Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 1 comment

Istanbul Tulip Festival

Tulips are usually associated with Holland, but did you know that their fame actually first flourished in Turkey?  During the Ottoman Empire, they were cultivated for the pleasure of the sultans, and held such importance that the reign of Sultan Ahmet III (1703-1730) was known as "The Tulip Age."

Tulips are an important national symbol, and every April Istanbul holds a city-wide Tulip Festival.  I've been around for it in previous years and enjoyed the tulips on every median and in public parks, but this year was the first year I had a chance to actually head over to Emirgan Park, the main display site.  There were 270 different varieties on display there, amounting to 2.5 MILLION tulips in that one park alone!  (Can you imagine planting all those bulbs??)

I was in town on a layover last month and had just enough time to meet a friend (a Dutch one, no less!), hop a bus up the Bosphorus to Emirgan and take in an hour or so of the colourful tulip glory.  We barely made it through the first section of the park, but what we saw we loved!

I'm seeing a tulip calendar in the near future.....


Oh, tulips are among my absolute favorite flowers. I just LOVE the pictures, and hope I can go to the festival one year. Here they charge 5tl a piece for already opened tulips -if you find them at all.