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Rumelihisari in Istanbul (Rumeli Hisarı) - a medieval fortress with views of the Bosphorus

Rumelihisar or Rumeli Hisary (Rumelihisarı, Turkish name: Rumeli Hisarı) is a medieval fortress, which is one of the striking sights of Istanbul.

Rumel Fortress is located at a distance from the main sights of Istanbul, on the hill of the European part of the city on the shore of the Bosphorus Strait to the north of the famous elite Bebek district. The fortress gives its name to the neighborhood closest to it in the Sarıyer district.

The fortress occupies an area of 30 hectares, surrounded by defensive walls with towers and gates. There are hiking trails on the territory of the fortress, there is a functioning mosque and a small cistern. The fortress offers panoramic views of the Bosphorus, Sultan Mehmed Fatih Bridge and the Asian part of the city.

View of the fortress and the adjacent ensemble from the Bosphorus and the Asian part of the city

The Rumeli Hisary Fortress was built during the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul on the shore of the Bosphorus (in the narrowest part of the strait, which is 600 meters) opposite the Anadolu Hisar Fortress (Anadolu Hisarı), located on the Asian side of the city.

The construction of the fortress was completed in the shortest possible time (4 months) in 1452, by order of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed Fatih (the Conqueror). The fortress was intended to cut off Constantinople (now the city of Istanbul) From the aid and attack from the Black Sea and start preparing to conquer the city to make it the new imperial capital. Hence the alternative name of the fortress - "Boazkesen", that is, "Castle-strait". During the siege, two fortresses (Rumelikhisar and Anadolukhisar) worked together.

After the Ottoman conquest of the city, Rumelihisari served as a customs post and sometimes as a prison. During the Great Earthquake of 1509, the fortress was significantly destroyed, but quickly restored and was used continuously until the end of the 19th century.

After that, the fortress remained in an abandoned state.

In 1953, large-scale restoration work began in the fortress. The fortress was opened to visitors in 1968, and initially worked for open-air concerts.

Today, the Rumeli Hisary Fortress is a historical monument and a landmark of the city. Anyone can visit the fortress, it functions as a museum and also a venue for seasonal concerts, festivals and other outdoor events.

The fortress is surrounded by former defensive walls with gates and towers, including three main towers named Saruja Pasha, Khalil Pasha and Zaganos Pasha and several small towers.

There are paths on the territory of the fortress, cannons and cannonballs are exposed, there are remnants of columns and places to rest, a toilet works.

The fortress offers panoramic views of the Bosphorus Strait, the nearby Sultan Mehmed Fatih Bridge and the Asian side of Istanbul, including Otagtepe Park.

Once there were three fountains on the territory of the fortress, two of which have disappeared, and one still exists today.

The Kale Mescidi Mosque on the territory of the fortress, which was built during the construction of Rumelihisari, and then was demolished, was restored to its original form in 2014, and some events are being held in it today.

A small cistern in the fortress also attracts attention. This is an artificial closed structure (container), which was used as a reservoir for storing fresh water. Learn more about the cisterns and dungeons of Istanbul with photos, addresses and websites...

Scheme of the Rumelikhisar fortress

Practical information

Address of Rumelikhisar Fortress: Rumeli Hisarı Yahya Kemal Caddesi No.:42 34470 Sariyer/ISTANBUL.

Coordinates of the Rumelikhisar Fortress: 41°05'05.0"N 29°03'22.0"E (41.084722, 29.056111).

You can get to the fortress by bus or ferry to the berths of Bebek and Emirgan, then from the berths - on foot.

Entrance to the Rumelikhisar fortress is paid. You can purchase tickets only to the fortress, as well as the museum card of Istanbul (Museum Pass Istanbul) or the museum and tourist card Istanbul E-pass, which include visits to the fortress, some other important museums and places of the city. Learn more about museum and tourist maps of Istanbul...

Tickets to the Rumelikhisar fortress can be purchased at the ticket office near the entrance to the fortress.

We recommend checking the ticket price, opening hours and conditions of visiting the Rumelikhisar Fortress immediately before visiting on the official website: .

All accommodation facilities in Istanbul, including in the historical center of the city, near the Rumelihisar Fortress and more remotely from those, can be viewed and booked here

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