Istanbul from the Footsteps of Travelers, Through the Eyes of The Tourist Guides! II – Constantinople Tourist Guide, Ernest Mamboury

In the second part of our exhibition “Seyyahların İzinden, Rehberlerin Gözünden İstanbul!” we will present the guide written by Swiss Ernest Mamboury, who came to Istanbul in 1909, fell in love with this city and settled in Istanbul with his family. Mamboury, who taught Geometric Design and French at Mekteb-i Sanayi and then at Galatasaray High School since 1921, also helped Western Archaeologists who were doing research in Türkiye. [1] This work of Mamboury is fundamentally different from its counterparts, in that it provides very solid information about the Byzantine monuments in Istanbul. In 1921-1923, he participated in the researches made in the area between Sarayburnu and Ahırkapı under the administration of archaeologist R. Demangel.

After 1925, he participated in some of the researches carried out by the Istanbul Archeology Museums Directorate and drew the plans of the unearthed artifacts. The first guide of Mamboury, whose most important publications are scientific tourist guides, was published in French in 1925 under the name “Constantinople, Guide Touristique”. The guide, which was published in Turkish under the name of “Istanbul, Directory-i Seyyahîn” in the same year, later made its second edition in French in 1929. The book, which received great acclaim, was also published in German (“Stambul-Reiseführer”, Istanbul 1930). [2] The guide which was published in 1925 and is included in our exhibition, it includes information about Istanbul’s history, geographical features, races, sects, Byzantine and Ottoman Art, units of measurement, and sea and land transportation. Mamboury enriched his guides with a panaroma of İstanbul, a tram map, a colorful İstanbul map, an İstanbul conquest map and İstanbul gates maps. It then presents a travel programme for travelers who spend 1,2 and 8 days in Istanbul, and in the last section, it includes details about the main Turkish and Byzantine monuments in Istanbul.[3]

While Ernest Mamboury presents the beauties of the city to travelers and shares practical information about the city, he managed to create a valuable work, depicting Istanbul to future generations. As the “Following the Footsteps of Travelers…” project team, we wish you will manage to discover Istanbul step by step with our digital exhibition consisting of these two guides which are included in the Suna Kıraç Library Rare Material Collection.

Ernest Mamboury’s “Constantinople: tourists’ guide”

Ernest Mamboury, late 1920s Photograph: Sebah & Joailler – Source: Atatürk Library

The Tokatlıyan Hotel, which was called “Hotel Splendide” when it was first opened in 1897, later changed to “Hotel M. Tokatlıyan”. The three-storey hotel had 160 rooms and had a reception, stairs, dining and coffee hall and an elevator. [4]

List of monuments in the city and general information about Istanbul in the guide.

The sections on Turkish Arts and Museums in the guide…

Practical information section of the guide prepared for tourists.

Information about transportation and accommodation in Istanbul prepared for tourists

Baths, bookstores, banks from the Mamboury guide…

Railways transportation, restaurants, theatres information from the Mamboury guide

Sébah & Joaillier Photo Studio advertisement from the Mamboury guide

Istanbul maps from the Mamboury guide

Istanbul maps from the Mamboury guide


[1] Semavi Eyice, “Mamboury, Ernest,” TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, (03.06.2021).
[2] Semavi Eyice, “Mamboury, Ernest,” TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, (03.06.2021).
[3] Aynur Demiriz, “İstanbul Rehber-i Seyyâhîn ve Ernest Mamboury (Transkripsiyon ve değerlendirme),” Yüksek Lisans Tezi, İstanbul Üniversitesi, 2012, s.15-16.
[4] Ümit Baki Erdem ve Murat Hanilçe, “Mıgırdıç Tokatlıyan, Tokatlıyan Otelleri, Gazinosu ve Lokantası -Cumhurbaşkanlığı Osmanlı Arşivi Belgelerine Göre-,” MANAS Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi 8 (2019): 1370 – 1371.