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The Kemeraltı Cortejo

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Five examples of cortejos were identified in an area around the Roman Agora in the Kemeraltı Conservation Area:

The first example is represented by a central gate to an interior private street (or court-yard) with two-story buildings on each side. The ground floor contains individual rooms and the upper floor has bigger rooms. Toilets and other facilities are located at the end of the court-yard / the street. Steep wooden stairs leading to the first floor are hidden on either side of the ground floor entrances to the rooms.(see picture 2).

The second example is again located to the south of the Agora. It has a main entrance gate, behind which the courtyard with two-story buildings on its three wings is located. This represents the “U” shaped plan. The floors are organized one on top of the other with alternating orientation of the “U”. The ground floor is rather low, with a gallery on each wing and each floor, on the two sides of the entrance. (see picture 3)

picture 3

Yet a third example is a “T” shaped cul-de-sac, or semi-private street, with various buildings surrounding it. On both sides of the street joining the main road, are one- or two-story individual houses and a building which is assumed to be a praying area. This historic building is thought to be about four hundred years old. Some of its details can be seen in picture 4. On the street perpendicular to the entrance one can find a series of buildings (about four), some of which have had alterations recently. Therefore, much of the buildings surrounding the semi-private street have lost their original characteristics.

In the fourth example we find a communal house, referred to earlier as the last type of cortejo plan. It is located to the north-east of the Agora. The ground floor of this building, which contains a “cumba” on the first floor, is in itself a two-story building. The ground floor actually contains within itself two stories: the lower one has a very low ceiling and a gallery to reach the rooms above. The upper floor of the building contains a central “sofa” with various rooms opening to it. Additional building space, adjoining the main building, contains service areas (toilets, kitchen, etc.), and is thought to have been built at a later period. In other words, these additions are not as old as the original building itself (see picture 5)

Finally, the last and fifth example is to the south of the Agora as well. It has a small court-yard behind a gate, with different buildings surrounding it. On three sides the buildings are one story tall, and on one side stands a two-story building. External steps lead up to the second floor, which has a long balcony in front of the doors. All the apartments have one room. The shower and toilets are in the common yard, and for some reason everything is painted in blue.(see picture 6)

picture 6


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