…more pictures, pages of them & then sailing to it (Yeats)
Albrecht Berger told me that our knowledge about 12th century was limited and almost nothing is known about the houses that people lived. He suggested choosing another century. But he could not change my decision and we chose 12th century's last year 1200. One of the reasons we chose this year was that 1200 was a few years before the Crusade. The Crusaders who came to the city on 1204 devastated much of Istanbul....On February of 1994, we began our project by reconstructing the Hippodrome.
Introduction to Byzantium 1200, and now Sailing to Byzantium, WB Yeats:
Sailing to Byzantium
That is no country for old men. The youngIn one another's arms, birds in the trees -Those dying generations - at their song,The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer longWhatever is begotten, born, and dies.Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect. An aged man is but a paltry thing,A tattered coat upon a stick, unlessSoul clap its hands and sing, and louder singFor every tatter in its mortal dress,Nor is there singing school but studyingMonuments of its own magnificence;And therefore I have sailed the seas and comeTo the holy city of Byzantium.
O sages standing in God's holy fireAs in the gold mosaic of a wall,Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,And be the singing-masters of my soul.Consume my heart away; sick with desireAnd fastened to a dying animalIt knows not what it is; and gather meInto the artifice of eternity.
Once out of nature I shall never takeMy bodily form from any natural thing,But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths makeOf hammered gold and gold enamellingTo keep a drowsy Emperor awake;Or set upon a golden bough to singTo lords and ladies of ByzantiumOf what is past, or passing, or to come.