor expecting the troops, was in his tent at Gumishlí Kunbed (silver vault) where Sídí Ahmed, Ketgáj, and Bákí Páshá were received with the greatest distinction, treated with a splendid repast and invested with pelisses of honour. Here the Páshá and Sanjak Begs laid with great pomp their presents before the governor. The season being now too far advanced to think of the expedition against Eriván, we remained in this place spending our days in pleasure. The Governor, my gracious Lord, being a little angry with me on account of my having accompanied the expedition without leave, Sídi Ahmed Páshá interceded in my favour, saying, “If it is a fault that I took Evliyá with me to the siege of Gonia, it is he that proclaimed first the Mohammedan prayer on its walls; he is a traveller of the world, a good companion of mankind, a Háfiz (who knows the Korán by heart) and a warrior in the ways of God.” Having asked pardon for me in this gentle manner, the Páshá said, “His duty was to collect troops and not to assist at the siege of Gonia, I will not pardon this fault unless he finishes in eight hours the recital of the Korán (Khatem sheríf).” I began with the Bismillah and finished in somewhat more than nine hours, after which I kissed the earth before my gracious Lord, and received from him a sable pelisse, a thorough bred horse, two fine boys, and a sinecure; so that I now spent all my time both day and night in pleasure.

Moral Reflections.

The end of all joy is disappointment, and the end of every day is bitter. There is no doubt about this. So at the end of this 1075th year we received the news by a swift messenger despatched from Constantinople, that Sultán Ibrahím had killed without reason the Grand Vezír Sáleh Páshá, and had appointed in his place Tezkereji Ahmed Páshá. Though this news greatly afflicted the Páshá yet he kept it secret not to spoil the pleasure of the company, and transacted the rest of his business at Erzerúm. Sáleh Páshá, who had been one of the favorite slaves of the father of our Governor, had for this reason given him the government of Erzerúm; but the present Grand Vezír, ever since he had been the Tezkerejí of Kara Mustafa Páshá, had become his mortal enemy. He kept however this secret to himself and continued to feast in his tent with his guests, Sídí, Ketgáj, Bákí and Dilaver Páshá.

(Here follows the separate history of these four Páshás and of the Governor, which we omit. In the chapter of Sídí Páshá it is mentioned that playing at jeríd one day with Evliyá he broke four of his teeth.)


Account of our return from Erzerúm to Constantinople in the month of Zílka’deh 1057 (1647).

We left the town by the gate of Erzenján and halted first in the plain called the circles of Bazár-bashí, where farewell presents were lavished on us by all the Aghás and principal men of Erzerúm, who both by day and night formed their court around the tent of the Páshá. The Kiaya of Sáleh Páshá, the governor of Baghdád, accompanied by an hundred and fifty Aghás, an hundred and seventy Kapijí-bashí, seven hundred men, Sárija, and three hundred Segbán, arrived here with the news of Sáleh Páshá having been killed. The next day a messenger came from Constantinople with a Khattí-sheríf conferring on governor Mohammed Páshá, our gracious Lord, the Governorship of Karss with the obligation to take the field against the Persians by defending the frontier. The Governor, our gracious Lord, said, “Be it now as it may”, and without paying attention to the Khattí-sheríf continued his way to Constantinople. The first station, three hours to the west of Erzerúm, was the village of Kán, an Armenian village in the midst of the plain. Five hours further westward, the village Ilija, possessing a hot spring, covered with high cupolas by the munificence of the Princes of the dynasty of Akche-koyúnlí. The basin is not paved with stones, but only strewed with white sand. The water is of a moderate heat and smells like that of other hot springs, but is more conducive to health than the warm spring of Zia-ud-dín. From hence we advanced five hours to the westward to the village of Khinnis, an Armenian village of two hundred houses, and in five hours more came to the village of Mamakhatún, a mussulman village of two hundred houses. This Lady was a pious Lady of the Akche-Koyúnlí family, and lies buried here with her children beneath a high cupola; there is a mosque, an imáret, and a college. Advancing for five hours over valleys and hills we reached the village of Ketúr on the territory of Erzerúm, where the Euphrates is crossed by a bridge of fir-tree. The Páshá halted here for three days, and sent me on a mission to Mirakhor Aghá, the inspector of the salt of Kumákh.

Our journey to the Castle of Kumákh.

The Castle of Kumákh was built by the Greek Emperors and then came into the hands of the Akche-koyúnlí. When in the possession of Uzún Hassan, the king of Azerbeiján, it was besieged by Timúr for seven months, during which the besieged disdained to fire a single shot or throw a single stone on the besiegers. After the defeat of Uzún Hassan it was also besieged by Mohammed III., during three months without success. Selím I. when governor of Trebisonde, availed himself of a good opportunity and conquered it. He then crossed from Trebi200sonde with three hundred ships to Caffa and Crimea on the opposite shore with the intention of wresting the sovereign power from the hands of his father, Báyazíd II. assisted by the Tatars of the Crimea. The Father and Son met near Hájí Oghlí-bazárí in the valley of Oghrásh, and Selím being defeated left his son Súleimán, Governor of Trebisonde, and went himself into Persia, where he visited the tombs of great Saints like Imán Mússa and played at chess with the Sháh, who at this time had taken possession of Kumákh. Selím then defeated his father at Chorlí, who exiled to Demitoca died at Hássa. Selím I received at Yení-bághje the obeisance of the inhabitants of Constantinople, and instantly fixed the tails at Scutari as the signal of a Persian expedition. The castle of Kumákh was conquered by Bíklí Mohammed Páshá. It is one of the strongest fortresses of the Ottoman Empire, like those of Diárbekr, Márdín, Ván, Sín Kara-hissár, Afiún Kara-hissár, Megú, Eremnák, Merkáb, Hassan, Karak in Asia, and in Rúm Mengesha, Napoli, Misistra, Rodos, &c. It is loftier than all these and is invisible till noon, from clouds which pour frequent showers upon it. At the time of the description of the country by Sultán Súleimán it was set down as the seat of a Voivode, subordinate to Erzerúm. Three districts belong to it; that of the town, of Gerjánis, and of Kúrúchaí, from which the Judge gathers an annual revenue of three thousand piastres. The Castle has a Dizdár and a garrison of five hundred men, an officer of the Janissaries (Serdár), of the Sipahís (Kiayayerí), and a Nakíb; another officer rules the village of Gomúr on the other side of the Euphrates, which consists of seven hundred houses: this officer is the Inspector of the salt, which is sweeter than the salt of Hají-begtásh.

The inhabitants of Turkistán and Turcomania get all their salt from Kumákh. A linen which is no where else to be found in such perfection, is made here for tents. There is a proverb in praise of the linen of Kúmákh, the sheep of Erzenján and the girls of Baiburd. The river Komúr, which passes through the gardens of the village that bears its name, comes from the mountains of Jerjánish and joins the Euphrates near the convent of Melek Ghází Effendí. Near, and opposite to it, is Mobarek, an armenian village, the khass of the garrison of Erzerúm. The water, which distils in the caverns of the mountain freezes in the summer time and in the winter is as warm as a hot spring. The inhabitants keep in these caverns their cheese called Katik-peinirí. In coming hither from Erzerúm you cross the Euphrates over a large single arched bridge, ascend a height of five hundred paces and pass along the rocky tract called Kebán. There towering rocks are on the right, as you ascend the castle and on the left are deep precipices. The small river Ain Manzar here flows into the Euphrates. This river issues from Mount Manzar, unites with the Sáterdereh, a torrent which supplies water to the201 gardens of the town and joins the Euphrates below the rocks of Kepán. The water is clear and fresh. Near it is a rock called Alí’s rock, where people believe they are cured of pains in the limbs, because Alí is said to have rested here his weary limbs; it is a stone like a magnet, and the inhabitants call it Kullikia; above is the suburb of the Infidels. The houses, with and without gardens, are all covered with earth. The subjects are all Armenians; there are three hundred shops, but no bezestán of stone, two kháns, two baths, and a great mosque: the bath near it is called Chorbájí-hamám. The suburb has no fortification (Robát) round it, but above it is a great castle.

Description of the Castle of Kumákh.

This castle is a pentagon of stone situate on a chalk cliff; it may be compared to the castle of Sín-hissár on the frontiers of Erzerúm. On the opposite side of the Euphrates is a height by which it is commanded, but the distance is too great to make it of consequence. It has three strong gates one behind the other; on the right and left of the first gate are two brass guns, well worthy to be seen, of such dimensions that a cobbler might very well work in them without complaining of the narrowness of the place. They are of the time of Sultán Súleimán; their length twenty-seven spans and their balls of three quintals weight. The greatest wonder is how they succeeded in bringing such large guns to so high a place. At the innermost or third gate is suspended the mace of a Pehliván, and a bow of Alí. The number of the houses great and small is six hundred, but they want gardens and water. Five magazines have been filled with rice and millet ever since the time of Sultán Selím I., which seem as though they had been laid up but to-day. There are eleven mosques; the Beg’s is a large mosque with a minareh of stone; though this castle is built on a rock, yet the houses are paved with flat stones. On the tower called the Martyrs towards the north are thirty-two large and small guns; from the gate of the Martyrs, a water-way cut in the rock leads down to the foot of it, by which they fetch the water at the time of a siege. There are three cisterns here near one another, the first is full of good water, the second smells of saltpetre and the third is very salt. Though this town is a town of Turkistán, situated on the territory of Erzerúm, yet its inhabitants are goodnatured, sound people. The linen for tents, the white salt and the cheese called Katik-peinirí, which is better and sweeter than that of Mytilene and of Koreisha at Damascus, are famous all over Asia. The quails, which in summer come in great numbers, the inhabitants preserve in vinegar for the winter.

Near the magazines are the pilgrimage of Kend Effendí and at the head of the202 bridge, that of Melek Ghazí. As this town is not situated on the great road, caraváns do not pass here. The Euphrates on the east comes from the mountains of Rúmlí Sultán and flows round the rock towards the west to the Izúlí Kurds. From the Alps of a thousand lakes (Bíngol) comes the Murad river, which joins the Euphrates. Whoever travels from Malatia, Kharpút, Ekín, Pálava, or Diárbekr can only cross it in a boat. I viewed this town for three whole days, collected what was due by the Voivode to the Páshá, and received from him an hundred piastres as a present of arrival (Kúdúmie). I returned in five days to Kumákh and set out next day northward along the Euphrates to Shúrím, which has two hundred houses; ten hours further, to the station of Jebjeh-khání; then leaving the Euphrates to the right, to the village of Jemen, an Armenian village on the plain of Erzenján; from whence we arrived at Erzenján.

Description of the Castle of Erzenján.

This castle belongs to Erzerúm and not to Azerbeiján. There are four towns, which bear the name of Erzen, viz: Erzen in Mesopotamia (Jezíre), Erzen Akhlát, Erzenrúm commonly called Erzerúm, and Erzenján. It is a delightful spot, the possession of which occasioned many wars, till in the year 855 Sultán Bayazíd I. received it from its prince, Záhir-ud-dín, who, the very same day he heard of the conquest of Amasia, repaired to this town and delivered to Sultán Bayazíd the keys. Bayazíd out of generosity returned the keys to Záhir-ud-dín on condition that Khutbeh be performed, and the coinage struck in his name. Záhir-ud-dín died three years afterwards and the town was taken possession of by Kara Yússúf, the Prince of the dynasty of Kara-koyúnlí, who held it for seven years, until Timúr overrun Asia. Kara Yússúf fled from his residence and sought shelter at the throne of Sultán Bayazíd, together with Ahmed Jelair, the Commander of Baghdád. Timúr required Bayazíd to deliver them up to him, but Bayazíd refused, and this refusal was the chief cause of the war between them. Kara Yússúf and Jelair afterwards fled into Egypt to Sultán Berkúk. Erzenján fell into the hands of Uzún Hassan, who being already Prince of Azerbeiján became also Prince of Erzenján. His mint is still extant near the convent of the Mevlevís. After the defeat and death of Bayazíd, the Empire was disputed by the Princes Issa, Mússa, Súleimán and Mohammed, the latter obtained it and became absolute Lord, but was unable to conquer Erzenján, which remained in the hands of Uzún Hassan until the time of Mohammed II., who took possession of it after the defeat of Uzún Hassan on the plain of Terján. He repaired the castle of Sultán Záhir-ud-dín and garrisoned it with Ottoman troops. In the reign of Bayazíd II., when Sultán Selím was governor of Trebisonde, Sháh Ismail203 took possession of Azerbeijan, which returned to its first Lord after the battle of Chaldirán in the year 921 (1515); Erzenján was then made a part of the revenues of the Páshá of Erzerúm. Its magistrates are a Súbashi and a judge with one hundred and fifty aspers, who may collect annually six purses. The other officers are the Muftí, Nakíb, Serdár, Kiayayerí, a Mohtessib (judge of the market) and a Shehr-naibí (inspector of the town.)

The castle is situated in a delightful plain in the midst of woods, its gates and walls are very low and its fortifications very old. At the time of the rebellion of Abaza at Erzerúm, the ditch was cleared and the walls repaired, but Abaza Páshá became nevertheless master of it. It has an iron gate, and the communication from the fortress to the suburb is by a bridge; in the castle are three hundred houses with and without gardens, a mosque, a khán and a bath.

The great suburb consists of eighteen hundred houses with and without gardens, all covered with neat terraces and but few of them having upper stories; seventy-six mosques great and small without cupolas, and seven convents, the most renowned of which is that of the Mevlevís; Chelebí Effendí, the son of the great Mevlana Jelál-ud-dín, is buried here. This convent built in the olden style is situated in the midst of a delightful Persian garden, the nightingales of which with their delicious songs feed the brains of the poor Dervishes, and intoxicate them with divine love, while they themselves are singing mystic hymns in the tunes of love. Round the music-room (Ima’á-kháneh) are the cells of the Dervishes, and the convent is endowed with a good kitchen and cellar (Kílár). They preserve here Jelál-ud-dín’s habit, a Korán, and a Mesneví written by his own hand. The second convent is that of Chádirjí Sheikh Abd-ul-kádir Gíláni. There are various excellent baths, eleven great kháns, forty abecedarian schools, no houses for reading the Korán (Dár-ul-kirayet), tradition (Dár-ul-hadíth) nor for dining the poor (Dár-ul-ita’ám), but there are a great number of students (Talebe); and lectures are read in all the mosques. Amongst the inhabitants are found many clever, goodnatured, learned, pious, well-bred men, who wear short dresses, but no silk with the exception of the soldiers, who dress in cloth of various colours and also in silk. The youth of both sexes are pretty, and the ladies are chaste as Adúyeh Rábia, and wear when walking boots and a pointed cap (Arakjín); they are prohibited from walking in the market-place, which contains six hundred houses. Precious articles are kept in a small bezestán. From hence to Erzerúm situated beyond the mountains is two journies. The climate of Erzerúm is rough and very cold, while that of Erzenján on the contrary is mild, and favourable to roses and flowers. Snow falls sometimes, but remains no longer than three days. Its gardens are productive of the finest flowers and the sweetest fruits.


Praise of the Eatables and Beverages.

Seventy sorts of pears are produced here; and though the season of winter was far advanced at the time of our stay here, yet we now saw seventeen various sorts of pears offered as presents to the Páshá, with raisins and apricots; its mulberries both white and black are much renowned and when dried are exported to all countries. The sherbet of mulberries seasoned with different spices gives new life to the soul. Erzerúm is provided with fruits from this town, from whence they are transported in two days.


The convent of Khizr, a convent of Mevlevís; the convent of Sheikk Khaled Efendí; and the tomb of Himmet Páshá, one of the vezirs of Sultán Selím, who was killed on his way to Chaldirán.

I remained here for three days to collect the sums due from the Inspectors of salt and the Súbáshí of Kúrúchaí. Whilst the inhabitants were giving feasts to the Páshá news arrived of the rebellion of Várvár Páshá, with a letter to the following intent: “My son! Hezárpara Ahmed Páshá the Vezír of Ibrahím has killed eleven Vezirs and deprived me of the Governorship of Sívás, because I did not send to the Sultán the wife of Ipshír Páshá, the daughter of the Prince of Georgia, the Lady Perikhán. Three Kapijí-bashí came with orders to take my head, but I happily escaped from them. I have now received letters from all the great and principal men at Constantinople, and from the officers of the seven military corps, summoning me to come with my troops to Scutarí, and to demand there the heads of the Vezir, of Jenjí Khoja, Begtásh Aghá, Chelebí Kiaya, Mossleh-ud-dín Aghá and Kara Chaúsh. I am now united with three Vezirs, seven Begler-begs and eleven Sanjak-begs ready to march against Constantinople. If thou wishest to save thy head from Ahmed Páshá (the grand Vezir), I invite thee to join us at Tokát, from whence we shall march our united forces to Constantinople to try our fortune.” This letter having been received at Erzenján a council was held, and the levies (levend) having determined to follow the auspices of the Páshá, the resolution was taken to join the party of the rebels, and a Fátihah was said to that intention. Alaja Atlí Hassan Aghá was sent on with a foraging party to be quarter-master general, and letters were sent to Várvár Páshá with the declaration upon oath to join him. I, poor Evliyá, was quite perplexed and out of my wits, I had so many things and goods, which I knew not how to dispose of. We were in the midst of winter, and the tradition of the prophet, “a journey is a portion of hell, be it but a farsang’s length,” received its full application. I did not know where to leave my things in safety;205 and only with my horse and sword accompany the Páshá, my gracious Lord, as a rebel.

We first moved from Erzenján to the north and halted after seven hours at Báshkhán; five hours further, to the village Erzensí, an Armenian village, six hours further to the village of Sheikh Sinán, near which at Bárúgúnde is the tomb of Behlúl of Samarkand, a convent of bareheaded and barefooted Begtáshís; and three hours further we crossed the bridge of the Shepherds near Hassan Kala’assí. Shah Kúrúdúmán of the Chobán family is buried in the same place with Behlúl of Samarkand. It is said, that the tomb being opened, King Chobán Kúrúdúmán with all his family was burnt by a fire that issued out by talismanic virtue. He was a Prince of great enterprise, built the bridge of Tiflís and near Melázjerd the bridge with golden rings over the Araxes. Adjoining the bridge is a magnificent caravánseraï, the windows of which look on the river, so that travellers lodging there have the pleasure of fishing out of their windows. I have sometimes passed this bridge on my way to and from Eriván. This time I visited the builder’s tomb and said the Súra yass, for his soul. We left Bárúgúnde and came after a march of eight hours to the north to Ezendeler, a cultivated village in the district of Terján, and after four hours more to the north to the station of Tapán Ahmed Aghá, where a feast for ten days was ordained. Here I took leave of the Páshá and proceeded with the men of Ahmed Aghá to Shín Kara Hissár. I first travelled towards the east through woods and deserts along the valley of Kara hissár, and villages belonging to it, and reached the town itself after a nine hours march.

Description of the strong Castle of Shín or Shábín Kara-hissár.

There are in the Ottoman Empire various castles, which bear the name of Kara-hissár, the most renowned of which is that before us. The others are Kara-hissár called Afiún (Apamea), Develí Kora-hissár, Adalia Kara-hissárí, and Ván Kara-hissárí. The two first are superior to the others. Shábín Kara-hissár is so called because a mine of alum (Sháb) was found in its mountains; the stones of the castle being black, it is also called Shabín from Shab (night, dark coloured). It was built by the Armenian kings, fell into the power of the Greek Princes of Trebisonde, and then into that of Záhir-ud-dín, the Prince of Erzenján, who conquered it on a dark night, which is another reason given for its being called Shabín. It passed into the power of Uzún Hassan, the Prince of Azerbeiján and was taken from him by Mohammed II. In the time of Sultán Selím I. it was described as a sanjak belonging to the government of Erzerúm. Its khass is thirteen thousand aspers; and there are thirty-six ziámets and nine hundred and forty timárs, which furnish, together with the men belonging to the Beg, two thousand206 men. The revenue of the Páshá amounts annually to forty purses. It has sometimes been given as a supplementary allowance (Arpalik) to Páshás of three tails. It was so given to Ghází Sefer Páshá, the vezir of Akhiska, in addition to Akhiska. His administrator (Motessellem) was Dervish Aghá, a Georgian and powerful commander. He once sent me on service to the valleys of Mendvál and Túsdereh by which I gained a horse, a sword, two red mules, and a Georgian boy; presented to me by himself. The judge is appointed with an hundred and fifty aspers and may annually make four thousand piastres from the different districts. There is a Muftí, a Nakíb, a Serdár, Kiaya-yerí, Subashí, Mohtessib, a Dizdár and an hundred and fifty men invested with timárs.

The castle of Shabín Kara-hissár is of a heptagon form and stands on a high mountain, appearing like a man of war dismantled and dismasted. It is the work of an architect who was a second Ferhád. It is one of the twelve fortresses in the Ottoman Empire, which, not being commanded by the neighbouring heights, seem to have been built by the hand of Omnipotence. The height of the walls on all the seven sides is seventy cubits, with seventy bulwarks and seven hundred battlements. The whole circumference is three thousand six hundred paces; there is no ditch, it being surrounded by precipices. It has three strong gates where the garrison keep watch day and night, because the inhabitants of the villages along the shores of the Black sea send all their best goods into the castle to protect them from the inroads of the Cossacks; there are seventy houses with terraces, but they suffer from want of water, which is obliged to be brought upon asses from the river below; in case of siege they use the water kept in cisterns. The magazines are full of millet and rice, and have been for more than a century. As it is not a frontier fortress the artillery is neither heavy nor numerous. A small mosque bearing the name of Sultán Mohammed II., a khán, bath and market are in the lower town or suburb. This suburb, with gardens around it, consists of sixteen hundred terraced houses, the windows of which look towards the north; the courtyards are spacious. There are forty-two mosques, none of which are covered with lead, like those of the Sultáns at Constantinople; the one within the market place near the court of justice is much frequented: three convents, two baths, four kháns, seven schools for boys and an hundred and fifty shops; as this place does not lie on the great road, but on one side of it, its establishments are not very elegant. Tapán Ahmed Aghá began a new bezestán with eighty shops on both sides of the main street; it is sheltered by a roof against rain and foul weather, and protected by two gates on each side against thieves and bad men. Watchmen keep guard every night because many precious things are deposited there.


Description of a Lion.

Upon the gate leading to the outer town a lion, stuffed with cotton, is to be seen, it has oranges in the place of eyes, yawning like a seven-headed dragon, with a piece of red felt instead of a tongue, and teeth as sharp as Turcoman daggers or Arab lances. It measures from its nose to its tail forty-five spans. This mountain lion continued his havoc on the cattle of the neighbouring country for seven years, when it was killed by a brave man, and placed by the order of Ahmed Tapán upon the gate of his new built bezestán. It is a terrific beast, with feet resembling columns; it is not so beautiful as the lions of Baghdád, Helle, Jevazer and Kavarna, with their yellow coloured hair of a span’s length, like Angora-goats. Lions being generally the inhabitants of deserts, this one of the mountains deserves so much the more to be noticed. The mountains of this part, being all covered with thick forests, abound with leopards, lynxes, wild sheep, martens, wolves, foxes and jackals, and men are scarcely able to fetch wood from the mountains because they are so full of ferocious animals. A party of Cossacks, who had once pushed their inroads as far as these mountains, became the prey of wild beasts; intending to devour men’s goods they were themselves devoured, and ever since the town has enjoyed perfect security from the roving Cossacks, who availed themselves of the vicinity of the Black Sea.

In this town I saw another marvellous thing, it was a boy standing before a barber’s shop with his father who begged alms; the boy was about eight or nine years of age with a stupendous head, like the heads of the people of A’ad and Themúd, like the head of Salsál (?) at Akgermán or like pumpkins of Adana and cabbages of Ván, on a neck no thicker than an arm, which not being capable of bearing such an enormous weight the head was supported by a wooden fork, which was fixed in the ground, and on it the weight of the head rested. This monstrous head, held up in this way before a barber’s shop, laughed in the faces of all who passed by. It had no turban but a kind of coarse saddle-cloth wrapped round it, the brows were of two fingers breadth extending to the ears, which were of human form, but of immense size, as were also the eyes, the lashes of which resembled arrows; the nose was somewhat of the shape of a Melonyena (Bádinján) of Morea, and when breathing, the nostrils were like those of a snorting horse; the mouth opened to such an astonishing width, that he was able to swallow at once a small water melon; of his teeth two were curved outside of the mouth towards the upper, and two downwards to the under lip; the lips were ruby-coloured but like the lips of a camel; the spittle was continually running out of his mouth. The physiognomy was that of a Kalmúk, and the hair crisped like that of black Arabs. The arms and breasts were those of a boy’s of his years, the fingers208 very thin and the feet like sticks. This was a case to apply the verse of the Koran to: “God does what he wills and orders what he likes.” I asked the father whether the mother of this monstrous child was still alive, he said “Yes, and that she was actually again with child.” I said, “Bandage her body tightly, that she may miscarry, for if the head of the child should grow to the size of its brother’s, its entrance into the world might cause an inconvenient enlargement.” The father said, “You are joking, but I assure you most earnestly, that when the mother of this boy laid in with him, the birth was so easy that she was aware of nothing at all and thanked God for such an easy deliverance.” I, poor Evliyá, said, “But never has there been created a creature with such a head, such a face and such teeth; do you believe it to be the real produce of your loins?” The man answered, “Having once gone to the mountain with my wife to cut wood, we there enjoyed a shepherd’s hour in most pleasant conversation. I then left her reposing under a tree, and went on my business, when I suddenly heard her cries, and saw her running towards me pursued by a naked giant, tall as the fir-trees. When she got home she fell sick, and her figure increased in size daily, until at the end of a year’s time she was delivered of this boy, whose head grows bigger and bigger every day.” I said, “If it please God, that it should still grow to a larger size, you must come to Constantinople, where if shown to the Vezirs and great men of the Empire he may easily gain two thousand piastres in a year.”

Praise of the Alum, called Solomon’s Alum.

This is a reddish alum produced in the mountains of this town, which is therefore called Shábín Kara-hissár; it is much sought after by the goldsmiths of all countries. The Inspectorship is let at seven hundred thousand aspers a year. It breaks up into pentagon and sexagon stones shaped like the seal of Solomon; the goldsmiths use it to brighten the silver, and the surgeons for plasters. It has many excellent qualities. The temperature of this town being mild the inhabitants are fair. Its quinces and a kind of small bread are famous. We remained here three days as guests in the palace of Tapán Ahmed Aghá, purchased coffee, horse-shoes and some other necessary things and then returned.

On our journey we passed a great river, which flows into the Kerkúk, and whose waters collect from the vallies of Mánd, Vál, and Kúrd-dereh. After six hours march to the west we reached the village of Yakúb-aghá and further on, along the shores of the Kerkúk, through steep and stony ways and the tremendous pass of Bogház-kessen, to where the river, which flows through Amasia, enters the Kerkúk, and falls into the sea at Ener. Having passed it we continued our209 way for eight hours over hills and valleys and arrived at the Castle of Hájí Murád, built by Uzún Hassan’s vezír. After the defeat of Uzún Hassan it surrendered its keys without contest to Mahmúd Páshá, the vezír of Sultán Mohammed II. It is a high and steep castle like that of Kavilí-hissár, of a thousand paces in circumference and without a ditch, which from its situation on a hill would be superfluous. In the castle are seventy small houses, but no market, khán, bath, college or imáret. There are a great number of nut-trees. On the border of the Kerkúk, which flows at the foot of the castle in a deep valley is a khán. The Súbashí resident here is subordinate to Shábín Kara-hissár. I here informed the Páshá of the strength of Shábín Kara-hissár, at which he was surprised. From hence we ascended a high mountain to the north and came in six hours to the village of Chaúdár; in seven more to Emírler, a village in the territory of Shábín; in five more to an Armenian village; in four more to the west to the village of Kílárjí Veliaga, on the border of a high mountain, consisting of two hundred houses, in the jurisdiction of Iskefser, in five more to the station of Básh-chiflik also in the jurisdiction of Iskefser on the frontier of Erzerúm and Sívás, which has already been mentioned on our road to Erzerúm. Further to the west is the castle of Ník-hissár (good castle) and five hours further the village of Kazán-kia in the province of Sívás, in the jurisdiction of Ník-hissár. Still passing to the west by Bogház-kessen we came through thick woods to the village of Kúmánova; in two hours more to the great village Sontissa, on the frontier of Nígissár, with three hundred houses, a mosque, and bath; and in five hours more to Zavádí-tekiessí, of two hundred houses, on a high mountain on the frontier of Ládík; a great foundation, being a great convent at the tomb of a great saint. Its Dervishes are almost all of the Prophet’s family. I here performed with the Páshá the prayer of I’idí-asha (Kurbán-bairám) and the Sheikh of the convent gave us a repast. The tails having been sent on, we passed the next morning in five hours the pass of Setlí-púlí, and arrived at the village of Hamíd, which has a mosque and gardens; and in five hours more to the west, at Ládík.

Description of the Castle of Ládík.

This castle was built by one Havík one of the Greek Princes of Amasia. Melek Ghází of the Dánishmend family, who came from Mahán with the Seljúk family, conquered both Ník-hissár and Ládík in the same year. There are three Ládíks in the Ottoman Empire, viz: that of Konia now quite ruined by rebellions, that of Korládík in the province of Ván and the third, Ládík of Amasia. After the conquest of the town by Bayazíd I., Ládík surrendered its keys to Timúr-tásh Páshá, who accepted them with the good wish that the inhabitants might live210 long. The blessing of this wish is still evident in the long and prosperous lives of the inhabitants. Bayazíd II., when governor of Amasia, passed six months of the year in this place and made a delightful garden, which is kept in order by a Master (Ustá) and forty Bostánjís, Kúrújí and Tablakjí. It is a town free from all duties and gifts, because it is the wakf of Bulbul Khatún the mother of Ahmed I. The governor of Sívás has no right to interfere by his officers. The judge has the rank and pay of three hundred aspers, but may collect in a fair way six purses annually from the districts. There is a Muftí, Nakíb, Serdár, Kiaya-yerí, Naíb and Mohtessib. The Castle is an old pile of building, which is now without a commander or garrison; the Bostánjís run over the woods and heaths and watch the town, which has seventeen quarters; forty-seven Mihrábs, six of which are jamís and three of them Imperial ones; three thousand and twenty houses covered with bricks and surrounded with gardens; seven convents, the most remarkable of which is that of Seid Ahmed Kebír; two baths; seven kháns; a large caravánseraï, built by Gházi Davúd Páshá; four hundred shops, and a bezestán; forty-one palaces of Vezírs and great men, all having baths; no particular college, but lectures are given in all the mosques; eighteen schools for boys and two dining establishments. The Noblemen wear sable pelisses, the merchants ferráje and kontosh of cloth, and the women velvet trowsers, boots, ferráje of cloth, white veils and pointed caps; they are no where to be seen but in the bath and in the houses where they pay visits. They are most modest, lovely creatures, who entangle lovers with sweet words and gracious behaviour.

Its eatables are large pears better than those of Malatia, Nissú, Khúí and Merend; delicious cherries, a kind of bread called Memejik-ekmek which is the first bread in the world after the Súmún of Sapánja: there are no raisins, melons, water-melons, figs, &c. The white honey called Tághbálí is not equalled either by that of Creta, Adana or Sicily. Its fine cotton linen excels the linen of Mossúl and Lekefúr in Persia.

The Walks of Ládík.

The head fountain of the water Bállí-kiasú, which flows through the town, is a pleasant walk on the Kiblah side. Another famous walk on the east side is called Frenk-gozí, the Frank’s eye; Hossein Páshá built a koshk by the splendid spring which arises here; the water is so cold that people cannot take out of it three stones consecutively. The rivulets formed by those two sources of Bállí and Frenk-gozí flow through the town supplying water to the palaces, kháns, mosques, gardens, and mills, and terminate in the lake of Ládík. Another walk is that called Akbínár, a fountain of cold water, which does not flow through the town, but outside. All these sources rise in the high mountains to the north211 of the town and find their way into the lake of Ládík. On the west of Ládík, a pleasure-place called the monastery, a delightful spot with a water called Rámja, which is sweeter than the water of Ma’avia. These united sources divide below the castle into two branches, one of which waters the gardens of Kowa-mahallessí below the pilgrimage of Khizrlik, and the other passes by the pilgrimage of Bálídedeh, where the principal men come to meet the pilgrims returning from Mecca.

The warm laths of Ládík.

A hot spring is situated one hour and a half on the west of Ládík on a high hill in a village, called Khalliz, below which it flows as a small rivulet, turns some mills, and falls into the Kizil Irmák; being situated behind the mountains of Ládík it cannot fall into the lake. The warm bath of Khalliz is much renowned. In the cherry season this place is visited by thousands of people, who here renovate their health by God’s command. An outlet from this hot bath flows into the river Khalliz which empties itself into the Kizil Irmák. Another warm bath (Ilije, Turkish; Humma, Arabic; Germáb, Persian;) is on the west side of Ládík in the jurisdiction of Kaúza. Kaúza is in this country the name of a hot bath, which in Rúmelí is called Kainarje; in Tartary, Ilissí; in Mogolastán, Kerenda; and Frangistán, Bagno. It is a double bath so that men and women have their separate bathing places. The basin in the men’s apartment is ten feet square and is such a delightful sight that it might restore dead men to life. The water rushes forth from four lions’ mouths, which are at the four corners. The water is not very warm, but in addition to this great basin there is a small one the water of which is so extremely hot, that no man can bear it. On the four sides of this great basin under vaults are eight bathing troughs, where thousands of men are cured in the cherry season. In the same bath is a cold, limpid spring, called the maiden’s eye (Kiz-gozí), which gives fresh life to those who drink of it. The distance between this spring, cold as ice, and the hot spring is but a yard.

Description of the Lake of Ládík.

This is a large lake to the east of Ládík, which would take a day to go round; eleven different sorts of fish are found in it, the description of which would be too long to give. Twenty-six springs and rivulets flow into this lake on its four sides, from the districts of Zedaí, Súnssa, Kaúza and Zeitúm; it has no outlet. On its border is Bogházi-koí, a pleasant village, and the village of Otúz, renowned for its kaimak (cream), which is no where better; it can be cut like cheese and is elastic as gum. If any Kaimak can be compared with it, it is that of Bíngol (thousand lakes). Amasia lies eight hours to the south of Ládík, and to the212 eastward is Ník-hissár; the jurisdiction of Kavákelí is at a journey’s distance. To the west is the town of Koprí and the jurisdiction of Zeitúm at a journey’s distance. North to it is the harbour of Samsún and further on Sinope.

Pilgrimages of Ládík.

Sheikh Seid Ahmed Kebír, buried in his own convent, was the disciple of Sheikh Ekber who is also buried here in the old mosque, built by himself in the year 952 (1545); he was one of the Sheiks of Sultán Orkhán. Beneath the castle Sheikh Ya Wúdúd is buried, and Báli-dedeh at the meeting place of the caravan of Mecca. Ghází Tayár Mustafa Páshá is also buried here beneath a lead covered cupola.

I remained at this place three days with my gracious Lord, the Páshá, to whom great feasts were given, and then marched five hours to the west to the village of Shabín-ághá, of two hundred houses, where Kássim Aghá gave a grand feast; five hours further on we reached the village of Korkoí, of three hundred houses, a mosque and gardens. The next day, when the tails were about to be carried forward, two Chaúshes arrived as messengers from Constantinople to Diárbekr, whom the Páshá arrested. On their being searched nothing was found but a Khattí-sheríf to the Páshá of Baghdád, Sáleh Páshá, removing him from his government and recalling him to Constantinople in order that he might be made Kápúdán Páshá. The same day the Páshá despatched his messenger Sáleh to Murteza Páshá, the brother of Sáleh Páshá, the governor of Baghdád, to acquaint him that couriers from the Porte were on the way with an invitation to Constantinople to which he should pay no attention, but beware of the snare laid for him, and join instead the party of Várvár Alí Páshá, who was marching to Constantinople. The Courier Sáleh received an hundred ducats to join Murteza Páshá with all speed; and on the fourth day the Khassekí and Chaúsh, who were the bearers of the Imperial rescript, were set at liberty and continued their route to Baghdád. The Páshá remained six days at Korkoí and moved on the seventh, when after five hours march we reached the old town of Merzifún.

Description of Merzifún.

It was built by the Dánishmend family and conquered by Bayazíd I. It is now a castle in good condition and useful against rebels, in the sanjak of Amasia, belonging to Sivás, and is guarded by watchmen. The town is a wakf of Saint Pírdedeh and is commanded by the Kizlar Aghá. The judge, appointed with three hundred aspers, may annually collect from the different districts six purses. As it is an inland castle it has neither commander nor garrison. Its public213 officers are a Muftí, Nakíb, Serdár, Kiayayerí, Mohtessib and Naíb. We were here the guests of Diláwer Aghá, the Silihdár of Tabání Mohammed Páshá, who treated the Páshá and fourteen hundred men of his suite for ten days with the greatest hospitality: so that not even a bag for the horses nor a cup of coffee were provided for by the Páshás people. The officers were lodged in the town by billet (Yáfteh) and lived with their hosts in perfect harmony like fathers and sons; four thousand men of the troops were provided with lodgings in the neighbouring villages, the inhabitants of which, though Turks, are of a gentle and mild temper, and give freely of what they have. Every necessary for sustaining life is here found in abundance. The town is situated on the border of Mount Deshán and contains four thousand houses covered with brick, forty four quarters and seventy mosques, the oldest of which is that of Murad II., in the market-place; it is in the olden style with one mináreh, and is much visited.

The colleges are, that of Murad II., where lectures are held also on tradition, seventy schools for boys, and two dining rooms, one of which is at the convent of Pírdedeh. At an hour’s distance from the town is the Convent of Akásha, and in the towns are those of Abdul Kádir Jílání, and one of Khalvetís; the Kháns are in the market. On the left corner of the gate of the old khán is suspended the mace of a Pehliván.

Description of the Baths.

The old bath, divided for men and women, was built by Mohammed I., and has more than seventy troughs or basins. Round it dwell the felt and safian makers, who tan blue, yellow and red safian. The walls of the bath are all lined with chalk mixed with musk and amber, the odour of which pervades the whole building and renders it so dry that neither on the walls nor on the windows does a drop of moisture collect. Being an old building, however, it is not light, but rather dark. The water is very warm and limpid.

Praise of Pírdedeh.

When Murad II., the father of Mohammed II., was building a mosque and college here, the enemies of Pírdedeh calumniated him by saying, that he accompanied the women into the bath and foretold to them hidden things, which are forbidden in the Korán, such as whether they would lie in with a boy or girl. Murad II., angry at such scandalous behaviour, took his sword with the intention of performing a meritorious action by killing the accused. When he came to the bath and saw Pírdedeh walking about with an apron round his loins, he upbraided him for mingling with the women in the bath and rubbing them instead of letting214 it be done by the waiting women. Pírdedeh said, “My Prince, I do such service only to women who are pregnant with great Doctors and learned men, and therefore enter not the bath in the common way.” Thus saying, he entered through the stone wall which opened for him, and the place is yet shown where he passed through before the eyes of the Sultán. The Sultán then said, “I came hither Dedeh to kill you with this sword in a legal way.” “Such is not the act intended for you sword,” replied the Saint; “your sword is destined to conquer Smyrna, which Timúr was unable to subdue; but which has fallen into the hands of the Greeks. Go, therefore, and conquer Smyrna and eat this bread.” On saying this, he took up two pieces of marble lying before the bath, kneaded them like dough and presented them bread, one to Murad II., and the other to his son Mohammed II., foretelling the conquest of Smyrna to the first and that of Constantinople to the second. This prediction being fulfilled, twenty-six years afterwards Mohammed gave to his convent an endowment of three hundred and sixty-six villages, so that the whole town of Merzifún belongs to this foundation. Every year a Mutevellí (administrator) from the Kizlar Aghá, who is the Názir (inspector) accompanied by three hundred horsemen, comes to take possession of the village and distribute its revenues among the dervishes and other poor men. The two pieces of white marble bread are actually shown fixed into the wall, where the Saint passed through it. This bath is a place for miraculous cures, and is the counterpart of the bath built by Avicenna.

The houses of the town, adorned with Sháhneshíns (projecting windows) all look towards the kiblah. Its inhabitants are sound and healthy on account of the prevalence of easterly winds. In the summer the inhabitants repair to Mount Deshán for summer lodgings (Yaila). These alps were given of old, when the Dánishmend family came from Mohán in Khorassán, to the sons of Deshán and are now in possession of one of their descendants, who receives a duty for the pasture of many hundred thousand head of cattle. Some hundred rills and rivulets, flowing down from these heights, water all the fields and gardens of the town. The nature of the soil is such, that however copiously it may rain, the fields are not productive unless watered by the rills of Deshán; but then they become so fertile that the corn returns an hundred fold; for one kíle at least eighty. These rills are under the inspection of a particular Aghá, who regulates the distribution of them, for if such a magistrate were not appointed, the inhabitants of Merzifún would kill each other for the sake of the water. A part of the rills and sources of Mount Deshán flow in the direction of Koprí and water its fields and gardens; another into the district of Kaúza in the valley of Ládík; and another still to the northward to the valley of Osmánjik. The town of215 Merzifún stands on a hilly site backed by Mount Deshán. Amasia is fifteen hours on the kiblah-side of this town, Ládík twelve, Osmánjik sixteen, Gumish ten, and Kerkerán eight. On the northern border of Mount Deshán stands the castle of Koja Kala’assí, looking upon the town of Koprí. If you march from Merzifún along Mount Deshán for five hours to the northward you arrive at Koprí, and in three journeys further at Samssún, which is the harbour of Merzifún, it being nearer to it than Sinope.


Must, pure as that of Aintáb, sweet raisins, and the white bread of Pírdedeh; six hundred shops almost all occupied by dyers, who dye a peculiar blue even finer than the Persians. Its cotton stuffs are exported in great quantities to Crimea and exchanged for prisoners; the ferrájes and dresses of the inhabitants of Crimea are made of the stuffs of Merzifún. Its spun cotton, shirts, blankets, cushions and other printed articles are also in good estimation.

Pilgrimage to the Saints of Merzifún.

The first of all the Saints of this place is Sheikh Pírdedeh, who came with Hají Begtásh from Khorassán by permission of Koja Yessúí. He dwelled outside of Merzifún to the north on a hill, and spent his days in the baths as a Santon from the time of Orkhán to that of Mohammed II. His convent which is a larger building than even that of Koyún-bábá at Osmánjik, is provided with a kitchen and cellar (Kílár) and affords every night lodgings and food to two or three hundred travellers; two hundred dervishes of the order Begtáshí, barefoot and bareheaded, serve their guests who visit the tomb of the Saint, say a Yass in honor of the deceased and perfume their brains with the sweet odour of musk, which exhales from his tomb. So great a number of candlesticks, lamps, candelabra, vases for rose water and censers are not even to be seen at Imán Riza. His habit, carpet, banner, drum, crown, mace, sling and strap, the treasure of these dervishes, are preserved in boxes, and many thousand travellers both on land and sea have here suspended their slings and maces in eternal remembrance. I, poor Evliya, being a great friend of Dervishes, according to the Prophet’s tradition: “Poverty is my glory!” put with their permission the crown of Pírdedeh, which is a Turkish cap of felt, on my head; the whole convent meanwhile resounding with the cries of Allah and pious prayers. The building is entirely covered with lead. The second pilgrimage is that of Sheikh Abd-ur-rahím Ben Emír Merzifúní, who was the disciple of Zein-ud-dín Háfí at Brússa and composed the work, Wassayaí Kudsie (Mystic Admonitions). He accepted a living of eight aspers a day at the mosque of Sultán Mohammed I., at Merzifún,216 where he lived and died; his tomb is now a place generally visited. In his mystic poems he has taken the name of Rúmí, they are all in the style and cant of the Sofís. We remained ten days in this town to look at its curiosities. On the tenth day arrived Murád the Khassekí and Haúrúzjí the Chaúsh, who had been put into prison for four days by our gracious Lord, the Páshá, that his messenger, Sáleh, despatched before them to Murteza Páshá, might arrive first; but “Man proposes and God disposes;” Sáleh was struck by apoplexy at Nissibín and remained there, while the two messengers of the Porte, who started four days after him, arrived at Murteza Páshá’s lodging at Diarbekr, presented him first with the diploma of Captain Páshá, for which good news they received a sable pelisse and a purse of money each, and then attacked him suddenly and severed his head from his body. They now arrived at the Mehkemeh (Court of Justice) of Merzifún with the head in a box, which they there deposited, and then came into the presence of the Páshá, who was surrounded by all his men, their hands grasping the daggers in their belts. The Khassekí and Chaúsh trembled like leaves, kissed the threshold of the gate and after having sat down on their heels, the Páshá upbraided them saying, “Infidels, why have you killed this unfortunate Murteza Páshá? All your things and saddlecloths had been searched, and nothing was found but the diploma appointing Murteza, Kapúdán Páshá; where did you hide the order for his death? Pray, speak the truth.” They said, “Most fortunate Vezír we are servants who but do what we are ordered. The proverb says, ‘If there were not the Sultán’s words the executioner would not commit the deed.’ We hid the order for death in a leaden box, in the water-bottle, where it escaped the search. We reached Murteza Páshá before your messenger, who was struck by apoplexy, and after having prevailed on him to return from Baghdád to Diarbekr, we there opened the bottle, took out the firmán and executed it. The head is now at the Mehkemeh, and the command is yours; who should beware of your own head. Health to you!” The Páshá satisfied with the Khassekí’s answer gave him a purse of money, saying, “Now get you gone, or God may send you misfortune!” The Páshá was now troubled about his own fate, and began to collect Sárija and Segbán (irregular levies), wrote letters to Várvár Páshá and sent me to Koprilí Mohammed Páshá, who was then in the town of his birth (Koprí) and to Hassan Aghá who was at Kilis.

Journey from Merzifún to Koprí.

We set out on the 10th Moharrem in a northerly direction along Mount Deshán, passed the village of Begorán and in six hours reached Koja Kala’a a small castle on a rock accessible but by one road and one gate. It was besieged217 at different times by the rebels Karayázijí, Saíd Arab and Kalender, but never was taken by them. It was however conquered by Bayazíd I., from the Dánishmend family and belongs now to the district of Koprí; the garrison consists of an hundred men, and it has a mosque, cistern, magazine for corn and seven or eight small guns, but no bath, khán or bezestán. The inhabitants make cans of fir-tree, which go by the name of bodúj, they also manufacture musical instruments called chekúr, tanbúr, rádha, karadozen, yúnghár, &c. In six hours more, after passing many villages on the border of Mount Deshán, we arrived at Koprí.

Description of the old town and great bridge of Koprí.

We dismounted at the house of Yússúf Aghá, where we stopped as guests, and delivered our letters to Koprilí Mohammed Páshá and the other principal men, we then collected the Búlúk-bashís and ordered cryers to proclaim that all those who wished to have goods and slaves, and possessed breeches and a horse, were to come to us. After this we went to view the town. Koprí is a fortress in good condition on the border of Mount Deshán, in a tract intersected by hills and valleys at a place watered by two rivers. One of these is called Bogha-koí and flows past the bottom of the town; the other is at an hour’s distance, and is called Astavolúz. The town of Koprí is situated between them. At the time of their overflowing they inundate the whole plain of Koprí; the town derives its name Koprí (bridge) from the great wooden bridge by which the Astavolúz river is crossed. It is a wonderful work constructed of fir-trees. At an early period this town was called Shebender, the name for a bridge in the language of the Amalekites. The stone bridge, which was formerly here, broke down on the night of the birth of the Prophet, and was replaced by this wooden one. The two rivers which flow past the town of Koprí unite below it and fall into the great river Báfra. This town was first built by the Amalekites and was taken by Melek Ghází, the Prince of the Dánishmend family, from the Greek Emperors of Trebisonde. Bayazíd I. took the fortress, the abovesaid castle of Koja Kala’a, by capitulation. It now belongs to the government of Amasia, half of it being a ziámet and the other half a subáshílik subordinate to Tokát; the judge is appointed with three hundred aspers. Its districts contain no less than an hundred and forty villages with gardens, kháns, mosques covered with lead, and from three to four thousand houses all covered with bricks; the great borough Bogház-koí has three thousand houses; the other remarkable places of similar extent are Baghjeh-koí, Doyán-koí, Akdepeh-koí and Akoren-koí. From these hundred and forty villages and boroughs the judge annually collects seven thousand piastres. There is a Muftí, Nakíb, Serdár, Kiayayerí, Mohtessib and Naíb, but as it is an218 inland castle it has neither commander nor garrison. The rebels Kara Yazijí and Said Arab were natives of this town, but having been defeated at Erla they fled and became rebels. To secure this town against them a second castle of earth was built close to the stone castle, and the two have four gates, but the shops and markets are outside in the suburb.

The town of Koprí consists of six thousand houses covered with bricks of two stories, the lower story being built of stone and the upper of oak whitened with chalk; so that all the houses dazzle the eye by their brilliancy. The winter being severe they are all provided with chimneys, which lift their bonneted heads like white Minárehs. These chimneys looking like tall white columns give a good appearance to the town, which is all covered with red bricks. The principal building of stone in the castle is the Seraï of Elháj Yússúf Aghá built by Koprilí Mohammed Páshá; there are altogether seventy palaces, and twenty mihrábs, in eleven of which the khutbeh is performed. In the stone castle is the mosque of Hájí Yússúf Aghá, with a water basin, a jet d’eau, and a mináreh covered with lead. Of the convents the first is that of the great Sheikh, that of the Káderites, and of the Khalvetí, but there are none of the Mevleví. The people generally are friendly to Dervishes. There are eleven kháns, two imárets, and five colleges, because its lawyers, divines, medical men and students are numerous. The schools for boys are forty-eight, that of Hájí Yússúf is covered with lead and richly endowed. There are various baths, the best of which is the double one of Ahmed Páshá, a thousand shops, and a strong bezestán with four gates. Yússúf Aghá may be called the last builder of this town which he enriched by a great many endowments; the bezestán was also his building. The most elegant market-place is that of the tanners, who illuminate every night their shops with candles; there are also a great many dyers. Its gardens are in full cultivation and produce excellent fruits. The pears, grapes, cotton wares, wove and spun, and the blue linen are as famous as its rosy-cheeked beauties. The harbours of this town on the shores of the Black Sea are Báfra and Sinope, which are but a journey distant. At five hours distance is the strong castle of Ardoghán, which I am now about to describe.

The castle of Ardoghán is situated on a high hill, which is ascended by five hundred steps and therefore only accessible to men; it is a single rock like the fortress of Márdín. The highest point is a crooked rock, which seems to threaten ruin every moment. Melek Ghází, the conqueror of Nigissár, also conquered this town; and it was afterwards taken by Bayazíd I. It is commonly called Seddí Turkmán, the dyke of the Turcomans. The castle now contains an hundred and fifty houses, a cistern, mosque, and magazine for corn. Precious articles are kept219 within this castle and in that of Koja Kala’a on the border of mount Deshán. A Dizdár and forty-eight men do the duty. The castle is rendered safe by a drawbridge against the attacks of rebels. There is no market khán or bath. The district belongs to the jurisdiction of Koprí. Six hours westward is the station of Gol, a village in the district of Zeitún, with a mosque, a khán, and a bath. Six hours further, the village of Súrúk in the jurisdiction of Zeitún; and after a march of six hours along the Yaila of Kondúz we arrived at Zeitún, a large place in the territory of Amasia of two thousand houses with kháns, mosques, baths, schools and numerous gardens. Six hours further is the large place (Kassaba) Karghú, belonging to the sanjak of Kanghrí, of six hundred houses with gardens, a mosque, khán, and bath. Six hours further, the town of Túsia which has already been described. We remained here one day and returned again to Merzifún. The third day I arrived at Koprí, where I found every thing in the greatest confusion and the whole town in an uproar, because Koprilí Mohammed Páshá had received orders from the Porte to march against the rebels. From hence I went in six hours towards the kiblah to the village of Begoran on the border of mount Deshán, which we had passed in coming but did not stop at. In another six hours we again reached Merzifún and met Defterdár-zádeh Mohammed Páshá, my gracious Lord, to whom I brought two hundred men, Sáríja. He was overjoyed at this and instantly formed them into two companies (Bolúk), giving them the names of the company of Evliya Guzerlí and Habíb; and in addition to twenty-four other companies of irregular levies, they made together twenty-six hundred men. I remained ten days longer at Merzifún employing my time in collecting men, and on the 27th of Moharrem left it for the farm of Murteza Páshá, which I reached in six hours.

This is a very productive farm (Chiftlik) situated in the plain of Merzifún. As snow was falling here we suffered much from the cold and in three hours, after many difficulties, reached Kúlák Hájí Koí, a village of two hundred houses with a ruined khán and a mosque. The inhabitants had all fled and there remained not even a cock in the village. The troops were dying of hunger, and during the night so heavy a storm blew that the snow was five spans deep in the morning. When the trumpets of departure sounded we moved on, though every one cursed the march, and struggling with difficulty against the gale and snow reached the straight called Diriklipúl, where the distress was very great owing to the fury of the gale, the quantity of snow, the uncertainty of the road and the want of provisions. The Páshá distributed money and encouraged some of the bravest to go in search of the road, through the midst of the snow, which they passed over in shoes made of horse-hair. This sort of shoe is called Páchila, and is used in220 Turkistán and Persia when snow has fallen to any depth. It consists of a circle like a sieve, the inside of which is fashioned into a shoe made of horse-hair; this they put on their feet to walk over the snow. The circle round the shoe is to give a greater surface to the foot in order to prevent it from sinking into the snow. Provided with such shoes the troops entered the straight, but were in the greatest distress, for some were lost notwithstanding these Páchila. Mules, camels and horses were stumbling one over the other and cries and lamentations pierced the air. The Sárija and Segbáns, so many Calibáns (Kaltiban) were the first who fled. In short it was impossible to pass the straight of Diriklipúl and therefore we were obliged to repair with the rest of the troops and the heavy baggage of the Pásha to Gumish Kala’a (Silver Castle), which we reached after a six hour’s march. We remained here three days till the falling of the snow had ceased. All those who hastened to the fire lost their sight for some time, and those only who did not approach it, but endured the cold, retained the use of their eyes. Seventeen men lost either a leg or a hand or a foot by the excessive cold, and the leg or hand being cut off, the stumps were dipped into boiling resin, so that their cries pierced the air.

Description of the town of Gumish.

It was built by the Byzantine Emperors and was conquered by Melek Ghází of the Dánishmend family. When Bayazíd I. marched to the conquest of Amasia the inhabitants of Gumish met him, and presented him with some silver vases and the keys of the castle. The inhabitants are therefore free of all duties, but it is incumbent upon them to work the silver mines. The inspectorship is held by lease, and furnishes annually to the Porte seventy quintals of pure silver, and one thousand pair of horse-cloths. In the Ottoman Empire there are no less than seventy silver mines, but this affords the purest silver; the goldsmith alloy an hundred drachms of this pure silver with ten of copper, and yet it is a good white silver, which receives the Imperial stamp. There are seven veins underground, which increase from day to day. The inhabitants of the town are all employed in the mines, and their commander is the inspector of the silver mines. The judge, appointed with an hundred and fifty aspers, may collect seven purses a year. The castle of this town situated on a hill is in a ruined state and has no accommodation at all within; being an inland castle it has neither a garrison nor commander. There is a Serdár and a Kiaya-yerí of the Janissaries, and the town consists of a thousand houses covered with planks, eleven mosques, of which that in the market-place is the most frequented, but no hospital, the salubrity of the air rendering one superfluous. Its products are the purest silver and horse-cloths221 and bags, which the Imperial stables and those of the principal men of Constantinople are furnished with from hence. The gardens produce good grapes. In the town are heaped up mounds of earth taken from the mines. We remained here three days on account of the heavy gales, and then advanced five hours to the south, suffering from the snow, to Dankaza-koí, a village of an hundred houses belonging to the jurisdiction of Gumish in the territory of Amasia. Near the farm of Kosseh Sha’abán Páshá is the Pilgrimage of Bardáklí-bábá and Akche-bábá, who are both buried here. The first gained his living by making cans (Bardák) for which the village is still famous. We visited the tomb of Bardáklí-bábá; after holding a council we approached, amidst a thousand difficulties, the high mountain of Kirk Dilim, which was passed with much suffering and the loss of many stragglers who returned to Dánkaza. Alí Aghá, the Kiaya of the Páshá, encouraged some brave lads, who had not yet lost their hands and feet, to wrap up the feet of the horses and mules by tearing up many carpets and coverlets, and in this way passed them over the snowy mountain of Kirk Dilim; but the heavy baggage, the munition, cellar, kitchen, and artillery were all left in the snow. The Kiaya of the Páshá again distributing money, the bags and casks were dragged up and rolled over the snow. This night was passed in a woody valley without the means of getting on, and seventy men, who had lost their hands and feet, remained behind. The next morning we continued our way amidst snow and storms through the straight of Kirk Dilim, and arrived after eight hours painful march at a village, the name of which has escaped my memory, whose inhabitants had all fled upon the news of our arrival. Men and horses during the night were nearly dying of hunger, and there was such a gale and heavy storm of snow that in the morning it was five spans in depth. On the signal of departure being given the Kullákjí, conductors (Sarbán), and tent-pitchers (Mehter) assembled before the Páshá’s tent and declared they were unable to stir. Ten piastres were promised to the men, but they answered, “Health first, then wealth.” The Páshá said, “My children, how is it possible to remain in this place, where there is not a grain of provisions?” In short the Kullákjí (leaders) could not be induced to move on until they had received a present of fifteen purses from the Páshá. There was, however, such a storm of wind, hail and snow that the horses danced like Dervishes Mevleví, and the camels like Lúlús (Tatar robbers). The unhappy leaders of them put their hands in their bosoms and uttered a piteous cry. Praise be to God! we now entered a forest and were a little sheltered against the wind and snow, and after a march of five hours arrived at the great village of Bardákjí, in the jurisdiction of Gumish, consisting of an hundred houses. From hence continuing our march to the south we arrived in222 four hours at the station of Kirk Dilim, a place of two hundred Mussulmen houses in the sanjak of Chorún. Here both men and horses rested till the following day, when the weather clearing up we proceeded through cultivated villages to the town of Chorúm, said to have been built (God knows if truly) by Kilij Arslán, the Prince of the Seljúk family, who sent his son Yakúb Mirza and some hundred sick men to this town, where being cured, it received in consequence the name of Chorúm. From the hands of the Seljúkides it passed into those of the Dánishmend family from whom it was taken by Ilderím; it is now the seat of a Sanjak Beg in the government of Sívás. His khass is three hundred thousand aspers, nineteen ziámets, and thirty-one timárs. There is a Colonel (Alaí-beg) a Captain (Cherí-báshí) a judge appointed with an hundred and fifty aspers, and receiving from its districts annually five purses, a Muftí, Nakíb, Serdár, Kiaya-yerí, Mohtessib, Súbáshí, Inspector of the hall (Kapán Emíní) and Náíb of the town. The military officers are in great favour because the troops are numerous and there are a great number of bad men. Lodgings were positively refused to our Páshá; but mediators were employed and documents were made out at the Mehkemeh (Court of Justice), so that they were prevailed upon to give us lodgings, but only for the space of three days. The town consists of forty-two quarters in which are forty-two mosques, four thousand three hundred houses covered with bricks and surrounded with gardens; nine mosques where the Friday prayer is performed, of which that of Sultán Murad is the best, it had but one minareh which was throw down by Ilderím Bayazíd. The mosque of Sultán Ala-ud-dín was repaired under Sultán Súleimán by the architect Sinán; as it is situated in the market-place it is much frequented. That of Murad covered with lead is the finest. The new bath is a foundation belonging to the bath of Alí Páshá at Tokát; in the palaces are many other baths. Of the colleges, of which there are seven, that of Murad is the most frequented; there are eleven schools for boys, seven kháns and eighteen fountains, the water by which they are supplied was conducted hither by Sultán Súleimán, in honour of the martyrs of Kerbela (who died of thirst). The convents of Dervishes are three, but no house for reading the korán or for tradition exists. The shops are three hundred, in which all the necessaries of life are to be found, although this is a town of Turkistán. The temperature of the climate gives red cheeks and good proportions to the inhabitants, who almost all wear cloth. The fair sex and the winter are both renowned. The Castle on the kiblah side of the town has only been built for protection against riots and rebellion. It has an iron gate, a commander and garrison. God knows! but it seems to have been built since the Islám, because there is no trace of any building of the time of the infidels.


On the day we came here the late chief barber of the Sultán arrived in the quality of Kapijí-báshí accompanied by forty other chamberlains, saying, that he was the bearer of the diploma of the government of Diárbekr. The Páshá surrounded himself with all his guards, Sárija, Segbán, Gonullí (volunteers) three hundred pages and all the Levends. The forty kapijís entered trembling and the Páshá having asked, where the diploma was they had boasted of, was assailed all at once by them, but before they were able to do any harm to him, they were all disarmed and bound by his guards and soldiers. The Segbán and Sárija called for the executioners and were going to cut off their heads, when the principal men of the town kissed the earth before the Páshá, and begged the lives of these kapijí-báshís, who were, they said, only servants executing their master’s commands and therefore should be spared. The Páshá yielding to their prayers set them at liberty, instead of thrashing them to death as he ought to have done. Being liberated they went to the Mehkemeh, called the Sanjak Beg, read the firmán and demanded in consequence that the troops should be driven out of the town. The inhabitants remonstrated against it, showing that they might all be in danger of being cut to pieces and their houses burned down, if they were to undertake the least thing against the troops. The Páshá being made acquainted in time of what was going on, sent word to the kapijís immediately to quit the place if they wished to escape in safety. Thus they were all driven out of the town. The next day a messenger was despatched to Várvár Alí Páshá to acquaint him with what had happened. The inhabitants finding that our Páshá was a goodnatured and righteous Vezír gave him the salutary advice not to march to Constantinople, but always to remain at one or two journeys distance from Várvár Alí Páshá, and to take his station, until the snow should melt and the weather clear up, at Tokát or Kázova. The Páshá approving of their advice, visited the tomb of Sheikh Olván Chelebí, the son of Ashik Páshá, and proceeded to Tokát. In this plain we remained ten days, during which the Páshá received letters from Várvár Alí Páshá, exhorting him to be on his guard, and, as the spring was now approaching and the weather clearing up, to collect as many troops as he could for the march to Constantinople. The Páshá made as though he were going to Angora, and on the eleventh day we arrived in the plain of Chorúm at the convent of Sídim Sultán, a convent of bareheaded and barefooted Begtáshí, where the Páshá was lodged and splendidly feasted. The village of Kara Kechelí of two hundred houses in the territory of Chorúm is an hour’s distance from the red river. Here the snow beginning to fall and the wind to blow, the Sárija and Segbán drove the families out of their houses, threw the cradles with the children in them on to the snow, dug out the gates and thresholds to bring224 their horses into the rooms to the fire, and committed the same excesses, that they did at Gumish and Dánkaza, and which exceeded even the tyranny of Yessúf Hejáj. The next day we left Kara Kechelí and instead of passing over the bridge of Cháshnegír on the red river, proceeded to the passage of Kara Yechíd; which was indeed a bad measure, because the passage is a cruel one. It had ceased snowing but was so piercingly cold that the men and horses trembled like leaves; nevertheless the orders for the passage were given. It commenced with the tent-camels, the kitchen, stable and other heavy baggage of the Páshá’s led by twenty able pilots. Two hundred strings of camels and one hundred of mules belonging to the Páshá, as well as mine and the Kiaya’s passed over, and, went with all this heavy luggage to Kúrdseraí, but myself and the Kiaya remained on this side of the river waiting to see the passage of the baggage of all the Aghás. In the morning their heavy things arrived along with the treasure-camels of the Páshá, but at the moment the pilots had entered the river with them, there arose such a storm of hail and snow, of thunder and of lightning, that the strings of mules and camels were broken, numbers of them upset in the middle of the river, and a great many lost. Great masses of ice, the shape of mill-wheels, now began to float down the river and blocked the shores at the bridge of Cháshnegír. In the midst of the confusion which took place on both shores of the river, the Páshá arrived with his music sounding. He distributed large sums of money amongst the inhabitants of Kúrdseraí, who rescued the men and animals, while the troops on both sides of the river were running about crying and lamenting. Some brave fellows swam amongst the drifting shoals, but others were submerged, and camels, mules, horses and men, were floating about in confusion and dismay; some of whom were drowned and some saved. Some Kurds and Turcomans swam into the midst of the ice and rescued many camels, mules and horses, but as those who had crossed had left their clothes on this side the river, it so happened that a great number perished from cold. Of all the baggage, only that which had passed over before the ice began to drift was saved, the rest was lost. An hundred and sixty men, more than a thousand horses and mules were drowned, but only a small number of camels. The drowned men were for the most part Kulenkjí, Sárija and Segbán; some going to paradise and others to hell: the latter were at least delivered from the hell of winter. This horrible discomfiture lasted only from the morning till afternoon, when the drifting of the ice and the storm suddenly ceased, so that the Tatars, Delís, and Gonillás, who had waited till then, crossed over without the least difficulty. Witnessing these misfortunes I reflected on the cruel conduct of those troops, who had behaved in so barbarous a manner in the passage at Chardáklí-púlí, and225 now at Kúrd-dereh: burning down the houses, throwing infants on the snow and wounding men and women with battle-axes. The inhabitants of the villages came crying and lamenting to the Páshá,; but what was to be done with this crowd of Sárija and Segbán, of whom the Páshá stood in need and whose excesses therefore he was obliged to tolerate. I, poor Evliya, whilst witnessing those scenes, shivered at the thought of the vengeance which God would send one day on those cruel troops.

Praise of Sheikh Bárdáklí-bábá.

Near the above mentioned place is the pilgrimage of a Saint called Bárdáklí-bábá, a disciple of Sheikh Hájí Bairám. He obtained his living by making cans, which afforded a continual supply of water for the ablutions of his disciples. His can is suspended from his tomb and therefore he is called Bárdáklí-bábá, the father of cans or tankards. With the leave of the tomb-keeper, I took down the suspended can to perform my ablutions and found it full of clear water, though covered with the dust of forty years. The Páshá’s Imám and some others of his suite were astonished at this extraordinary sight, they asked the keeper if he would swear the can had not been recently filled with water. He swore that it had not been touched for forty years until I, poor Evliya, had taken it down to perform my ablutions. The Imám and the others said, “Well then Evliya hang it up again,” but I being determined to carry my point would not until I had performed the ablution in the legal way. The Imám and four other persons then did the same, but the water was not diminished in the least to our great astonishment. We again hung up the can, which was of a reddish colour, and on its side was written the verse of the Súra Ra’ad, “He sent water from heaven,” the number 66626, three Ks, two Js and one M, the figure of a glass and of a can. I now began to recite the Korán according to the intention of the Saint, with whom I made spiritual acquaintance, remarking the Prophet’s tradition, “If you are perplexed in your affairs look for assistance from the Inhabitants of the tombs.” The mirror of my heart was polishing and rubbing off the rust of sadness, when a woman walked in, who threw the body of a dead child and herself on the threshold of the tomb, crying and lamenting that her child had been killed by the troops, who had cast it on the snow, and calling down divine vengeance upon them, through the aid of the Prophet and the Saints. She was followed by a great number of injured men, who united their prayers and imprecations with hers. I trembled at hearing them, and drawing near with a friendly face, kissing their hands and cheeks, I said to them,226 “People of Mohammed, I also belong to the troops of the Páshá, who, God knows, does not approve of their excesses; but he has been forced to collect them in order to save his own head, which is endangered by the Grand Vezír, Ahmed Páshá, on whom must be laid the fault of all this.” An old man gave me some comfort by saying, that I was not included in this imprecation, which was to fall only on the troops; and a good deal of it was realized at the above described passage of the river, where so many lost their lives and goods, while I, poor Evliya, God be thanked for it! passed over safely to the opposite side.

The borough of Kúrdlar-seraí (wolves’ palace) is situated in the Sanjak of Kánghrí in the jurisdiction of Kala’ajik on the bank of the red river and consists of four hundred houses covered with terraces, a mosque, a khán and a bath. Here the Páshá appointed two Aghás to watch the endeavours made to retrieve from the river some of the lost baggage. Moving on to the north we arrived at the village of Boyalí, situated in the territory of Kanghrí; five hours further, the village Akche-Koyúnlí of an hundred Turcoman houses; and three hours further, the village of Kojí-bábá, situated in the jurisdiction of Kala’ajik, of two hundred Turcoman houses, which do not appear above ground but are all below it, with stables, kitchens and sitting-rooms. The reason for the construction of these subterraneous houses is the violence of the winter; they are all built of a soft stone, which has the appearance of having been whitened with chalk. Chests, boxes, and rafters are all cut in this stone, which is as soft as cheese; the houses are so large, that a thousand men might be lost in them, and yet is there nothing seen of them above ground. Here is the pilgrimage of Kojí-bábá, one of the disciples of Hájí-begtásh. There is no other building but the convent; the tomb is adorned with lamps and candelabras. His banner, drum, habit and carpet are all preserved as though he were himself present. The Turcomans have great faith in this saint. At Keskin (the name of this place) is also the tomb of Sheikh Ibrahím Tenúrí Ben Sarráf Hossein, one of the disciples of Ak-shems-ud-dín; he was born at Sivás. Five hours further to the north is the village of Sheikh Shámí of the order of Bairámís, whose name was Hamza; the sect of the Hamzeví take their name from him. Many miracles are recorded of him, one of them is the spring which he called forth by his staff and which is, therefore, actually called the Spring of the Staff. He is buried beneath a high cupola near the mosque which he himself built, but which is not covered with lead. Its mihráb is of very great dimensions, and the stones are adorned with inscriptions in Kúfí, Jellí, Mostea’assemí, Ríhání, and Thúlúth characters. The verses: “Every time Zacharias went before the Mihráb,” and “He was standing praying before the Mihráb,” and the verses Kursí and Emen-er-ressúl are written upon it. On both sides it is carved and sculptured in a most astonishing way with flowers and arabesque ornaments, so that the stone seems rather to be engraved or painted than227 sculptured. Some say it is the work of Sheikh Shám himself, and it is indeed probable because it is such a wonderful work, like the paintings of Mání and Behzád Aghá Riza Wání. Before his tomb rises the Spring of the Staff which is much visited. From hence we went five hours to the north to the village of Hossein Aghá in the district of Kala’ajik and five hours further to the village of Kala’ajik itself, which was built by the Prince of Brússa Sirúna for his daughter. Topál the commander of Kastemúní conquered it; and he resisted the Ottoman power, till at last Ilderím Bayazíd took by surprise this castle, which is not to be conquered in any other way. It is now the seat of a Subáshí of the Sanjak of Kánghrí, and a judge is appointed to it with an hundred and fifty aspers, and collects from the districts annually four purses; there is also a Dizdár and a garrison of twenty men.

Form of the Castle.

It is situated on a high reddish cliff, towering into the clouds, as though built by Ferhád. The walls are sixty royal cubits high, as it is an isolated rock there are no ditches. An iron-gate opens to the kiblah side and within the castle are about twenty houses, a mosque, a magazine of corn, a cistern, and six small guns. The inhabitants of the neighbouring tracts deposit in this castle their effects and precious things from fear of rebels and robbers, and the commander is the keeper of these deposited goods. It is not commanded by any neighbouring height and is surrounded with gardens. One the kiblah-side is a well-built suburb, but without fortifications (robát), consisting of two thousand houses partly covered with bricks and partly with earth; the largest is the palace of Shehsuvár Páshá, they all face towards the kiblah-side; the streets instead of being paved with stone, are all strewn with sand. There are seventeen mosques, that in the market place having one mináreh, thirteen schools for boys, a small bath, three khans and six coffee-houses; the air is good, but not the water. We lodged here in the palace of Shehsuvár Páshá, and I thanked God that I could change clothes, and lie quietly down after the many fatigues undergone.

The Pilgrimages of Karánjí-bábá Sultán.

There is but one steep path from the castle, at the bottom of which near the market is the tomb of this saint in a narrow place. On leaving it we marched five hours to the North to the village of Kúrbághlí, in the territory of Kánghrí and the district of Kala’ajik, of two hundred houses with mosques and gardens, where Sheikh Abd-allah, the son of Sheikh Shámí, is buried; his tomb is covered with a simple roof, and is without a convent. Five hours further to the North we came to the village of Nenegler, in the territory of Kala’ajik, a Turkish village of228 an hundred houses; a cubit of snow fell during the night, so that nobody could leave their lodgings. In the morning when departure was sounded the horses were loaded with the greatest pain; Turks served as guides, and thus we marched three hours to the straight of Alák-púlí, where we were assailed by such a storm and rain, that the confusion and horror was general, and many lost their lives. The Aghás of the Páshá, and even his treasurers left the treasure and fled away. Mustafa Beg the son of the Páshá with his governor (Lálá), master (Khoja) and servants were missing; the strings of mules and camels were broken and they were straying on the mountains. I halted a little in a sheltered valley and then with six of my boys and three packhorses looked for a house, where I found three others of my slaves and ten Cháshnegírs; so that we were now twenty-five persons. Thus we passed the straight of Sárí Alák and arrived happily at the plain on the other side without knowing where we were going to.

(Here six pages of the original are omitted, which give a detailed account of Evliya’s falling into a nest of robbers, headed by Hyder-zádeh, Kátirjí-zádeh and other robbers, who held their meeting at Háji-bábá’s, an old rogue. The robbers, on being informed by Evliya of the Páshá’s being near, made off, and Evliya was kept by Háji-bábá until rescued by his people and other armed men of the Páshá’s suite, with whom he shared the rich presents which he forced out of Háji-bábá upon taking an oath that he would not betray this den of robbers. Evliya again joined the Páshá at the village of Hossein Aghá.)

The village of Hossein Aghá is situated in the district of Jubúk-owassá on a high hill. This is the pilgrimage of Ghazí Hossein of Malatia the father of Sídí Battál. Where there are more than an hundred Dervishes Begtáshí versed in Arabic and Persian knowledge. The tomb is surrounded with golden candlesticks, Koráns, &c. There are two places of religious exercise for the summer and for the winter. The valleys of Jubúk, Yebán, and Merbút are at the foot of this convent: Every year a Mevlúd or birth-feast is held here, when forty to fifty thousand men assemble to celebrate the feast of Hossein Sídí Batál’s father, one of the descendants of Imám Hossein, and who like him was killed by the hands of the Infidels. I gave to the Dervishes ten piastres for alms, immolated three victims and received the Sheikh’s benediction amidst the general shout of Allah! At the foot of the hill I met my Lord the Páshá with whom during ten days I overran the plain of Jubúk, as if I were going on conscription. This plain comprehends seven districts, and seventy villages. We spent ten more days on the plain of Yebán, containing an hundred cultivated villages belonging to the229 jurisdiction of Angora, and ten days more in the jurisdiction of Jorba of eighty-six villages. We passed a month in these three plains and celebrated Nevrúz (the spring’s commencement) near Angora. The weather now was mild, but we were all exhausted from the continual fatigue of loading and unloading heavy loads. At last we returned to the village of Hossein in the commencement of the year 1058 (1648). From hence we marched in seven hours to the north amidst cultivated villages and arrived at Angora.

Description of Angora.

On the day that our quartermasters entered the town with the tails it was declared to them in the court of justice, that the Páshá would not be allowed to enter the fortress on account of his intentions being known to be those of a rebel, but that in consequence of the great number of friends and clients in the town, he would be well treated and lodged there for three days. We entered with a great Istikbál (procession of meeting) and were saluted by the firing of twenty guns. I was lodged in the house of Keder-zádeh and went straight to the convent of Hájí-bairám, where I read the Korán, and fulfilled the vow I had made when in the hands of the robbers, distributing to the Dervishes an hundred piastres of the money obtained at the village of Bálik-hissár from the robbers.

Angora was conquered by Yakúbsháh, the Prince of Kútahia of the Germián family and by his Vezir Hezár-dínar, and then by Sultán Orkhán. If Angora is viewed from the village of Erkiksú, which is a journey’s distance from the north, it appears a brilliant place; for the houses rising one behind the other, similarly to Buda on the Danube, makes it look like a ship of transport (Maúna) which has set up its trees and adorned its head. Buda, Ván and Angora are the three first fortresses of the Empire: its name (Engúrí) is Persian, given from the quantity of grapes (Engúr) which are found here. It is said to have been built by a Byzantine Emperor, and employed forty thousand workmen for seven years, who each day received forty nuts and a loaf apiece. It is also called the leafy castle (Motabbak), because its different parts cover one another like leaves of a tree, and the castle of the chains (Selasil) because the Emperor Heraclius surrounded it with seven chains on the birth year of the Prophet. The Mogols call it Ankra; the Tatars, Kermen Ankra; the Germans, Constantinople (!) the Turks, Aidín Karí, Unkúr and Ungorú. In the Imperial Registers it is spelled Ankra. It is the seat of a Sanjak Beg in the province of Anatoli, and has been given many times as living (Arpalik) to Vezírs of three tails. The khass of the Páshá is two hundred and sixty three thousand four hundred aspers, fourteen ziámets, and two hundred and fifty seven timárs, an Alai-beg (Colonel) Cherí-beg (Captain) and Yúzbáshí230 (Lieutenants). The Zaims and Timariots with the Jebelle make three thousand armed men. The Súbashís depending from Angora are, those of the town, that of Mertátova, of Yebánava, of Jubúkova, and of Jorba, which annually import forty thousand piastres. The Judge is a Molla of five hundred aspers, whose revenues may be calculated at twenty purses a year. There are also a Sheikh-ul-islám or Muftí, a Nakíb-ul-eshraf, or head of the Emírs, Seids and Sherífs (the relations of the Prophet), a Serdár of the Janissaries, a Kiaya-yerí of the Sipáhís, a Náíb of the town and a Mohtessib (provost and lieutenant of police) the commanding officers of the Jebejí and Topjí, a Dizdár (commander of the castle) and a garrison of an hundred men. The castle is situated on a high mountain, mocking all assaults, rising in four natural terraces, so that there is a distance of three hundred paces from one enclosure to the other; the height of each wall is sixty cubits and the breadth ten royal cubits; the foundations are all built on vaults. The castle forms an oblong square from east to west. It has four iron-gates one behind the other towards the west, each strengthened behind by iron cages. These iron cages or gratings are thrown before the gates in time of sieges, the bars are of the thickness of an arm. The gate on the extremity of the fortress looking to the Horse market opens to the west, on the upper part of it are suspended the arms of old knights, and the bones of a whale. The guards keep watch here day and night. If the commander leaves the castle the garrison are empowered to kill him, or at least to exile him for ever. Abaza, the rebel, besieged this town with an hundred thousand men, and took possession of the lower town, but wounded by a cannon shot from the upper castle, he was obliged to return to Erzerúm; the commander ever since has been prohibited from leaving the castle, and the watchmen all night long cry, Yegdir-allah, One is God! It has no ditch on one side on account of the rocks, and it is not easily to be attacked by mines because its quarters rise one behind the other. The four enclosures have eighteen hundred battlements, and its circumference is four thousand paces. On the east side is a place of pilgrimage situated on a hill, it is called Khizrlik; this hill looks over the town, which is of no consequence as it is not within gun-shot distance. The inner castle is defended by sixty-eight guns, but none of them are large. The houses number six hundred and are all terraced, but have neither gardens nor vineyards; the old mosque was formerly a convent. The lower town was surrounded with a wall by Ahmed Páshá against the rebels. It has four gates, and its circumference on the three sides, on which it does not join the citadel, is six thousand paces. On the east side of the superior castle you descend into the valley of Khizrlik by a road leading down for fetching water. In the inner castle are cisterns and magazines; but in the lower town are no cisterns, because water231 is in abundance, there being an hundred and seventy fountains, three thousand wells, seventy-six mosques, those of Ahmed Páshá and Hájí Beirám the saint, having been built by the great Sinán, fifteen convents of Dervishes with mihráb (mosques) the greatest of them is that of Hájí Bairám, where three hundred Dervishes of his order follow the rules of their founder. Their first patron is Khoja Abd-ul-Kádír Jeilání, by whom they ascend to the prophet; in Rúmelí they are called also Hamzeví from Sheikh Hamza. There is likewise a fine convent of Mevlevís founded by Ahmed Páshá. The colleges are richly endowed, three houses for lectures on tradition, an hundred and eighty schools for boys, two hundred baths, seventy palaces with gardens; all these buildings are of brick not stone, and covered with earth instead of with bricks, six thousand six hundred and sixty houses, and two hundred sebíl-kháneh or establishments for distributing water. The shops are two thousand, and there is an elegant bezestán with four gates with chains; the market places are almost all on elevated spots; the coffee houses and barber’s-shops are always crowded; the public places and streets are paved with white stones. Its divines, poets, and learned and pious men are innumerable, although it is a Turkish town, it counts more than two thousand boys and girls who know the Korán by heart; some thousand also know by heart the Mohammedieh, or works on the Mohammedan religion by Yázijí-zadeh Mohammed Efendí. Some of its inhabitants have the repute of performing miracles like Abd-ur-rahman Efendí, a pious man, who is free of four enticements, viz. hair, brows, beard and eye-lashes; he is descended from Hájí Bairám’s family, who had the same advantage.

Praises of Hájí Bairám the Saint.

In his youth he was once invited by a cunning woman, who in order to seduce the Saint, with whom she was in love, began to praise his hair, beard, brows and eye-lashes. The Saint retired into a corner and prayed to God that he might be delivered of these four inducements to lust, and become of an ugly form; he then returned without a hair into the woman’s presence, who shocked at his ugliness had him turned out of doors by her maidens. Hence the descendants of the Saint by his daughter actually wear short beards (Kosseh).

The rich inhabitants of the town wear Ferrájes of sable, those of the middle class, Serhaddís of cloth and Contoshes, the workmen Ferrájes of white linen, the Ulemas, of wool, and the women also of wool of different colours. The climate and temperature being mild the inhabitants are fair with red faces.

The Eatables and Products.

The calves’ and sheep’s feet of Angora are the counter part of those of Kútahia;232 the salted flesh (Pássdirma) of its goats has an excellent perfume. These goats called Teftekgechí are of a brilliant whiteness; of the hair is made the soft (Shalloon) of different, colours which is worn by Monarchs. If the wool is cut by scissors it becomes coarse, but if pulled out it is as soft and as fine as the silk of Eyúb (Job). The poor goats, when the hair is pulled out in that way, raise lamentable cries; to avoid this some wash them with a mixture of chalk and ashes, by which they are enabled to pull out the hair without difficulty or giving pain; thus the poor goats are stripped naked. The hair is then worked into Shalloons, and both men and women are busy at making or selling them. The Franks tried to transport the goats of Angora into their own country, but God be praised! they degenerated into common goats, and the stuff wove from their hair was no Súf (Shalloon). They then took the hair of the Angora-goat and tried to work it into Sof, but were never able to give it the true lustre (Máj). They now make of it for their monks a kind of black shalloon, which however has neither colour nor lustre. The inhabitants of Angora say that the exclusive working of fine shalloon is granted to them by the miracles of Hájí Bairám, and the water and air. Indeed the sof (Shalloon) of Angora is the most famous in the world; the chalk also of Angora is renowned. Its inhabitants make great journies to Frengistán and Egypt to sell their Shalloons. There are a great number of Jews, but few Greeks and Copts. The inhabitants are a goodnatured hospitable people. It is an incomparable town, which may God preserve till the end of time in the hands of the Ottomans!

The day I entered Angora I visited the tomb of Hájí Bairám, recited the Korán and then returned to my lodgings where I soon fell asleep. In a dream I saw a man with a yellow beard, honey-coloured cowl and a turban of twelve folds on his head, who upbraided me for having visited Hájí Bairám’s tomb and passed by his. I asked, who he was? and he said, “Didst thou not call on Sárí Sáltik Dedeh, when in thy youth thou performed prayer in the Convent of the Wrestlers at Constantinople in Sultán Murad’s presence? didst thou not say that I was known here by the name of Er Sultán? I am lying here under a thick cupola near the wood market, where thou shouldest visit me and give me joy with a fátihah. I will send to-morrow morning a man of my resemblance, who shall lead thee to my tomb.” I awoke, said my prayers, and was waiting, when a man came of the form of him I saw in my dream, and told me, that Er Sultán had appeared to him in a dream and had commanded him to show me his burying place. This man had a radiant face, and his voice was as hollow as if it came from underground. We passed through eleven quarters of the town and visited in passing all the tombs of Saints, which I shall mention by and by, if it pleases God! At last there appeared on the western side of the wood-market a small cupola, which my companion233 pointed out to me, saying, “This is the tomb of Er Sultán.” Whilst I was looking at it on my right side, he disappeared on my left, and I was at a loss to know what had become of him and fancied that he must have walked through a door covered with felt which was near me. I opened it, walked in, and saw it was a Búza-house full of riot. Ashamed of having got into such society I left the room immediately and made the best of my way to the cupola which had been shown to me. There I laid my face on the threshold and prayed to the Saint, saying, that I had arrived by his blessing, and begged he would not let me depart void of benediction in this and the other world. I now commenced the recital of the Korán, and sheltering myself under the green Súf with which the coffin was covered, said, “Protection, protection, O Er Sultán!” I then fell asleep and sweated to such a degree that when I woke my clothes were wet. Er Sultán appeared to me again and I begged that he would not let me go hence void of benediction. He replied, “Thou wilt not be void of it, because thou art a Háfiz (knowing the Korán by heart) and a lover of the Saints (Evliya) whose tombs thou always visitest. I led thee myself to this place, I am a perfect leader (Murshid Kámil), thy path is straight. Be merciful to the poor and weak, and tell thy Páshá not to molest the inhabitants of Angora. God will grant to thee travel and good health, and in thy last moments faith. Eat, speak, sleep and know little, but do a great deal, for actions are necessary to discover the way to God, because He hath said in the Korán, ‘Good words ascend, and good works exalt.’ Honour thy parents, and the Sheikhs (Pír), and thy end shall be happy. Say now a fátihah with this intent.” Here I was awoke by a noise and voices saying, “Is there no tomb-keeper?” I arose from beneath the cover of the coffin and to the question of the visitors, “Whether I was the tomb-keeper?” replied, “Yes!” When they were gone I returned home shedding many tears, and related my vision to the Páshá, who also related to me a similar dream that he had had. He instantly gave orders that all the Sárija and Segbán should deliver up their arms and leave in quiet the inhabitants of Angora. The Páshá had had some idea of shutting himself up in the town and declaring it in a state of rebellion, but he immediately abandoned it after these visions. I then made it a duty to myself to visit every day, during my stay at Angora, the tombs of Hájí Bairám and Er Sultán and others of the Saints, which I am now about to mention.


Sheikh Hájí Bairám, the pole and column of sanctity, was born on the bank of the river Chepúl in the village of Solkoi and was the disciple of Sheikh Hámed. At the time when Sultán Báyazíd I. was at Adrianople, Sheikh Bairám preached234 there in the old mosque, and the pulpit which he ascended is still shown. Different Sheikhs who tried to ascend this pulpit could never utter a word, because none were worthy to preach after him in the same place. After his death, which happened in Báyazíd’s reign, he was buried beneath a high cupola in the inner castle of Angora. Sheikh Er Sultán, the leader of divine truth, the discoverer of mysteries, called Mahmúd by his proper name, was born at Angora, and reposes beneath a small cupola in the wood market. East of Angora on a high mountain is the pilgrimage of Hízr, a pleasure place from which a fine view of the town is enjoyed. This Saint was the disciple of Sheikh Hossám-ud-dín, and being imprisoned at Angora he gave the order one evening to be buried the next day, and in the morning, without any body having been near him, he was found washed, perfumed, and ready for burial. Sheikh Kátib Saláh-ud-dín was a great astronomer, a second Pythagoras. There are a great number of other Saints, which I do not mention, as I could not visit their tombs during my short stay.

The day of our departure being fixed, I made myself as light as possible, by giving away a part of what I had taken from the robbers’ den in alms, and the rest as a pawn to the master of the house where I lodged and got ready with seven Mamlúcs and one light pack horse. In the morning I heard an uproar and riot by which heaven and earth was thrown into confusion. Some were exclaiming that they were satisfied with the Páshá, others that he was a rebel for having united with Várvár Páshá, and that it was necessary to obey the Emperor’s command. In short Mustafa, one of the Emperor’s Kapijí, had arrived with forty of his companions; they had shut the gates of the castle and proclaimed a general call to arms (Nefír-a’ám). Most fortunately the Páshá, who had been terrified by a disastrous dream, was gone incognito to visit the tomb of Sídí Battál’s father, and could not therefore be found in his palace, which was searched in every part by the Kapijí. The Páshá of course did not re-enter the town but repaired to the village of Erkeksú, which is to the north of it, and sent a letter to his Kiaya to request him to send his troops. In the mean time the Páshá not having been found the gates were opened and a proclamation issued, that all who belonged to the Páshá were to leave the town instantly; I therefore took leave of the master of my house and Hájí Bairám and Er Sultán, and arrived after seven hours’ march at the village of Erkeksú consisting of two hundred houses and a mosque at the foot of a rock. Seven hours further on we arrived at the great place Istanozí, with a judge of one hundred and fifty aspers, in the district of Mortátova, bordering on a valley, on each side of which are towering rocks; it has a thousand houses without gardens, a mosque, a bath and market: the river Erkek flows through it. This place had formerly two great gates at either235 end, which were destroyed in the time of Murad III. by the rebel Korayazijí; if these two gates were restored it would be impossible to take the place, because it is situated between two walls of high rocks on which eagles and vultures build their nests, but to which man scarcely dares to lift up his eyes. These rocks are as tremendous as those of Ván, Shabín and Márdín, some of them are excavated below like Mount Bisútún and some are shaped above like dragons, lions and elephants. The inhabitants are for the most part Armenians. About a thousand looms are employed in working Súf. This place being enclosed by two rocks the air is very warm. The Armenian girls here are famed for their beauty. There are caverns which can hold a thousand horses. Formerly an old castle stood here on a rock.

The day we entered the town there was a great conflux of men to see tumblers and wrestlers exhibit their tricks; Istanoz and the town of Kodoz in Anatoli being the places where tumblers and wrestlers assemble to make bets. They stretch the rope from one rock to the other and place watchmen at each end, that enemies may not cut it when they are dancing on it. The rocks and the valley beneath are crowded with spectators and on both sides of the river, which flows through the valley, tents are pitched for the spectators. We witnessed during three days the tricks of seventy six tumblers, who were followed by three hundred scholars, to whom they gave lessons in their art.

(The Description of the tricks, and an account of two letters from and to Vávár Páshá, are here omitted.)

Having received the letters of My Lord the Páshá I passed Hossein Ghází and Bálik-hissár, halted at the village of Sárí Alán, and further on passed Kala’ajik, Sheikh Shámí, Akche-koyúnli, and the river Kizil Irmák with great ease at Kárdlar, heard that Várvár Páshá had left the station of Túrhál, and met him further on to the eastward at Gergezár. I first went as the rule requireth to his kiaya, who conducted me to the presence of the Páshá. He was seated in a tent, like Solomon surrounded by many thousand Sárija and Segbán. I kissed the ground and delivered the letter in the usual form. Having looked into my face and said, “Art not thou Evliya Chelebí, who at the mosque of Aya Sofia recited in the night Kadr, the Korán in eight hours? and who was received by Sultán Murad amongst the pages of the Kíldár.” Having replied, “Yes,” he asked further in what office I was to the Páshá. I said, that on the way to Erzerúm I was head of the Muezzins, but that he afterwards made me clerk of the Custom-house and sent me three times into Persia, and that now I was his Imám and intimate companion. The servants having been ordered to withdraw he called236 the Diván Efendí and read the letter. “It is a pity,” said he, “that your Páshá did not with such an army shut himself up at Angora; he might have played the devil there, and by this glorious deed have hung his sword in the skies (like that of Orion).” Rejoiced, however, at the number of our troops he gave me an hundred zechins, a rosary of corals and a watch set with jewels. I was also invested with a magnificent sable pelisse and recommended as a guest to the Khazinedár.

The same day news arrived that Koprilí Mohammed Páshá and seven Vezírs had taken post at the bridge of Osmánjik and the rocks of Sárimshik, where they were entrenching themselves; and that Hossein the Páshá of Amasia had closed the pass (Púl) of Diriklí and carried the population away to the mountains. Upon this news Várvár Alí Páshá directed his march straight to the passage of the Kizil Irmák. Our march was, from Kiraz to Dánkaza seven hours, to Bardáklí-bábá seven hours and to the river Kizil Irmák six hours. The passage of the river was effected in the best order, without the least harm happening to any body. We halted at Airak which lies north of the Kizil Irmák in the Sanjak of Kangrú; it has an hundred houses and a mosque. We here visited the tomb of Mohammed Sháh Dedeh, who came with Hájí Begtásh from Khorassan to the court of Bayazid I., a large hospitable convent of an hundred Dervishes Begtáshí. I witnessed the Páshá perform his visit to the tomb with a devotion and a faith outshining that of many preachers from the pulpit. The tomb is surrounded with censers, vases for rose-water, lamps and candelabra. Every year the Sheikh of this convent kills a horse and abandons the carcase to the eagles and vultures of the rocks, who live upon it till the next year. The Sheikh has bred eagles instead of falcons for hawking beasts of all kind. From hence we marched for three hours along the bank of the Kizil Irmák to the village of Tordúk, in the territory of Kánghrí. At the convent of Hassám Efendí a great repast was given to the Páshá. Three hours further on we came to the convent of Kúm-bábá, and then we entered the Keskin of the Turcomans in the land of Kánghrí. Having overran it for ten days we halted on the eleventh at the village of Sálí. I perceived that the army was preparing for battle and learned that spies had brought the news, that Koprilí Mohammed Páshá, who had been named commander against Várvár, was ready to give him battle on the following day. The troops having armed during the night, the Páshá put himself in the morning at the head of six thousand men of light troops, and pushed on for seven hours towards the kiblah. Here the two armies engaged and that of Koprilí was entirely routed; a great number were killed and the rest dispersed or made prisoners. Amongst the last was Mohammed Koprilí Páshá himself, the Páshá of Amasia, Kor Hossein, and the Páshá of Kara Shehr, both of two tails, who237 were obliged to walk on foot with chains on their feet and blocks on their necks, along with the tails of Várvár. Such is the state of the world, that these great and powerful men were now in the power of the Sárija and Segbán, who tortured and killed their men before their eyes and the executioners flung their swords over their necks. In brief a Vezír (Koprilí) and five Begler-begs were bound to the poles of Várvár’s tent, who elated with this victory declared now more than ever open rebellion, collected all kinds of rabble, wrote letters to Begs and Begler-begs enforcing them to come and join him with their troops, and in fact collected an army of thirty-seven thousand men. When we arrived at the village of Búzoghlán, in the Sanjak of Kanghrú, I waited on him wishing him joy of his victory, and begging he would despatch me with the letters expected. I endeavoured to persuade him to be mild and merciful, and to pardon and set at liberty his prisoners, according to the text, “O God! Thou art all-pardoning, Thou likest pardon, pardon me.” He however remained obstinate, saying, I should see in a few days what would happen when his friends little Chaúsh Páshá, Ipshír Páshá and Shehsuvár Oghlí Páshá should arrive to join him. He was an open frank man, but extremely simple and of little judgment, and therefore blindly believed in the assurances of these Páshás; and being overjoyed with the news he had received from them, he despatched me with letters to my master, presenting me with an hundred piastres, a completely caparisoned horse from Koprilí’s stable, and a complete dress.

From Yúz Oghlán in the Sanjak of Kánghru I rode for three days trusting in God, left Angora on my right and met with the Páshá on the plain of Múrtát. The Páshá hearing of Várvár’s blind confidence glowed with anger and said, “He shall see it, the blockhead (Potúr).” He then gave me Ipshír Páshá’s letter, which he had sent him to read, and I saw it was full of flattery and deceit. The Páshá was about to answer this letter, when a Khassekí and Kapijí-bashí arrived with Kiátib Alí Chelebí, the Khazinedár of Seyavúsh Aghá Kiátib Alí Chelebí. The Imperial rescript was instantly read, and contained the most positive orders to join till the first of Jemází-ul-akhir the united troops of Ipshír, Chaúsh, Bákí, Ketgáj and Sídí Páshá against Várvár, whose head or the Páshá’s was required. If he refused to comply all his property was to be confiscated, and his children and relations killed; but under the supposition of ready obedience the Governorship of Egypt was conferred upon him. The Páshá made immediate obeisance, ordered the tails to proceed, gave to the Khassekí a purse for the expenses of the road, and recommended him as a guest to his kiaya. The next day the Cháhnegír (head carver) of Várvár arrived from Constantinople with a Khattí-sheríf of the following tenor:238 “My Lálá, (Governor) thy fault is pardoned, but the rebellion of Defterdár Oghlí, who wished to put himself in possession of Erzerúm and Angora, is evident. His head or yours is demanded. If you send the first the Governorship of Egypt is assured to you.” The Páshá remained dumb at the sight of this Khattí-sheríf and instantly despatched me back with that which he had received to Várvár.

(Here follows the relation of Várvár’s complete defeat by Ipshír Páshá by whom he was ensnared; occupying three sheets of the original.)

Evliya at last, afraid for his head, waited on Ipshír Páshá and asked for letters, that he might return as he came. “Here,” said Ipshír showing Várvár’s dead body, “is the man from whom you may ask your expedition.” Evliya begged to be spared as he was no rebel and no Sanjak Beg. Ipshír Páshá laughed and said, “What art thou doing at thy master’s; wert thou not previously with Melek Ahmed Páshá?” “By God,” I, poor Evliya, answered, “I am the common servant and joint subject of two Vezírs, whom I accompany alternately as they come into high offices for the pleasure of travelling. Defterdár Zádeh must now be removed from office at this place, and your Excellency is most likely to go as Governor to Damascus or Baghdád, in which case I attach myself to your service.” “No,” said Ipshír, “go and follow Melek Ahmed.” “Well,” I, poor Evliya, replied, “there is no difference between you three. Is not the mother of my present master the nearest relation of Melek Páshá’s and your mother?” “Look here,” said the Páshá, “he reminds me of my relationship with Mohammed Páshá, in order to become the mediator of peace between us.” I got up, kissed his hand and begged he would give me a letter to My Lord the Páshá, to give him some solace in the present state of his affairs. He ordered me a tent, seventy secchins, a horse (being an extremely avaricious and low born Abázá) and a letter, with which I got under way.

From Cherkesh (where Várvár’s defeat had happened) I rode for eight hours to Dúlúshja, a village of an hundred and fifty houses with gardens and a mosque; eight hours further to Mestibeg, a village of an hundred houses, a ziámet; and nine hours further to the village of Alí Zaím, a Súbashilik in the plain of Múrtát, a ziámet of an hundred houses, where I met the Páshá, who had heard of the defeat of Várvár, Kor Hossein, and Hájí Oghlí, but knew not as yet of their deaths, which I related to him as it happened three days ago. The Páshá read Ipshír’s letter, and hearing at the same time that Bákí Páshá had left him and joined Ipshír’s camp, he became very melancholy and prepared for attacking Ipshír, who from Cherkesh moved towards Karamania by the side of Keskin. The Páshá followed him at three day’s distance, took a great deal of booty of the239 baggages of Várvár, Koprilí and Kor Hossein and arrived in three days at the river Sakaria. At the village of Merja in the district of Begbazárí the Diván Efendí of Várvár Páshá was overtaken with forty-three thousand zecchins and seven purses of money. He confessed to ten thousand zecchins besides and a sum deposited at Angora of forty purses of money, after which confession his head was cut off, and sent to the Porte as being that of a rebel. According to the assignation of Khalíl, the Divání Efendí, on Hassan at Angora in whose hands the money was deposited, Alaja Atlí Aghá was despatched with three hundred horsemen to take possession of it. We marched along the bank of the Sakaria river to the village Shikenjí Ahmed Aghá in the district of Ayásh, a village surrounded with gardens. We passed the village of Istanos and after seven hours reached Erkeksú at last arriving at Angora, where Atlí Aghá was lodged in the house of Hassan, from whom he demanded the money deposited by the beheaded Diván Efendí, and I lodged with my old friend Kedr-zádeh who returned to me all my things and effects, which I had left in his hands. The next day Hassan Chelebí was obliged to pay the sum mentioned by the beheaded Diván Efendí and to accompany us in irons. My friend, Kedr-zádeh made me a present of two pack-horses to facilitate the transport of my things. We left Angora, passed as before through Istanos, then during eight hours along the pass of Ayásh; Ayásh is a foundation belonging to the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina. It is a jurisdiction of an hundred and fifty aspers, and contains a thousand houses and ten mosques; the castle is in ruins, but there is a Serdár and Kiaya-yerí; the air is heavy because the ground is uneven. I here visited the tomb of Emír-dedeh, and on the opposite side that of Sheikh Bokhara buried under a cupola on the mountain.

Description of the town of Beg-bazárí or Bebek-bazári.

Dinár-hezár, the vezír of Yakúb Sháh of the Germián family, having conquered this town gave it the name Germián-hezárí. Once a week there is a famous market chiefly of goats-hair spun and woven. It is now the Khass of the Muftí of Constantinople who appoints the Súbashí. The judge, appointed with an hundred and fifty aspers, may easily collect seven purses. There is a Serdár and Kiaya-yerí, but no Dizdár and garrison, the castle being too small to hold any. At the foot of it lies the town distributed over two valleys, and divided into twenty quarters. There are forty one mosques, three thousand and sixty seven elegant houses, all of mortar, but the roofs of wood, a room for reading the Korán, another for lectures on tradition, but no stone built colleges as in other towns, and seventy schools. There are more than seven hundred men and boys who know by heart the Korán,240 and the Mohammedieh, a Muftí and Nakíb-ul-eshráf; the inhabitants are for the most part Ulemás. This being a Turkish town the people are chiefly Oghúz, that is to say good men of the old Turkish simplicity. There are seven Kháns, pleasant baths, six hundred shops in which precious articles are found, but no bezestán of stone. On the bank of the torrent, which flows through the butcheries, a market is held every week; this torrent falls into the river, which runs below the town, and with this river into the Sakaria. The roads are strewn with sand and not paved. The young men are fine, and the girls very retired and modest, but not pretty. The gardens of Beg-bazárí are numerous; among its products is a particular melon much distinguished for its sweetness; the inhabitants make of it a Zerdeh (dish) with cinnamon and cloves, sweet as the Zerdeh which was first invented by Moavia; there is also a large green pear four or five of which go to an occa. Every year some thousand of them are sent in boxes to Constantinople as presents, such sweet pears are found but in Persia in the town of Nessú and are like the pears called Melje in the town of Bár. Black barley is produced here, which must be given with caution to horses, and there is a great quantity of rice. In the town is the tomb of Az-dedeh.

We had remained here three days when letters arrived for the Páshá from my uncles, Melek-zádeh and Abd-ur-rahím, giving notice of the death of my father, and that all his goods remained in my step-mother’s hands. They begged leave from the Páshá for me to make a journey to Constantinople in order to arrange my affairs, after which I might return to him. I received three letters from my relations with the same news, which I showed to the Páshá, who showed me those he had received. He gave me leave to go on condition I would come back again, called the Kiaya and Khazinedár, gave me five hundred dollars, two horses, and two slaves, a fine tent and three mules in addition to those which I had received as a present from the late Várvár Alí Páshá. With seven Mamlúks and eight servants attached to me, I took leave of the Páshá and set out at the end of Jemazí-ul-akhir in the year 1058 (1648) from Begbazárí for Constantinople.

Journey from Beg-bazárí to Constantinople.

We marched nine hours to the north through cultivated villages and open meadows to the village of Sárí-beg. Here a gigantic wall is seen, which is said to have been moved by the miraculous power of Hají Begtásh, and the spot is shown where he sat upon the wall. It has no foundation and therefore it is evident it must have been moved hither. Seven hours further is the village of Kostek-beg of an hundred houses in a ground intersected by valleys. The inhabitants are free from all duties. At the time of the rebellion of Kara Yazijí, Seid-ul-Arab,241 Kalender Oghlí, Jennet Oghlí, Delí Hassan and Sejiáh Oghlí in the time of Ahmed I. they assailed a great caraván here, which they plundered, killing more than two thousand men. The road then remained blocked up for some time, till Nassif Páshá built here a great khán and transported the inhabitants hither. There is a mosque, a khán, an imáret and a bath. The raisins of this place are celebrated for sour preserves. The khán has no equal in the whole of Anatolia unless it be the Khán of Katífa and Sa’asa’a in the neighbourhood of Damascus. The stable holds two thousand horses, there is besides a stable for camels, and all the buildings are covered with lead. Eight hours further to the north we arrived at Nállí Khán, a small affranchised mussulman village of an hundred houses in a valley, governed by a Mutevellí of Nassif Páshá. This khán is also his foundation and is built like that of Kostek-beg Khán, having an hundred and fifty chimneys with a kitchen like that of Keikavús. Travellers receive each a loaf in a brass plate, a dish of soup and a candle. In seven hours more we reached the village of Turbelí Koilik, which in the harsh language of the Turks is pronounced Torbalí Koiluk. Akshems-ud-dín is buried in this village. The castle, built by the Greek Emperors, was conquered by Ghazí Osmán in the year 712 (1312). It has a Kiaya-yerí and Serdár but no Dizdár. This place is surrounded on both sides by rocks from which the water of life flows through fir-wood pipes. Though its inhabitants are Turks, it is yet a sweet town of two thousand houses, all covered with fir-wood, eighteen mosques and eight quarters. The houses are overhung by the chalk cliffs, which from time to time fall down upon them, without doing the least harm to men or mice. The number of the houses, immediately overhung by the rocks, is two hundred, there is no college or house of tradition but twenty schools for boys; in the market-place are three kháns covered with brick, a bath, a good number of mills and seventy-five shops in which saddle-bags and horse-cloths are sold. No Jews can inhabit this place, because in it they die instantly.

Description of the tomb of the great Saint Akshems-ud-dín.

He was born at Damascus and derives his genealogy from Abúbekr, which was proved by the absence of one of the joints in his finger, because all descendants from him are born with that defect. He had conversed with Sheháb-ud-dín Sehrverdí, who is buried in the castle of Baghdád, and at Angora with Hájí Bairám. He accompanied Mohammed II. to the conquest of Constantinople, and foretold the day when the town would be conquered. He and his whole family lie buried here. It was he who discovered the tomb of Eyyúb and on whose admonition they dug on the spot indicated by him. He composed many volumes of books and was in medicine a second Lokman. His son Ahmed242 Chelebí is the author of Yússúf and Zúleikha, one of the most renowned of poems in the Turkish language, he did not accept of the directorship, which his father intended for him and which after his death devolved on Sa’ad Allah, another son of his, and who is buried near his father. Sheikh Núrallah his third son went to Brússa to finish his studies and killed himself accidentally, his pen-knife entering his stomach. Sheikh Chelebí Emrillah did not follow his father’s manner of life, and died of the gout; he composed an historical work. Sheikh Nasrollah his fifth son travelled for seven years in Persia and is buried at Tabríz; the Persians visit his tomb, and some erroneously believe him to be the son of Shems Tabrízí who is buried in the town of Khúí, whither he walked with his head cut off, carrying it in his hand. Sheikh Mohammed Núrolhúda the son of Akshems-ud-dín; his father having touched his mother’s womb when she was pregnant with him, she was immediately delivered on the salute given to the child, which returned it saying, “Esselám aleikum.” This ecstatic child (Mejzúb) when grown up could discern in the mosque those who would go to heaven from those who would go to hell. He is buried in the village of Evlek, which was given to him by Sultán Mohammed. Sheikh Mohammed Hamdollah, the abovesaid second son of Akshems-ud-dín, was also spoken to by his father when in his mother’s womb. At eight years old he was already author of a Diván. He composed Leíla and Mejnún, and Yússúf and Zúleikha, which has no equal in the Turkish language. He died when sixty-six years old. Among a great number of treatises he wrote one on physiognomy which is much esteemed. His son Mohammed Chelebí was a great divine and in caligraphy a second Yakút Mostea’assemí and Ibn Mokla. The tomb of Sheikh Abd-ul-kádir, the son of Sa’ad Allah; he is buried outside that of his ancestor. Sheikh Abd-ur-rahím one of Akshems-ud-dín’s followers, who lived forty years after him; he is the author of the work Wahdet-námeh (book of unity).

We remained here one day and then travelled seven hours to the north to Taráklí, built by the Greek Princes of Brússa and conquered by Osmán. The judge is appointed with an hundred and fifty aspers; there are fifteen hundred houses in a valley all covered with brick, eleven mihrábs, seven quarters, a bath, five kháns, six schools and two hundred shops; this town is called Taraklí because spoons and combs (Tarak) are made here from the box-trees which cover the neighbouring mountains. These spoons and combs are sent into Arabia and Persia. The torrent which flows through the village falls into the river Hármen and with it into the sea. Eight hours to the north is the castle of Kíva, properly Kekiva, a small castle for the sheep of a Greek Princess. It is the foundation consecrated to the famous bridge of Sultán Bayazíd II. here built over the Sakaria.243 It was formerly a large town, but ruined in the reign of Sultán Murad IV. by the inundation of the Sakaria, it consisted of three hundred houses, a mosque, a bath, three kháns, and seven schools for boys. It is now situated at an arrow’s shot distance from the river, and has a large khán covered with brick and twenty shops near it. The sour preserve of raisins and the melons of the district are famous, two melons are a load for a horse. The river Sakaria, which flows here under the bridge, comes from the town of Beg-bazarí and falls into the Black Sea near Irva. In this place reside a Serdár, Kiaya-yerí and Mutevellí, or administrator of the Wakf. Burhán, a companion of Osmán I. is buried here. We passed the bridge and to the north along the banks of Sakaria through the great forest, called Agháj-denizí (the sea of trees), a den of wild beasts and robbers, where many strangers have been lost. The trees are high firs and linden, which intercept the rays of the sun, and perfume the brain with their sweet scent.

These mountains are inhabited by some thousand unmerciful Turks, who live by cutting wood and loading it in ships, and sometimes by cutting passengers and unloading caravans. This forest extends through four Sanjaks, viz: Brússa, Ismíd, and Bolí, and a month is necessary to make the tour of it. In some places it is cut through like the road to Kíva. Three hours from Kíva we came to the castle of the shepherds (Chobán Kala’assí), a small castle towering to the skies. It is here that the shepherds of Princess Kekeva dwelled and took toll from those who passed; the passage being straightened between the mountains and the river Sakaria, they obliged every body to pay. We passed through it and continuing our way to the West along the bank of the Sakaria for seven hours we reached Sabánja, a cultivated place which has been already described on the way to Erzerúm. From hence we came to Nicomedia, also described in the journey to Erzerúm. We passed Herke, Gebize, the tomb of Gemiklí, Alí-bábá, Pendík, Kartál, the bridge of the Bostánji-bashí, and Kádíkoí, and arrived at the end of Jemazí-ul-akhir, 1058 (1648), in the great town of Scutarí, and at last, praise be to God! at Constantinople, with all my baggage. I kissed the hand of my mother and the eyes of my sisters, then mounted again on horseback to fulfil my vow by visiting the tomb of Eyyúb, where I immolated and distributed a victim, and returned home. In a dream I saw my father who wished me joy on my happy arrival and on my visit to the tomb of Er-Sultán. Having thrice said the Súra-et-tekátherí, I awoke and took a boat to visit the tomb of my father behind the arsenal, and my ancestors buried there since the time of Mohammed II, thrice said the above Súra, then returned home, took possession of my father’s heritage, and made a vow to consecrate two thousand zechins of it to the pilgrimage of Mecca; visited all my friends and acquaintances, and enjoyed with them the pleasures of conversation, when the great244 rebellion of the troops began on the eighteenth of Rejeb, 1058, and terminated in the dethronement of Sultán Ibrahím and the accession of his son Mohammed IV.

(Here follows the account of the dethronement of Sultán Ibrahím, which is nearly the same as has been given, in the first volume, under this Sultán’s reign, and is therefore omitted here.)

Evliya then relates how his master Mohammed Defterdár Zádeh came to Constantinople, and after a lively contest with Koja Mevleví, the grand vezír, obtained from him the nomination to the Governorship of Malatia, begging he would grant it him with the Kharáj (tribute), Awáriz (accidental duties) and the Mohassillik or collectorship, which was done. Evliya waited on him and with great difficulty obtained permission to go on the pilgrimage to Mecca. He then remained sometime at Constantinople, and attached himself to Silehdár Murteza Páshá, as Múezzin-báshí (chief proclaimer of prayer), he was also named Imám of the Mahmel (the Sultán’s annual present to Mecca), and went from Constantinople to Scutarí in the first days of the month Sha’abán, setting out with Murteza Páshá for the journey to Damascus. The Páshá’s Imám being an Arab whom Murteza disliked, the Arab performed prayers outside, and Evliya inside the Páshá’s tent and was continually in the Páshá’s company. During the time they remained at Scutari, the famous robber Hyder Oghlí, in whose hands Evliya had fallen when he lost his way in the pass as before related, was brought in by Hassan Aghá, and hanged at Parmak-kapú (finger-gate). The same night as the execution of the robber, Evliya slept in his paternal home at Constantinople, then took leave of his friends and relations and passed over to Scutarí, where he visited Mahmúd Efendí of Scutarí, and Saint Karají Ahmed and the tombs of all the great men in the burying ground, calling their spirits to his assistance in the Syrian voyage, which he was about to undertake.

Amen, by the grace of the Lord of Apostles.


Transcriber’s Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected.

There are many variations in the spelling, hyphenation and accents of proper names and other non-English terms. Except in cases where there is an obvious dominant spelling and a variant that may legitimately be seen as a typographical error, these remain unchanged.

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