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Turkey, Istanbul, Rumeli Hisari
Rumeli Hisari means Rumelian Castle: Rumelia (derived from Rome) being the Turkish word for the Balkan lands which once belonged to the Roman (Byzantine) Empire. The Rumeli Hisari was constructed in 1452 a few miles north of Constantinople on the European side of the Bosphorus by order of Sultan Mehmet II. Impressively, the whole fortress was built in less than four months. The Rumeli Hisari sits opposite an older, smaller Ottoman fort on the Asian side, the Anadolu Hisari (Anatolian Castle). Together the two forts effectively controlled traffic through the Bosphorus, cutting Constantinople off from the Black Sea and ensuring that an Ottoman army operating on the European side could be supplied from the granaries of central Anatolia. The building of Rumeli Hisari was preparation for the investment and conquest of Constantinople, which took place the following year.

The Rumeli Hisari/Anadolu Hisari forts are built at the point where the Bosphorus is most constricted (about 700m across). This is the same narrows where the Persian King Darius I over 2500 years ago built a bridge of boats to transport his army across to attack Thrace (see Herodotus, Histories 4.87f). And these days a modern suspension bridge links Asia to Europe at the same spot, but sadly it rather spoils the view.
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