Rumeli Hisari (Rumelian Castle) Fortress of Europe


Yahya Kemal Cad 42, European side of Istanbul Map

Constructeed: 1451- 52 by Sultan Mehmed II

Tel. (0212) 263 53 05

Bus: 40, 41

Open: 9am- 5pm Thu- Tue


Description of Rumeli Hisari Fortress

Rumelihisari is a medieval citadel that was erected on the shores of the Bosphorus (at the narrowest part of it) straight on the order of Sultan Mehmed Fatih (the Conqueror) in 1452. Rumeli Hisari was designed to cut off Constantinople from the Black Sea as part of preparations for the assault on the Byzantine capital by the Ottoman Turkish forces. The fortress was built in record time - 4 months and 16 days. Construction was completed with help of 1,000 artisans and 2,000 construction workers. After the construction of the fortress it became impossible to swim through the Bosphorus without being hit by a Turkish artillery so the fortress got its name the "cut throat" castle. Today Rumeli Hisari houses a Museum of Artillery as well as a Summer Theatre that holds performances in warmer summer months.


Rumelihisar was built on the banks of the Bosphorus (in its narrowest part) on the site of the Byzantine fortress Foneus (Greek Φωνεύς) opposite the Anadoluhisar fortress on the orders of Sultan Mehmed Fatih (Conqueror) in 1452 and was intended to cut off Constantinople from the Black Sea and start preparing for his assault. The fortress was built for that time in record time - for 4 months and 16 days, more than 1000 craftsmen and 2000 builders were involved in the construction. After the construction of the fortress, it became impossible to swim the Bosphorus, the bottleneck between the fortresses, and the fortress itself was called "cutting the throat."

After the fall of Constantinople, the fortress served as a customs checkpoint. The fortress was badly damaged by the earthquake in 1509, but was soon restored. In the 17th century, Rumelihisar was used as a prison. In 1746, it suffered from a fire. The fortress was restored by Sultan Selim III (1761-1807). In the XIX century, Rumelihisar came to desolation.

In 1953, large-scale restoration work began in the fortress, which was completed in 1958. In 1960, the Museum of Artillery and the Summer Theater were opened inside it, where summer concerts are held.