III Ahmet Sebil and Fountain
LocationIt was built in 1728 on the site of a previous Byzantine fountain called “Peryaton” by Sultan Ahmet III (1673-1736) and can be found in front of Bab-ı Hümayun in the centre of Ayasofya Square at the gate of Topkapi Palace (in Sultanahmet Fatih ).
The Design of the FountainThe fountain has a water reservoir in the shape of an octagonal prism located in its centre consisting of sabils (public fountains) fitted on the corners with water faucets on its sides.
The primary structure which is placed on the floor has two stairs and has aesthetic features of various architectural works such as plant motifs, palmets, decorations, muqarnas (a three-dimensional decoration of Islam architecture) and it is supported with borders and niches. The framed word of Maşallah (meaning may God preserve one from evil) is written in calligraphy in a medallion and real flower motifs are drawn in long vases that show a spectacular display of artistry. The ceiling has a lead-covered wooden roof that extends in all directions and protects it from the negative effects of sunlight and other environmental damage and has small domes on top and decorations on the wooden eaves.
There is an inscription on the fountain written with “talik hat calligraphy” by Seyyid Hüseyin Vehbi bin Ahmed, a poet and judge of the cities of Kayseri and Aleppo, which ends with praise for Allah “Turn on the tap in the name of Allah, drink water and pray for Sultan Ahmed”. It is believed that the last verse was said by Sultan Ahmed III and it has his signature at the end of the inscription.
This monumental fountain, built when Western influences were at their highest point during the end of the Ottoman architectural period, shows the transition from Classical to Baroque architecture and visitors are transported back in time to the 18th century.
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