Tower of Saint Constantine (Feodosiya)

Tower of Saint Constantine (Feodosiya) (Feodosiya)


Location: Feodosiya


Description of Tower of Saint Constantine in Feodosiya

Tower of Saint Constantine (Feodosiya) (Feodosiya)

Tower of Saint Constantine is one of the most prominent remains of the medieval military defences constructed by settlers from an Italian town of Genoa. It is situated in the park "Yubileyny" near a large train station. Medieval tower was erected in 1338 to increase defences of the town. It was protected by a water filled moat  and earth rampart that ran around the perimeter of the medieval Feodosiya. Later it got a wooden fence to protect towers and walls against siege weapons. The tower was dedicated to the ancient Roman emperor Saint Constantine who legalized Christianity within boundaries of his empire. Alternatively it was called Arsenal Tower since it was use to store weapons. In 1475 Tower of Saint Constantine was increased in size and complexity. Genoese artisan added barbican for better defences.



Among the many towers in the defensive system of Kafa, this one was one of the key ones. She closed the outer belt of the defensive line. From the tower of St. Constantine, she went to Mount Mithridates, then went down to the sea, bypassing the city in a semicircle. In front of the fortress wall there was a deep ditch, through which bridges were thrown in front of the gates.

During a siege or some kind of danger, the bridges were raised and attached to powerful iron gates. With the onset of dusk, the gates were closed, and life in the city froze. In the morning they opened to the sounds of Mohammedan prayers.

The tower was also called an arsenal, as it kept stocks of weapons - halberds, swords, crossbows, spears, arrows, stone cannonballs, and so on. Not far from the tower there was the main fortress gate, which under the Genoese bore the name of George the Victorious, and under the Turks since 1475 - Agli-Kapu (Rider's Gate).

Opposite the gate, a bridge was thrown over a moat filled with water, built, like the gate, in 1467 under the consul Calochero where Guizalfa. In 1890, a stone slab with the coats of arms of the consul and Genoa was found, which praises the deeds of this consul in strengthening the site of the fortress and constructing the fountain.

The Tower of Constantine was reconstructed more than once in the 15th-17th centuries. A stone slope was added to the coastal wall (the tower was located at the very edge of the seashore), which protected it from erosion by storm waves and a baffle wall, which at the same time served as protection from cannonballs. In the 15th century, the Turks built a semicircular bastion, the barbican, next to the tower, and a fort was built near the gate.



The tower of Constantine was two-tiered, four-sided, crowned with a triple arcuate belt and merlon spikes that covered archers and crossbowmen during the defense of the fortress. The tower was built of local limestone, the thickness of the walls reached 2 meters. The eastern side has not been preserved, as well as interfloor beam ceilings made of durable wood - oak and beech.

In 1898, during the restoration of the tower, brick merlons were restored. During the Great Patriotic War, the towers and battlements suffered from shelling. Some of the spikes were destroyed.

In 1958, another restoration was carried out.

The image of the tower on the old coat of arms of Feodosia is often found on postage stamps and envelopes, badges.