Walls of Istanbul

Upparalleled in situation, beauty and dignified strength, these walls were built by the Byzantine emperors, who attached great importance to their strength and maintenance; for Byzantium, with her untold wealth and beauty, attracted the ambition of many Invaders, among whom was the finally victorious Fatih Mehmet II.

The Walls of Constantine : Old Constantinople was built on a peninsula, with Saray Point as the apex and the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn as sides; this favored defence by strong walls against attack from sea and land. When Constantine refounded the city in 330A.D.he built walls from Samatya-Saray Point to Unkapam-$ehremini-Yenibahge. The spread of the city outside the walls necessitated further wdlls.

The Walls of Theodosius the Great: In 412 A.D. the Marmara Walls were extended from Samatya to Yedikule and the Golden Horn Walls from Unkapani to Ayvansaray; a wall was also built from Yedikule to Ayvansaray, thus encircling the city with twelve and a half miles of walls, with 50 gates and 400 towers, The coast walls are still standing, but due to expansion of the city, those on the Golden Horn and between Ayvansaray and Unkapanj are fragmentary.

The Land Walls : These walls, the main defence line, include me Great Wall of 412 A.D. damaged In 450 A.D. by an earthquake and threatened in the same year by Attlla, who was bought off with a heavy tribute. Theodosius thus decided to strengthen them, and also constructed a second wall In front of the first, with a continuous moat. This closed his land defence line from the Marmara to the Golden Horn,

The Yedikule Gate (Little Golden Gate) : On the inside, is a Byzantine eagle and outside, turning left, we see after the first tower, four towers between the coast and the railway. Between the first and the second towers, was the First Gate or «Christ’s Postern». On the shore is the Warble Tower, In Byzantine days, a dungeon. Looking back at the Impressive walls we see also the great «Golden Gate».

The Belgrade Gate: Some of the n towers and parts of the moat between here and Yedikule are relatively Well-preserved,

The Silivri Gate (Pighi Gate] : Between the Belgrade and Silivri Gates, some of the towers and parts of the moat and outer wall are also still in quite good condition. Byzantine Emperors used this gate on their way to Church at Pighi (Balıklı). Continuing along the asphalt road beyond the Silivri gate, we see on the left a small cemetery, with 5 tombstones. They are those of Ali Paşa, Vali of Yanina at the beginning of the 19th century and others who rebelled but were captured and beheaded, and their heads were buried here after being exhibited at Topkapi, Behind the Silivri Gate Is the Mosque of Ibrahim Paşa, built by Sinan in 1552.

The Mevlâne Gate (Rhegium Gate or (Gate of the Red Faction) : The 15 turrets between the Silivri and Mevlâne Gates have suffered greatly. Between the 4th and 5th is the military Sigma Gate. There are several Inscriptions on this part of the wall, the main one being “Under the protection of Our Lord victory comes to the Emperor”

Topkapi (Cannon Gate, once St. Romain’s Gate): The walls and some of the towers of this part are well preserved. In the siege, Fatih’s headquarters were on the hlil opposite, and two of his cannon balls remain embedded in the gate.

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