April 18, 2011

Looking in a Coffee Cup at Dolmabahçe Palace

Coffee may set out on a fairy-tale journey from a tiny seed, but it wakes the heart and mind and becomes an excuse for people to get together and firm their friendships. The discovery of this black pearl with its beautiful aroma removes tiredness and gives pleasure and happiness. It has become the subject of many legends and is accepted as something that “adds soul to a dead body” through its aroma, taste and the liveliness it gives to people.

So it’s not surprising that the Ottomans took to coffee so easily. Originally drunk among the Arab tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, the Ottoman conquest at the beginning of the 16th century brought them into direct contact with coffee and the benefits of coffee drinking. By 1529, the Turks besieging Vienna were drinking coffee, for they left examples of their cups behind when they abandoned the siege. And by 1554, there were already so many people drinking it that the first coffeehouses appeared in Istanbul.

The “A Cup of Coffee in the Palace in Memory of Old Times” exhibition at Dolmabahçe Palace’s Art Gallery includes pieces from Topkapı Palace Museum and the Istanbul Greater Municipality’s City Museum.

The Speaker of Parliament Mehmet Ali Şahin opened the exhibition Thursday and it will continue for two months. Visitors are welcome every day except Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. without charge.

Read more on Hurriyet Daily News: Looking in a Coffee Cup at Dolmabahçe Palace

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