Selimiye Barracks and the docks of Harem seen from Bosphorus. During the Crimean War (1854-1856), the barracks were converted into a temporary military hospital. On November 4, 1854, Florence Nightingale arrived in Scutari with 38 volunteer nurses. They cared for thousands of wounded soldiers, and drastically reduced the high mortality rate by improving the sanitary living conditions until she returned home in 1857 as a heroine. During the Crimean campaign, Florence Nightingale gained the nickname "The Lady with the Lamp", deriving from a phrase in a report in The Times:
She is a ‘ministering angel’ without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.