Istanbul / Constantinople City Walls
13 Yerebatan Caddesi, Istanbul, Turkey
(0212) 522 1259
Istanbul / Constantinople City Walls Reviews
Istanbul / Constantinople City Walls Jan 11, 2010
Medieval Constantinople had the longest city walls in the world - over 20 miles. Istanbul's city walls are the most impressive city walls in the world. With the Golden Horn’s protection by the sea on three sides, the land side City Walls were the most heavily fortifed. Stretching from horizon to horizon, the walls snake over the Golden Horn. The walls are actually triple walls. The first wall being formidable enough, the second wall being as tall as Jerusalem’s and the third wall being dizzingly high and sturdy. Each wall has frequent towers, and provided mutual support to each other.
The walls stood numerous assaults throughout history. The Sultan Mehmet II of the Ottomans finally breached the walls in the north, where a sally port gate had been left open. The Ottomans raised their flags on the tower, before being cut down by a Byzantine counter attack. It was too late though, panic had set in, and most Byzantines believed their Emperor Constantine XI to be dead. The defenders retreated from the walls, which then became breached in multiple locations. Inside the walls, the Emperor rallied his troops, and launched one last counter attack from which he was never seen again.
Today it is possible to walk the entire length of the landward walls - totally for free. It takes around three hours to cover the five miles on the landward side. In some areas the walls have been restored, in others they are crumbling yet romantic. In certain areas, usually next to a gate, it is possible to climb onto the walls to acquire great views. Take care as the walls are very high, with no safety railings. A good place to start exploring the walls from is the Fortress of Seven Towers. It is best go in the afternoon, when the sun has passed into the west and the walls are now illuminated instead of being in shadow.
The walls are impressive enough, combined with being the location of one of the most important events in history, the walls are in my opinion a must see.
Part of the Istanbul: The Siege of 1453 and Constantinople's Fall travel blog
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!