Rumelihisarı is a fortress located in the Sariyer district of the city on a hill at the European side of the Bosphorus. It gives the name of the quarter around it. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople. The three great towers were named after three of Mehmed II's viziers, Sadrazam Candarlı Halil Pasha, who built the big tower next to the gate, Zaganos Pasha, who built the south tower and Sarica Pasha, who built the north tower.
Rumelihisari is situated at the narrowest point with 660 meters of the Bosphorus strait, just opposite of Anadoluhisarı (Anatolian Castle) on the Anatolian side, which is another Ottoman fortress that was built between 1393 and 1394 by Sultan Bayezid I.
After the fall of Constantinople the fortress served as a customs checkpoint. Rumelihisarı, which was designated to control the passage of ships through the strait, eventually lost its strategic importance when a second pair of fortresses was built further up the Bosphorus, where the strait meets the Black Sea. In the 17th century, it was used as a prison, primarily for foreign prisoners of war. Rumelihisarı was partly destroyed by an earthquake in 1509, but was repaired soon after. In 1746, a fire destroyed all the wooden parts in two of the main towers. The fortress was repaired by Sultan Selim III (1761–1807). However, a new residential neighborhood was formed inside the fortress after it was abandoned in the 19th century.
The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge which spans the Bosporus is located close to the fortress, to the north.
Rumelihisarı is open to public every day except Wednesdays from 09:00 am to 16:30 pm. As you climb up to the top of the castle, you will get an amazing view of the Bosphorus and also the Asian side of the city for photography ... :)
Referred to as the Europe Castle to distinguish it from the Asia Castle across the Bosphorus, Rumelihisarı dominates the narrowest point in the Bosphorus Strait. The castle was built in 1452 by Mehmet the Conqueror in preparation for his invasion of Constantinople. At that point in time, the Ottoman Empire had transplanted the Byzantine Empire from all of its former lands, with the exception of its capital city. The fort was used to control the Bosphorus and to cut off supplies to Constantinople. The castle is located about 15 minutes north of the city, next to Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge.
Built by Mehmet the Conqueror to aid his campaign against the Byzantine emperor, Rumeli Hisari still stands 450 plus years late on the western shore of the Bosphorus near the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (or the Second Bridge as Istanbulis call it). The fort was built in a miraculous 4 months in 1452. It was strategically placed opposite the ruins of a fort on the eastern shore, Anadolu Hisari. By doing so, Mehmet could control Bosphorus traffic and prevent aid from reaching Constantinople. The strategy worked and Mehmet was soon able to conquer the city and the Byzantine Empire.
These days the fort is perodically used for outdoor concerts in its amphitheater and is a nice place to stroll through (after paying an entance fee) and get great views of the Bosphorus and the Asian side by hiking along the ramparts and walls. Be careful, however, as there aren't many guard rails that would prevent one from falling quite a few/several feet.
Take a bus from Besiktas and the bus will pass right by the fortress on Yahya Kemal Caddesi.
Duatepe Park is the last stop on the Rumeli Hisar Ustu bus route, and boasts stunning views over the Bosphorus and the 2nd Europe-Asia bridge. However, stunning views can be had in many places in Istanbul, so it is not really worth making a special trip out here...unless you do so on a Saturday. Saturday is market day in Rumeli Hisar Ustu, the area I used to live in. A steep cobbled street running from the park down to the castle below is transformed into a lively sprawl of fruit and vegetable stalls. Old women stop to gossip, blocking the street with their shopping trolleys overflowing with aubergines, apricots and mounds of fresh sheep's cheese. Students from nearby Bogazici university stock up on olives, tomatoes and vine leaves, while tea boys weave in and out of shoppers carrying trays of steaming glasses of tea for the traders. Every so often, a loudspeaker announces the deals of the day; a kilo of cherries for 2YTL, a box of multicoloured easter chicks looking for a new home, a watermelon man trying to shift the last of his melons before nightfall. Tourists never come here, and why would they? A local market for local people, one of hundreds in Istanbul...except that this one can be incorporated into a pleasant day trip, starting with the views from the park, then once you're done haggling over peaches in the pazar, keep going downhill, past a few Ottoman mansions and sleeping dogs, until you reach the back of Rumeli Hisar, the Fortress of Europe. Either navigate your way through the village on the left, or cut through the cemetery on the right...either way you'll soon reach the seafront, where you can enter the castle, eat in one of the fish restaurants and walk off your meal along the promenade towards upmarket Bebek and Arnavutkoy. Frequent buses head to Rumeli Hisar Ustu from Taksim square, and buses running along the coast road will take you back to Taksim or Eminonu. The market starts early morning, and begins to pack up shortly before sunset.
You can see Rumeli Hisari on your left side while you on the bosphorus boat trip.
This is a big fortress that was built in 1452 by a sultan called Mehmet the 2nd (Muhamed the second).
A sunny sunday afternoon I visited Rumeli Hisari. It is a fortress by Bosphorus, just by Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The fortress was built in 1452 as a preparation for the invation of Constantinopel. There are stairs so you can climb up along the walls and admire the view over Bosphorus and the boats. But be careful, there are no fences.
Entrance fee is 4 000 000 TL (for tourists).
The shore along Bosporus are popular to visit on Sundays and people, cars and motorbikes are cruseing back and forth. Just below Rumeli Hisari there are several cafes.
To go here you can take a bus from Eminönü, Taksim or Besiktas.
The Bosphorus ferry stops in Belek and from there you can walk.
The Rumeli Fortress is the most imposing sight on the Bosphorus straights, dating back to the 15th century and buþt by Sultan Mehmet II prior to the conquest of Istanbul.
his aim was to block any possible sea support which might have come from the Black Sea to assist the flailing Byzantines.
IT finished after 4 months and 19 days.
Now it serves as a museum, displaying the canons that were used during the conquest. There is also an outdoor mini-amphi-theater used during the various music festivals in Istanbul. The walls and ramparts are still in excellent condition .
Fortress of Europe, Rumeli Hisari. This features in guide books, but because it doesn't have a ferry terminal, frequently missed out on the Bospherous cruises. Fantastic location at the narrowest point of the Bospherous, this deeply impressive fortress was built in just 4 months. Hardly used for its original intention, much remains as it was, with the exception of the obvious restoration and landscaping of the interior gardens (controlled wilderness - welcome shady resting areas from the heat and the quite difficult clambering about on the castle walls). Three or four very nice restaurants/cafes along the shores of the Bospherous make this quite a sedate 'day out' away from the excesses of the more obvious tourist jaunts. Not the easiest place to get to - in the end, a taxi was simplest ($10) and a long (one hour to Otokoy market) but enjoyable walk back all along the shoreline.