Rumeli Fortress- Rumeli Hisari, Istanbul

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  • Me at Rumeli Hisari
    Me at Rumeli Hisari
    by IreneMcKay
  • Rumeli Hisari
    Rumeli Hisari
    by IreneMcKay
  • The Fortress of Europe  - Rumeli Hisari
    The Fortress of Europe - Rumeli Hisari
    by Mikebb
  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Rumeli Hisari

    by IreneMcKay Updated Oct 2, 2014

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    The Bosphorus is one of the most beautiful parts of Istanbul. You can visit it on a cruise, or you can take a bus up the European side, for example the Besiktas to Sariyer bus. Or you can take a bus up the Asian side, maybe starting in Uskudar and going to Anadolu Hisari, Beykoz, or Anadolu Kavağı.

    On the European side of the Bosphorus one of the sights that is well worth visiting is the magnificent fortress of Rumeli Hisari with its thick walls and tall towers. From this fortress you can enjoy spectacular views over the Bosphorus, too.

    Rumeli Hisari was constructed by Mehmet the Conqueror between 1451 and 1452, just before he conquered Constantinople.

    At that time the area he built the fortress on was outside the city. Mehmet the Conqueror wanted a fortress on the narrowest part of the Bosphorus in order to control all ships travelling on the Bosphorus. He was getting ready to lay siege to the city of Constantinople. By controlling the Bosphorus, he could cut off any food supply or weapons supply being brought to Constantinople from the north. Opposite the site of Rumeli Hisari, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, stood the fortress of Anadoluhisarı which was built between 1393 and 1394 by Sultan Bayezid I, The Thunderbolt. Mehmet the Conqueror also had control of this fortress, so he controlled both sides of the Bosphorus.

    Mehmet the Conqueror made each of his three generals complete a tower of the fortress and spurred them on to see who could finish first. As a result the huge fortress was completed in only four months. The fortress's three main towers were named after the generals who built them: Sadrazam Çandarlı Halil Pasha built the big tower next to the main gate, Zağanos Pasha built the south tower, and Sarıca Pasha built the north tower. Mehmet's armies conquered Constantinople several months after the fortress's completion.

    After the fall of Constantinople, Rumeli Hisari became a customs checkpoint. However, when fortresses were built at Rumeli Kavağı and Anadoglu Kavağı further up the Bosphorus and closer to the Black Sea, Rumeli Hisari lost that role. In the seventeenth century, it was used as a prison for foreign prisoners of war. Since 1960 Rumeli Hisari has been a museum.

    Rumeli Hisari has three main towers, thirteen small watch towers and three main gates next to the bigger towers. Inside the fortress there used to be wooden houses for Mehmet's soldiers and a small mosque. Only the minaret of the mosque remains. The fortress's water supply came from a large cistern underneath the mosque.

    Visitors to the fortress can climb up onto the fortresses walls. Be careful however, unless things have improved a great deal since I was there, safety standards in old Turkish buildings are minimal with no protective rails in sight.

    Me at Rumeli Hisari Rumeli Hisari
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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    The Fortress Of Europe - Rumeli Hisari

    by Mikebb Updated Mar 11, 2012

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    We enjoyed the sight of this imposing fortress from our Bosphorous cruise ferry. Imagine 600 years ago how intimidating it would look to any enemy sailing into the Bosphorous.

    It is possible to visit the fortress, however we were limited to the view from water level.

    The Fortress of Europe  - Rumeli Hisari
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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Rumeli hisari castle

    by Raimix Updated Feb 7, 2012

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    Rumeli hisari castle was built on the narrowest place of Bosporus Strait, another side of Asian also had a castle, so it was strategically good location to stop boats, moving to former Constantinopolis (to take Constantinople was Ottomans' purpose).

    Rumeli hisari was built in 1452, in actually quite short time, less than half year. Every of 3 towers were named by sultan's pashas, who were responsible to construct every of these towers.

    Nowadays it is a place, where open - air shows are made, also it is a museum.

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    The fortress of Rumeli Kavagi (Rumeli Hisar)

    by mvtouring Updated Oct 9, 2009

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    This fortress lies about a kilometer or so upstream from Bogazici and you can't really miss it, specially if you are on the Bospherus cruise. They use to stop there, but it does not seem like that any more. A very interesting place
    The Rumeli Fortress (Rumelihisari) is located on the European (Rumeli) side of the Bosphorus. It was built by Mehmed II in four months beginning in the spring of 1452 across the waters from the Anatolian Fortress built by his grandfather Bayezid I (1389-1402). The aim was to establish control of the waterway at this narrowest point of the strait (660m) where ships would need to approach the shore to avoid the strong currents. A batallion of four hundred soldiers were stationed at the fortress (hisar) beginning in 1452, and prevented the passage of ships with canon fire during the siege of Constantinople. It is hence, also known as the Bogazkesen or the Controller of the Straits.

    Historical documents show that the site was vacant except for the remains of two cisterns and that Byzantine ruins in the vicinity were used to supply stone for the construction. The fortress lost its strategic importance after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 when a second pair of fortresses was built further up the Bosphorus where the strait meets the Black Sea. The Rumeli Fortress became a storage facility and a prison for local and foreign diplomats. It was repaired immediately after the 1509 earthquake and survived a 17th century fire.

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  • smeagol13's Profile Photo

    Fatih's genius and Istanbul's beauty: RUMELI HISAR

    by smeagol13 Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    it was built just a year before Mehmed II's conquest of Istanbul (1452) in order to make it easier to invade the city. the construction ended in only 4 months and the fortress is an important item of the beautiful view of Bosphorus. it is possible -and recommended- to get on the fortress and look at the general view of Bosphorus from the top.

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  • viddra's Profile Photo

    Rumeli Fortress

    by viddra Written Apr 12, 2007

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    In order to prevent the city get aid from the Danube and the Black Sea, Fatih Sultan Mehmet ordered this fortress to be built. It was completed within 4 months in 1452, and includes 3 towers (Halil Pasha, Saruca Pasha and Zaghanos Pasha Towers) and walls among them.

    The fortress has a cannon museum and an open air museum used for concerts in summer.

    the fortress
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  • H-TownJourneyman's Profile Photo

    Rumelihisari

    by H-TownJourneyman Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    The construction of the fortress of Rumelihisari in 1452, on the European side of the Bosphorus and at the strait's narrowest point, would become a sort of prequel for the siege of Constantinople the following year. Sultan Mehmet II, seeking a strategy to overtake the well-fortified capital of the Byzantines, wanted to cut off access to Constantinople and prevent supplies and reinforcments from reaching the city. If he had control of the Bosphorus, he knew he would be able to accomplish this. In just 4 short months, under Mehmet's supervision, the Turks completed the building of Rumelihisari, or "Fortress on the land of the Romans". With Anadoluhisari, another fortress that had been built by Sultan Bayezid I in 1394, located directly across the strait on the Anatolian side, the Turks had a sort of gate across the Bosphorus, even initially calling Rumelihisari "Bogazkesen", or "throat-cutter". After choking the Byzantines for nearly 9 months, Mehmet attacked Constantinople. A nearly month long battle ensued, and the city finally fell on May 29, 1453.

    After the capture of Constantinople, Rumelihisari was used as a checkstation for passage through the Bosphorus, then served as a prison, and during the 1800's a neighborhood developed within it. Eventually the neighborhood was cleared, and the fortress underwent a 5 year restoration, opening as a museum in 1960. Visiting the fortress is a great experience, especially when climbing to the top, and viewing out over the Bosphorus and the towering Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, located just north. There are also several concerts held here during the summer in the open-air theater built during the restoration. Amazing historical site in Istanbul, definatley a must-see!

    View Of The Bosphorus From Rumelihisari Rumelihisari Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge From Rumelihisari
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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    A fortress for conquerors, a hideaway for lovers

    by Tijavi Written Sep 28, 2006

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    Rumeli Hisari (Fortress of Europe), a massive fortress built in record 120 days by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 as part of his strategy to conquer Byzantine Constantinople, is perhaps one of the best places to enjoy the Bosphorus. The towers and walls offer some of the most strategic location to take snaps of the Bosphorus, admire the equally magnificent Fathi Bridge, cleanse your lungs, or simply soak in the city's beauty. Be careful, though, when going through the steps, most of which don't have safety railings.

    Actually, there are two fortresses, one on each side of the Bosphorus. On the Asian side is Andolu Hisari (the Fortress of Asia), which was built earlier in 1391 by Sultan Beyazit I. The two fortresses have been strategically built on the narrowest point of the Bosphorus, but I doubt if the two conquerors have envisioned the fortress' hidden nooks becoming favorite dating places for lovers.

    Admission fee as of June 2006: YTL 2.50.

    Towering high Fatih Bridge on the background And then ships pass by An interesting house (foreground) Magnificent Fathi Bridge again
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    Rumeli Fortress

    by traveloturc Written Aug 22, 2006

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    Istanbul had been besieged many times before Mehmet the Conqueror took the city in 1453, but it managed to defend itself with the help of the Roman city walls. During very long sieges, provisions were supplied to the city through sea routes. The Rumeli Fortress was built before the siege in 1453 opposite an earlier Turkish fortress on the other shore to prevent any reinforcements and help to the city from the Black Sea. The fortress was completed in the amazingly short time of four months in 1452. This largest and strongest fortress of the Middle Ages lost its importance after the fall of the city. A fine example of classic Turkish military architecture, the fortress adorns the Bosphorus in all its impressiveness. It was restored in the 1950's and turned into a museum. During the annual Istanbul Festival of Arts, the interior of the fortress is used as an amphitheater. It is best viewed from the Asian shore or from the boats operating on the Bosphorus.

    rumeli fortress

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  • midnight_mike's Profile Photo

    Rumeli: the fortress that sealed off the Bosphorus

    by midnight_mike Updated Jun 6, 2006

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    The Ottoman Turks did not conquer Constantinople in a single day. Instead, they cut away at the Byzantine Empire over several years. One of their key moves was to seal off the Bosphorous, the narrow passageway connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. They did this by building fortresses on both the European and Asian sides. The more impressive is Rumeli, which is on the European side. It is well-preserved and worth the trouble of getting there. It would have been suicidal for enemy ships to try passing through here as cannons could have easily hit any target. As you will notice when you are there, the Asian side is extremely close. You might be tempted to try hitting a golf ball onto the other side.

    If you are taking a Bosphorus cruise, you will pass by this massive military structure. However, the boat will not stop at Rumeli. To go inside, you will have to either take a bus or a taxi.

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  • Heniko's Profile Photo

    Rumeli Fortress

    by Heniko Written Apr 17, 2006

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    This fortress was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet (the Conqueror) to stop any help that could possibly reach Byzantium coming from the West. Construction work was started a year before Fatih put a siege on the city and was completed in just four months. The plan was drawn to adjust perfectly to the uneven hills surrounding the area.
    As the three towers of the fortress were built on order of the three grand viziers of Sultan Mehmet, they bear their names: Halil Pasha, Zaganos Pasha and Sarica Pasha

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  • Birsen's Profile Photo

    Great summer concerts in Rumeli Hisar ( Castle)

    by Birsen Updated Feb 26, 2006

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    The Rumeli Castle was built by the Ottoman Turks in just 3 months in 1452, at the opposite shores of the earlier Anatolian Castle (1393) in order to block the entrance of the Bosphorus during the Siege Of Constantinople (May 29, 1453).

    The Castle is museum now. You can visit it also, If you have a chance to see a concert there you will never forget. Great ambiance!

    Rumeli hisari Rumeli Hisari/ view from Asian side
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  • Gerrem's Profile Photo

    The great fortress

    by Gerrem Written Jan 28, 2006

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    The great fortress of Rumeli Hisar, built by the Sultan Mehmet II in the year of 1452,immediately opposite Anadolu Hirasi, the Anadolu Hissar built by Yildirim Beyazit I sixty years earlier. It was the first step in Mehmets plan to capture the Byzantine capital, for with a fortress on either side of the Bosphorus. Mehmet had sent out orders throughout his Empire for 1000 skilled mason and 2000 workmen to assemble here in the spring, wood and building stone to be collected. Stone was brought from Anatolia. Mehmet himself laid out the design, dictated by the lie of the land, and each of his three Vezirs. the Grand Vezir, Candarli Halil Pasa, Zaganos Pasa, and Saruca Pasa was made responsible for building a tower, while the Sultan himself undertook the walls and bastions, introducing a healthy sprit of competition.

    It was complited a garrison of 400 Janissaries was stationed in it . and here they tried out the range of their new cannons by training them on any ships rash enough to try to pass. After the Conquest the fortress found a new role as a prison, before gradually falling into disrepair.

    In 1953, 500 years after the Conquest, Rumeli Hisar Fortress was well restored, and the space inside laid out with lawns and paths. The cistern on which the mosque once stood still marked by the stump of its minaret was opened up and converted into an open air theatre where plays and folk dancing are performed during the summer, especially at the time of the Istanbul Festival.

    The great fortress of Rumeli Hisar
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    Rumeli Fortress

    by ophiro Written Jul 28, 2005

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    Rumeli fortress is a fortress on the shores of the Bosphorus and you will see it on your cruise to the black sea.

    The fortress was built in 1452 to watch for ships passing in the bosphorus (this is why they built it on the narrowest point of the river).

    Rumeli Fortress

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  • SamiGuzel's Profile Photo

    Rumeli Fortress

    by SamiGuzel Written Jul 12, 2005

    Rumeli Fortress was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet (the Conqueror) to stop any help that could possibly reach Byzantium coming from the West.

    Walk up n its walls and watch the city. It is closed n mondays.

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