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Byzantine heritage depicted: the aqueduct of valens in the historical topography of Istanbul

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2019
Sarıkaya Işık, Fatma
The Aqueduct of Valens is one of the surviving urban elements referring back to the historical layers of the city of Istanbul. In the early Byzantine era, the intra-mural water bridge was constructed as a part of the longest Roman waterlines reaching from the Thracian Peninsula. During the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, the Aqueduct maintained its critical operation for supplying water and, at the same time protected its urban presence in the urban topography. It developed into an urban monument as a distinctive feature of the Byzantine cityscape and a complementary memorial of the subsequent Ottoman capital. With the promise of analyzing the status of the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens in the urban space of Ottoman Istanbul, this thesis aims to investigate the depictions of the monument and analyze its cultural, spatial and urban interactions in the ever-changing imperial topography. Under the light of visual documents such as maps, panoramas, miniatures and other forms of illustrations, and by a framing timeline from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, this study appreciates the ‘timeless monumentality’ of the Aqueduct of Valens in the city of Istanbul. The monument’s urban roles and functions will be analyzed by exploring its viewing, visibility and its reciprocity with the surrounding elements, especially with the monumental ones.