Rumelihisarı Fort

Built in just 4 months by the order of Sultan Mehmet, It’s a marvel of history, human perseverance, ingenuity, which helped the Ottomans to gain control of Constantinople. Do come for a clear blue sky and stunning view of Bosporus and the Asian side of the continent

Istanbul, Turkey

Coordinates: 41.084700, 29.056100

Rumelihisarı is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey, on a series of hills on the European banks of the Bosphorus.

Conceived and built between 1451 and 1452 on the orders of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, the complex was commissioned in preparation for a planned Ottoman siege on the then-Byzantine city of Constantinople, with the goal of cutting off maritime military and logistical relief that could potentially come to the Byzantines aid by way of the Bosphorus Strait, hence the fortress’s alternative name, “Boğazkesen”, i.e. “Strait-cutter” Castle.

Its older sister structure, Anadoluhisari (“Anatolian Fortress”), sits on the opposite banks of the Bosporus, and the two fortresses worked in tandem during the final siege to throttle all naval traffic along the Bosphorus, thus helping the Ottomans achieve their goal of making the city of Constantinople (later renamed Istanbul) their new imperial capital in 1453.

After the Ottoman conquest of the city, Rumelihisarı served as a customs checkpoint and occasional prison, notably for the embassies of states that were at war with the Empire. After suffering extensive damage in the Great Earthquake of 1509, the structure was repaired, and was used continuously until the late 19th century.

Today, the fortress is a popular museum open to the public, and further acts as an open-air venue for seasonal concerts, art festivals, and special events.

Know This

Getting to the place is easy. Use your travel card for Istanbul and use it to get by tram to Kabuta and then take the bus to Sircechi. If in doubt, ask anybody. Turks are friendly and will definitely help.

To reach the fortress it’s a fifteen minute walk along the Bebek waterfront from the main area which is really nice.

Parking, traffic is a problem so it is better to visit in weekdays or very early in weekends.