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Istanbul’s first city walls were built to protect the acropolis, placed where Topkapi Palace is today. The second set was established by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 and were outside the Greek walls by some 300 meters.

Among the many well known monuments in Istanbul, the centuries-old city walls stand out with their effective surroundings and construction. They extend for 22 kilometers, stretching from the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn and demolished only twice in their all history. The firstly it was demolished by the Latin Crusaders who were supposed to be heading toward the Holy Land in 1204 and again in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks who tried to conquer the city of Constantinople.

Once upon a time the Constantinople (Istanbul) was surrogated the walls because it had geopolitical importance and too beauty city. Every state struggled to take this dreamy city. Furthermore, the public of Constantinople got measures by founding the walls;
At the beginning the city walls were used as a defence mechanism to prevent any attacks from other country. They were about six kilometers long with 27 towers spread throughout. The second set was established by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 and located just outside the walls about some 300 meters. After, in 324 AD, Constantine the Great ordered to build the city to eastern capital, its walls were constructed some six kilometers further to the west.

Built by Emperor Theodosius II between 412 and 413 A.D, walls, which today is well known as the Theodosian Walls, had three parts - a main wall, a lower front wall and a moat or trench divided in thats way it could be filled with water. 

But the walls were critically damaged in 447 AD due to the earthquake. During these years, Attila the Hun invaded and conquered Byzantine cities in the Balkan areas and also reached the walls of Constantinople, but the great warrior was failed because there was not weapon to attack walls of this size at that time. Therefore frightened Byzantines immediately fixed the damaged walls in 448. During this same date the emperor constructed a sea wall.

Actually those sea walls were kept away many enemy, for example ; in between 672 and 673 Arabs attacked those walls but they were failed because the Byzantines advanced a technique named as Greek Fire which is a kind of an burning liquid to shoot at the enemy. The muslims like Arabs wanted to take over that city by breaking those walls so, the companion of the Prophet Mohammed, Eyüp Sultan died and was buried outside the walls. Also it was ordered in the hadith to take over the city. As it is seen that many people tried to take that city but that failed. Finally great Ottoman Empire Fatih Sultan Mehmet succeed to conquer by breaking those walls with the weapons

Fatih Sultan Mehmed repaired and strengthened against any attacks. He added three towers to the four already built at the Golden Gate. Then it was made seven towers named Yedikule” or Seven Towers in Turkish.

Today, when you visit in Istanbul, you can see the remains of those fascinating walls.

Content Author   : Ebrar OKÇU

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