It features eight round and octagonal towers, while the last is square. It marked the western end of the Venetian quarter.  This gate stands on top of the sixth hill, which was the highest point of the old city at 77 meters. With 80,000 soldiers-including 15,000 of the Sultan’s elite Janissary corps-Serbian miners, various siege engines, and a fleet of some 300 to 400 ships, it was a formidable force, though hardly anything the city had not seen many times before. Located on a horn-shaped peninsula astride the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara, the renamed imperial capital of Constantinople dominated the narrow waterway that divides Europe from Asia. The massive Turkish army of 200,000 men arrived outside the walls of Constantinople on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1453. They were built by the Ottomans to control this strategically vital waterway in preparation for their final assault on Constantinople. To compensate for the rolling terrain, the moat was sectioned by a number of dams, which enabled it to retain an even distribution of water along its length. Subterranean passages run from many of those points back toward the city-avenues that presumably provided the defending troops with secure movement to and from a threatened area. Contemporaries described it as wealthy, well peopled and well fortified, but this affluence came to an end due to its support for Pescennius Niger (r. 193–194) in his war against Septimius Severus (r. 193–211). , The inner wall is a solid structure, 4.5–6 m thick and 12 m high.  In 965, Nikephoros II Phokas installed the captured bronze city gates of Mopsuestia in the place of the original ones. The two walls stand some 26 m apart and are pierced by a gate each, together comprising the Gate of Blachernae (πόρτα τῶν Βλαχερνῶν, porta tōn Blachernōn). Istanbul city walls, Land Walls of Constantinople, Byzantine Walls, and the Theodosian Wall are all popular names for the fascinating ancient ramparts constructed nearly two millennia ago to defend this historic city.. At about that time Justinian II established the first new guards units to protect the imperial palace precinct, while in the 8th century the emperors, faced with successive revolts by the thematic armies and pursuing deeply unpopular iconoclastic policies, established the imperial tagmata as an elite force loyal to them. The land walls spanned 4 miles (6.5 km) and consisted of a double line of ramparts with a moat on the outside; the higher of the two stood as high as 40 feet (12 metres) with a … The Theodosian Walls (Tεῖχος Θεοδοσιακόν), were built in the 5th century, meaning they are over 1,500 years old.  Next was the Gate of Kontoskalion (Πόρτα τοῦ Κοντοσκαλίου), modern Kumkapısı ("Sand Gate"), which opened to the late Byzantine harbour of the same name, intended to replace the long silted-up Harbour of the Sophiae. , During the siege of the city by the Fourth Crusade, the sea walls nonetheless proved to be a weak point in the city's defences, as the Venetians managed to storm them.  As recorded by the historian Niketas Choniates, that wall was built by Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (r. 1143–1180) as a protection to the imperial Palace of Blachernae, since the late 11th century the emperors' preferred residence. Hippodrome . Although the other sections of the walls were less elaborate, they were, when well-manned, almost impregnable for any medieval besieger. Sergius and Bacchus, and the first of the harbours of the city's southern shore, that of the Sophiae, named after the wife of Emperor Justin II (r. 565–578) and known originally as the Port of Julian. They consist of a series of single walls built in different periods, which cover the suburb of Blachernae. From there the wall turns sharply to the northeast, climbing up to the Gate of St. Romanus, located near the peak of the Seventh Hill at some 68 m above sea level. As historian John Haldon notes, "providing the gates were secured and the defenses provided with a skeleton force, the City was safe against even very large forces in the pre-gunpowder period. In Buondelmonti's map, it is labelled Porta Piscaria, on account of the fishmarket that used to be held there, a name that has been preserved in its modern Turkish appellation, Balıkpazarı Kapısı, "Gate of the Fish-market". While en route to Palestine, the leaders of the crusade, cash-strapped and never opposed to a little profiteering, took up an offer by Alexius, the son of the deposed and imprisoned Emperor Isaac II, to restore their throne. Although Urban’s monster cannon exploded on its fourth round, killing its builder and many of the crew, the Turks discovered a more effective technique for employing their artillery. Its explosions, he said, ‘made the city walls shake, and the ground inside.’ The cannon’s size, however, was also its liability.  With the exception of the central portal, the gate remained open to everyday traffic. Modern scholars are not in agreement over the extent of this portion of the wall, which has been variously defined from as narrowly as the stretch between the Gate of St. Romanus and the Fifth Military Gate (A.M. Schneider) to as broad as from the Gate of Rhegion to the Fifth Military Gate (B. Tsangadas) or from the Gate of St. Romanus to the Gate of Adrianople (A. van Millingen). Earlier scholars favored the former, but the current majority view tends to the latter, meaning that the gate was constructed as an integral part of the Theodosian Walls.  The northern shore of the city was always its more cosmopolitan part: a major focal point of commerce, it also contained the quarters allocated to foreigners living in the imperial capital. According to Dethier's theory, the former were given names and were open to civilian traffic, leading across the moat on bridges, while the latter were known by numbers, restricted to military use, and only led to the outer sections of the walls. The task of leading such an assault must have been daunting.  Behind the Leonine Wall lies an inner wall, which was renovated and strengthened by the additions of three particularly fine hexagonal towers by Emperor Theophilos (r. 829–842).  It was re-opened in 1346, but closed again before the siege of 1453 and remained closed until 1886, leading to its early Ottoman name, Kapalı Kapı ("Closed Gate"). Beyond the Long Walls, the towns of Bizye and Arcadiopolis covered the northern approaches. This bordered a great moat, some 60 feet wide and 15 to 30 feet deep, supplied by an aqueduct system. , The gate, built of large square blocks of polished white marble fitted together without cement, has the form of a triumphal arch with three arched gates, the middle one larger than the two others. The oldest of these surrounded the Akropolis and was built by the first Greek settlers. In response, the sea walls were renovated in the early 8th century under Tiberios III (r. 698–705) or Anastasios II (r. , Known posterns are the Yedikule Kapısı, a small postern after the Yedikule Fort (between towers 11 and 12), and the gates between towers 30/31, already walled up in Byzantine times, and 42/43, just north of the "Sigma". Of the 200,000 Muslims who laid siege to Constantinople in 717, only 30,000 crossed back into Syria the following year. To those two fortified points were adjoined the Sea Walls, similar in construction to the Outer Wall, of which little remains today. Some earlier scholars, like J. Fortunately for the Turks, Mehmet had many more practical and more proven pieces-2 large cannons and 18 batteries of 130 smaller caliber weapons. Although the original city of Byzantium certainly had sea walls, traces of which survive, the exact date for the construction of the medieval walls is a matter of debate. What is certain is that the Muslim tide, broken at it shortest approach, was channeled to Europe via another, much longer axis-North Africa. Byzantium lost most of her territory south of the Taurus Mountains and much of the remainder of the empire lay devastated. Although your goal is to collect gold, do not worry about spending it to train troops. Abandoning the meager pay and resources of the Byzantines, Urban found an eager sponsor in Mehmet, who set him to work casting large-caliber cannon to breach the city walls. The fleet, long the critical arm of the Empire, now consisted of just three Venetian galleasses and 20 galleys. The art of fortification has existed ever since man first came to realize the value of natural obstacles to his common defense, and evolved as he sought to invoke his own methods to fully exploit that advantage.  and a total length of almost 8,460 metres, with further 1,080 metres comprising the inner wall of the Vlanga harbour. They were continued by the walls of Blachernae which were built and rebuilt several times and linked the land walls to the sea walls. It was at the Petrion Gate that the Venetians, under the personal leadership of Doge Enrico Dandolo, scaled the walls and entered the city in the 1204 sack.  With the progressive decline in Byzantium's military fortunes, the gates were walled up and reduced in size in the later Palaiologan period, and the complex converted into a citadel and refuge.  In 1351, when the empire was at war with the Genoese, John VI Kantakouzenos again repaired the walls, and even opened a moat in front of the wall facing the Golden Horn.  After the Latin conquest of 1204, the walls fell increasingly into disrepair, and the revived post-1261 Byzantine state lacked the resources to maintain them, except in times of direct threat.  The latter was especially powerful, and destroyed large parts of the wall, including 57 towers.  In 1864, the remains of a postern located on the Outer Wall at the end of the Theodosian Walls, between tower 96 and the so-called Palace of the Porphyrogenitus, were discovered and identified with the Kerkoporta by the Greek scholar A.G. Paspates. A small gate of the western end of the fort's inner wall, near the Phanarion Gate, led to the city, and was called the Gate of Diplophanarion. In Turkish it is known as Zindan Kapısı ("Dungeon Gate").  Next was the now-demolished Gate of the Platea (Πόρτα τῆς Πλατέας, Porta tēs Plateas) follows, rendered as Porta della Piazza by Italian chroniclers, and called in Turkish Unkapanı Kapısı ("Gate of the Flour Depot"). His vision would provide a durable framework for a citadel that the new capital would need to become to weather the challenges that lay ahead.  In Turkish it is known as Edirnekapı ("Adrianople Gate"), and it is here where Mehmed II made his triumphal entry into the conquered city. Constantinople (Istanbul’s former Byzantine name) was once a heavily fortified city on a peninsula. An inscription discovered in 1993 however records that the work lasted for nine years, indicating that construction had already begun ca.  Each tower had a battlemented terrace on the top.  It appears that large parts survived relatively intact until the 9th century: the 11th-century historian Kedrenos records that the "wall at Exokionion", likely a portion of the Constantinian wall, collapsed in an earthquake in 867. , The Fifth Military Gate (Πόρτα τοῦ Πέμπτου) lies immediately to the north of the Lycus stream, between towers 77 and 78, and is named after the quarter of the Pempton ("the Fifth") around the Lycus. The date of the gate's construction is uncertain, with scholars divided between Theodosius I and Theodosius II.  These fortifications were apparently older than the Theodosian Walls, probably dating to sometime in the 4th century, and were then connected to the new city walls under Theodosius II, with the western wall forming the outer face of the city's defenses and the eastern wall fell into disrepair.  With cannons mounted on its main towers, the fort gave the Ottomans complete control of the passage of ships through Bosphorus, a role evoked clearly in its original name, Boğazkesen ("cutter of the strait"). Other repairs are recorded for 1434, again against the Genoese, and again in the years leading up to the final siege and fall of the city to the Ottomans, partly with funds provided by the Despot of Serbia, George Brankovic.  After the Ottoman conquest, the walls were maintained until the 1870s, when most were demolished to facilitate the expansion of the city. 2. Crowley wrote: “For Constantine a successful defense of the city depended on relief from Christian Europe. It also bears inscriptions commemorating repairs in 1188, 1317 and 1441. , Further south, at the point where the shore turns westwards, are two further gates, the Balıkhane Kapısı ("Gate of the Fish-House") and Ahırkapısı ("Stable Gate").  The wall's proximity to the sea and the strong currents of the Propontis meant that eastern and southern shores of the peninsula were comparatively safe from attack, but conversely, the walls had to be protected against the sea itself: a breakwater of boulders was placed in front of their base, and marble shafts were used as bonds in the walls' base to enhance their structural integrity.  Other authors identified it with the Gate of Adrianople (A. M. Schneider) or with the Gate of Rhesios (A. J. Unable to force a passage through the chain and past the Christian warships, the sultan resolved to bypass it by hauling his ships overland, behind Galata and into the Golden Horn. It was 3.30 m thick and over 5 m high, but its effectiveness was apparently limite…  Its military value was recognized by John VI Kantakouzenos (r. 1347–1354), who records that it was virtually impregnable, capable of holding provisions for three years and defying the whole city if need be. While the Land Walls glorify the name of Theodosius I (408-450), the reigning Roman emperor at the time their construction began, it is to one of history’s dim figures, Anthemius, to whom they owe their genesis. Support to this theory comes from the fact that the particular gate is located at a far weaker section of the walls than the "Cannon Gate", and the most desperate fighting naturally took place here. The gate is flanked by large square towers, which form the 9th and 10th towers of the inner Theodosian wall.  Unique among the seaward gates, it was, like the Golden Gate, flanked by two large towers of white marble, which in 1816 was used to construct the nearby Marble Kiosk of Sultan Mahmud II. Further expansions followed in 1387, 1397 and 1404, enclosing an area larger than that originally allocated to them, stretching from the modern district of Azapkapı north to Şişhane, from there to Tophane and thence to Karaköy.  It is followed by the Gate the Forerunner, known as St. John de Cornibus by the Latins, named after a nearby chapel. The gate stood somewhere on the southern slopes of the Seventh Hill. Barbaro described the final moments: ‘One hour before daybreak the Sultan had his great cannon fired, and the shot landed in the repairs which we had made and knocked them down to the ground. , The small size of the city's garrison was due to the uneasiness of emperors and populace alike towards a permanent large military force, both for fear of a military uprising and because of the considerable financial burden its maintenance would entail.  However, appreciating the city's strategic importance, Severus eventually rebuilt it and endowed it with many monuments, including a Hippodrome and the Baths of Zeuxippus, as well as a new set of walls, located some 300–400 m to the west of the old ones.
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