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Rumelihisarı is a fortress located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, 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 Çandarlı Halil Pasha, who built the big tower next to the gate, Zağanos Pasha, who built the south tower, and Sarıca Pasha, who built the north tower.
A battalion of 400 Janissaries were stationed in the fortress, and large cannons were placed in the Halil Pasha Tower, the main tower on the waterfront.
A Venetian ship coming from the Black Sea which ignored the order to halt by the commander of the fortress, Firuz Ağa, was bombarded and sunk, and its surviving crewmen were beheaded as a warning to any who might attempt the same. These cannons were later used until the second half of the 19th century to greet the sultan when he passed by sea.
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 walk to the fortress is beautiful and the view from the top of the hill over Bosphorus is very rewarding.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Additional Photos by eleni mavrandoni (elenimavrandoni) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1380 W: 0 N: 3814] (14249)
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