26 Sept 2015

Daniela Bianchi in Istanbul - Dolmabahçe clocktower

While filming From Russia With Love in Istanbul, the film team took the opportunity to photograph the main cast around famous locations around town. Connery and Bianchi were for instance photographed at the Attaürk Bridge and a promotional still of Connery were taken during the filming of the deleted scene at the Dolmabahçe Mosque, covered earlier. Were close to the Dolmabahçe Mosque is the Dolmabahçe Palace, one of the main tourist attractions in Istanbul. It is therefore not surprising that the cast visited the palace as well, probably while shooting the scene with Kerim and Bond in front of the mosque, covered here. Daniela Bianchi is seen in front of the clock tower located in the garden of the palace.

The clock tower was constructed and added to the Dolmabahçe Palace in the mid 1890's. It stands in front of its Treasury Gate on a square along the European waterfront of Bosporus, very close to the Dolmabahçe Mosque. It is designed in Ottoman neo-baroque style. Its clock was manufactured by the renowned French clock maker house of Jean-Paul Garnier.

9 Sept 2015

Firuz Ağa Camii - Stalking Tatiana

When Tatiana Romanova is on her way to drop off the architects plans of the Russian consulate, for Bond, she walks past various locations in Istanbul. Romanova is followed by one of the Bulgarians who later will face his demise in the Aya Sofia church. After walking across the Galata bridge, Romanova is passing a 15th century mosque in the historical centre of Istanbul, the Firuz Ağa Camii. At the time of filming From Russia With Love 1963, there was no trace of the surrounding city and it looks like the mosque was located in a field.

When the stalking Bulgar stops by the corner of the mosque to watch Romanova, Istanbul's famous Blue Mosque is visble. Istanbul has changed vastly since 1963 and the sandy patch of ground seen behind the Bulgar in the film has been transformed into a park.

The Firuz Ağa Camii was completed in 1491 by the man Firuz Ağa, who was the head treasurer of Sultan Beyazıt II. It is located right next to the Sultanahmet tram station, along the Divan Yolu Caddesi, which is only a few minutes from the Basilica Cistern. Surrounding the mosque is Mehmet Akif Ersoy park. The small mosque looks cramped in today's urban landscape of Istanbul.

Romanova walks across the Galata bridge, which actually is located a fairly long walk from the Firuz Aga Camii, and ultimately ends up at the Aya Sofia. The Aya Sofia is located right opposite the Blue Mosque. They are both located a few minutes walk from the Firuz Aga mosque.

From the Firuz Aga camii you can still see the Blue Mosque