Friday, February 7, 2014

Fortress of Rumeli - Rumeli Hisari

Today's photo trek will take us to the narrowest point of Bosphorus were the Fortress of Rumeli was constructed to control the transit thru the Bosphorus and conquest İstanbul. This magnificent fotress was completed in only 4 months between Abril and August  in 1452 and it played an strategic position on the conquer of Constantinopla by Sultan Mehmed II.

View of the Bosphorus from Rumeli Hisari Northwest tower.
This trek will take two hours if you want to go thru all the towers of the fortress and get really nice pictures of the Bosphorus, the Bridge Sultan Mehmed and the fortress itself. To get to Rumeli Hisari by public transportation you can take 25E or 22 bus from Kabataş İskelesi. The entrance fee is 5 TL and is close on Wednesday.

Rumeli Hisari view from the suth tower.

Fortress of Rumeli is located in Sarıyer district and gives the name of the quarter around it. It was built by Sultan Mehmed II (Fatih) in 1452 overlooking the narrowest point in Bosphorus, opposite of Fortress Anatolia in order to control the transitions through Bosphorus and conquer Istanbul.

Wall window of Fortress Rumeli facing south.

As you sail along the Bosphorus you can hardly miss the enormus fortifications that make up Rumeli Hisari lurkıng just beside the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The suburb that greu up around it is well known for its many pleasant water side cafes and restaurants.

View or Rumeli Hisari from the Bosphorus crouise.

The plan of fortress belongs to the Architect Muslihuddin Aga.  The great tower at the seaside was constructed by Grand Vizir Candarlı Halil Pasha, the southwest tower and north tower were constructed under the supervision of Zağanos Pasha and Saruca Pasha respectively. Those towers now bear their names. 

 View of Rumeli Hisari from the Bosphorus crouise.

In a stupendous feat of speed-building, Sultan Mehmed employed 1,000 craftsmen and 2,000 laborers to complete work on the fortress in four months.  Once the fortress was build, Mehmed was able to prevent supplies of grain being shipped from the Back Sea to Constantinople, weakening the city and making its defeat more likely.

Entrance map and history of Rumeli Fortress.

Once Constantinople had fallen, Rumeli Hisari had served its purposes and became a custom collection point. İn time even this fucntion was lost to Rumeli Kavaği (fortress further north to the Bosphorus where the entrance from the black sea)  amd parts of the fortress were used as goal for foreign prisioners of war.

Cannons display at the entrance to the Fortress.

The fortress was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1509, and the floors of two of the towers were lost to fire in 1746. Sultan Selim III had the castle restored but by the 19th century it had been completely abandonded and some locals even set up home insşde the grounds.

View of the northwest tower and wall.

 İn 1953 to celebrate the 500th aniversary of the conquest of İstanbul the fortress was completely restored but with flat roofs to replace the pitched ones.   During this period , the fortress that underwent a great restoration, reached its today's view.   The Fortress of Rumeli open as museum since 1961.

View of the Northwest Tower and Bridge.

Rumeli Hisari has gone under many guises over the years, including  "Kulle i Cedide" (New Castle), Yenice Hisarı (Quite New Castle) and Boğazkesen Kalesş (Bosphorus-dividing castle).

A view of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge from the Southwest tower.

Stairs to the Southwest tower of the Fortress.

View of the Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge from the Southwest tower.

View of a door at the South Wall of the Fortress.

View of the Northwest tower from the southwest tower.

Inside the Southwest tower a view of the frame door.

Inside the Southwest tower a view of the frame door.

Inside the fortress a fountain patio looking to the Bosphorus.

Water fountain inside the Fortress.

Magnificent view of Bosphorus from the Northwest tower.

View of the Southwest tower from the north tower.

The wall facing the Bosphorus.

 View of the northwest tower.

Stairs to the North Tower.

Wall of the fortress facing south.

A complete view of Rumeli Hisari from a Bosphorus Cruise.

This Fortress is worth visitng and it is absolute a must photo trek. While you visit İstanbul take your time to visit Rumeli Hisari and enyoy the views!.

Soreya Reyes

Twitter:  @street_photos_

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