The ancient walls of Constantinople
The siege of Constantinople in 1453
Our tour began at the Panorama museum in the Topkapi Culture Park. This museum is dedicated to the fall of Constantinople, when Fatih Sultan Mehmed II laid seige to the city in 1453. It is called the Panorama museum because in the domed roof, there is a 360 degree painting, depicting the breaching of the walls of Contantinople. While circling around the dome, looking at the paintings, there is the constant sound of battle. It is an amazing experience!
The original wall was guarded by 96 towers.
The moat is being used for urban gardens, producing vegetables
The building of the walls began in the 5th century, with a deep moat surrounding them, and provided a formidable fortification for the city's protection. They held fast for hundreds of years until the invention of gunpowder, and cannons that could fire huge cannon balls.
We even found some old cannon balls!
We stopped off at this pigeon market along the way
Apparently, pigeon fancying is huge in Turkey
This was the site of the last Byzantine palace
The waterfountain of the sacred spring
We visited the Church of St Mary of Blachernae, which is famous for its sacred spring, and a major Marian shrine in the city. The present church was built in 1867, on the site of the original one, built in 450, and destroyed by fire in 1434.
The Golden Horn Walls
Houses due for demolition
A huge amount of development is going on in Istanbul, and there are many areas selected for renewal. This settlement next to the walls is due for demolition, to make way for more modern housing. We were standing on the walls when I took this photo.
There were chickens running about under the ancient walls. I managed to catch this cock just as he was crowing. It was obviously time to go home! What a rich history this city has. We are so privileged to be living here.