Village near Edirne

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View of groups of houses standing at the top of rocky peaks made accessible by steep stairways
Village, in Roumelia, near Adrianople.
(Plate 2.)


fl. 1830-1850


The New York Public Library
drawn from nature by Francis Hervé


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View of groups of houses standing at the top of rocky peaks made accessible by steep stairways which locals can be seen climbing, some of them—possibly merchants—carrying goods in baskets. This village is described in the caption as located in Rumelia, an ancient region in Southeastern Europe, which was administered by the Ottoman Empire and corresponds to the modern-day Balkan Peninsula.

This illustration was included in part 19 of a total of 24 installments issued monthly and later published in two volumes. It is commented as follows by the author:

Our illustration presents, not the general appearance of the country, but one of those wandering ridges, which running from the high Balkans, like the fibres of some gigantic tree, are the branches of those roots by which they seem fastened to the level ground, and its picturesque and romantic features are different from the usual character of the level country. The plain from hence to Adrianople, and to the sea, is generally a flat surface of immense extent. These village-crowned peaks are called, both here and in the neighbouring country of Macedon, meteors, or “appearances in the air.” They are usually chosen as the site of Greek convents, and sometimes ascended by a basket let down with cords, in which the visiter is drawn up. The sides of the hills, in every accessible spot, are covered with vineyards, from which the city of Adrianople is supplied with grapes of an excellent quality.

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