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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

41.8670996, 34.0118901

Tues 18. [18 April 1905] Off at 6.30 with my soldier Mustapha. A
charming party called Hajji, a Xian, presently joined me and rode with
me all day. I was thus thrown entirely onto a world of Turkish. A
delicious morning with all the snows of Taurus [Toros Daglari] and
Giour Dagh gleaming. The hills are a lovely shape, especially G¸lg¸l
which rises into a great snow peak. We cantered across the plain
and down to the Jehan Chai [Ceyhan] which we crossed in a ferry
boat. There was a large flock of goats going over and I helped to
drive them in, a most difficult business. Fortunately they had very long
hair and horns by which to catch hold of them. Budrum was about 1/2
an hour off, beautifully situated among some great crags, the castle
standing on a high peak of rock. It is I shd think later than all the rest.
By the door in the wall to the left there are 2 Greek stones built in, bulls
heads with garlands between. The bulls looking one one way and
one another, very well carved - they must have been on a temple
frieze I think. There are rock cut tombs of which I went into one but
found only a square chamber without loculi; also a very curious
passage cut through the rock to the E of the castle, perhaps to
strengthen its position. The street runs E and W, not N and S as
Murray says. There is a church near it, to the S and another a few
hundred yards further S. Both are very classic in detail of ornament,
Corinthian caps very finely cut outside the apse windows and in the N
church I noticed a fine bead and reel moulding below the windows. In
the church the buttresses project inside so that the apse semicircle
begins behind them. Thus they partly hide the apse. There is one
arch left of the right hand aisle. It rests on piers not columns. Both
churches have a row of very large stones above the apse windows
outside, both have chambers on either side of the apse and both
have traces of narthex. The S church certainly is built out of classic
materials. Bits of frieze are built haphazard into the inner wall of the
right hand apse chamber. The jambs of the W door are standing with
a simple moulding. Inside the apse there are bands of pattern on the
piers. Outside there are 3 crosses over the central window. There is
a good theatre. On the ground a bit of frieze, with a daisy flower
between each. A bit of the proscenium is standing, apse shaped
within. Near it big brick ruins of the thermae. I noticed some bricks
built into the stone of the arch standing of the aisle of the N church.
The caps of the street columns good Corinthian. Osmaniyeh
[Osmaniye] 6.30, Budrum 9 - but we waited a good half hour at the
ferry - left at 11.30. Went down to the village and lunched and drank
excellent curds and milk for which they wd not let me pay. Left at 12
and reached Kars Bazaar [Kadirli] at 4.30. Charming country we rode
over .... raised ground, privet - I think it was - and myrtle. Saw the
castle near Hamidiyeh standing up on a great rock in the distance.
Got to Bozkeui at 2.15 - we rode pretty fast - and drank milk there.
Pretty muddy all the way. Kars Bazaar lies at the foot of the spurs of
Taurus on the Saurun Chai [Savrun]. No tents - they came in at 6
having gone round by Hamidiyeh. I past [sic] an hour of anguish
wondering what I shd do without them in this strange land and
explaining my case in Turkish to the sympathetic polis effendi. When
they arrived I went and drank {coffee} tea with him at a cafÈ in the
street and talked to those there, then paid a call on the Kaimakam
who is a Circassion from Konia [Konya (Iconium)] and has a very
pretty Stambuli wife. We camped outside near the river. Delicious
evening. The little white town under the hills is too pretty. They find
lots of big ancient stones and inscriptions.

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