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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

37.7626487, 30.553705

Mon Ap 29 [29 April 1907] Up at 5. Before 6 came the commandant to
call! I was not very chatty. Spent 3 hours with the obliging shoemaker
who slept near our tents last night hunting for inscriptions. Did not find
much except a small Mithra stone which I photographed and a curious
broken marble plaque which I also photoged [sic]. There is an old
church, S. Nicholas, which I saw. The kernel of it is old, a quite simple
domed cruciform with a semi domed apse and deep arches over the
side arms, barrel vaults almost. Beyond this much has been added.
Set off at 9 with a zaptieh, the camp having gone on, but I picked them
up after 21/2 hours. It is just over 20 miles to Egerdir [Egridir]. A very
dull road round the foot of the hills for the first 21 kils. then one goes
into low hills and crosses by a very low pass at the top of which one
sees the Lake the island and part of the town. Very lovely with the
Aghlasun D dropping straight down into the lake and the town clinging
to its side. There wd really be no room for a town but that the land
runs out here into a long spit of which the 2 islands are the
continuation. We found no place to camp till about 1/2 a mile outside
the town which gave us a most delicious mansab far from pashas and
little boys. It was blazing hot. I walked back to the town saw the
charming Medresseh gate (which I cd not photograph because it was
in such shadow). Inside a cloistered court with old caps - one of them
with 4 angels, the heads broken off. Opposite is the mosque, not
interesting and to the right the gate into the peninsular with a minaret
over it. A little further on through the gate is the castle, much ruined,
only the towers of the gate and the walls on either side remaining.
Walked to the end of the spit. Then took a boat and rowed across to
the islands. The first very small, only fruit trees on it. The second
covered with houses. Saw 2 churches, S. Theodoros, a large 3
shipped[?] church with an apse built out and a sort of narthex ...... with
a shed from the church wall, a lean to in fact. The nave barrel vaulted,
the aisles flat. Near it is a square new building which contains the old
church of S. Stephanos. It is merely a square with a dome and an
apse built out. To north and south high up but at different elevations is
a small arched double window with a double engaged column (usual
type) bet. the windows. The lintel over the W door is rudely worked
with a vine rinceaux. All the church is frescoes. It is a place of
pilgrimage. People come once a year from miles around. Outside
the S wall of the church but inside the new outer wall there is a deep
spring of very good [sic]. It is said to cure all sickness. So I rowed
back to my camp and found F. [Fattuh] in a fantigue because the
infinitely bad karturjis have definitely given out. We must get horses
somehow. Lovely view over the lake. F. has gone to the town about
horses leaving the soldier Khalil with strict instructions not to touch the
boxes in his tent because they are full of "jam mam." My zaptieh for
the night has just been telling me of his 10 years in Yemen, how he
was 2[?] wounded and did not die praise be to God. "1000 men went
out from Egerdir and 300 returned." He has only been 2 years
married - since his return - and has one girl. He was made a
chowwish for killing an Arab who crept up to surprise the camp. Khalil
is his name. The men are not paid out there but he got all his pay
when he came home. His brother died out there leaving a wife and
small children helpless at home. They never got a farthing of his pay
- those who die are not paid.

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