Golden Gate of Constantinople or prison for VIPs
• The Golden Gate of Constantinople or prison for VIPs
It is unusual in some way is an amazing place. Prison, treasury vault throughout the empire, schools and ... the main gate to enter Constantinople, through which he could enter only (!!!) ruler. That is such a place - one in four - Yedikule Fortress in Istanbul.
When the war began with a kind of country, its ambassador planted here in prison, which existed separate tower - Embassy. All the rest were various dignitaries and VIPs of the time, and the prison was the worst in the Ottoman Empire. This before there was a school here. And after the towers Yedikule Fortress is a treasure trove, which stores the state treasury.
But initially, in the Middle Ages, it was the Golden Gate of Constantinople - the main entrance to the city. And they could pass through only the ruler and the most high-ranking officials ...
Today Yedikule Fortress is one of the iconic sights of Istanbul, but attends not so many tourists as many other world famous attractions of this city. Here affects a certain distance from the main tourist routes and, perhaps, a small tourist awareness about this wonderful and interesting place.
The museum complex is located on a fairly large area on the shore of the Sea of Marmara and get here is quite simple - from the Sirkeci Train Station ( "Sirkesi") on a fast tram stop Yedikule ( "Yedikule"). The castle can be reached from 9.00 to 16.30 every day except Wednesday.
Yedikule Fortress was built in 1458 after the capture of Constantinople by the Turks. But some of the towers and city wall existed here before.
In the center of the square, surrounded by fortified walls, towering remains of the destroyed mosque. And there, behind it, you can see the wall of Theodosius, which existed long before the construction of the fortress and the famous Golden Gate built during the reign of Theodosius.
The Golden Gate from the inside. Once this wall and gates of Constantinople ended border.
Go to the opposite side, to see the gates of the guests eyes, you can not always - pass closed bars with lock. But we were lucky, we passed.
Notice the two entry openings - pretty high on the left and a dark passage in the pledged huge stone arch on the right side ...
.. but so look Golden Gate from the outside, as if you drove up to the city walls.
Through them he could go into town just ruler and the most senior officials. All the rest - the suite and ordinary citizens - have the right to enter only through a small gate. And the entrance to the emperor through this, now mortgaged stone arch in the middle.
Today it is difficult to say why it looks that way. Some say that it was done later in the strategic interests of others, even when the emperor, so that no one will be tempted to go through them with the Emperor ...
In the time of Theodosius, in front of the main wall was another wall and the moat between them. This was done in order to best protect the city from external invasion. In front of us, "the first" gate only after going through that, it was possible to get to the gold.
So the Golden Gate look like from above.
In 1453 Mehmed the Conqueror was able to conquer Constantinople. After gains, Turks built behind the former triumphal arch three towers and combined them with a high wall around the towers themselves Golden Gate.
And formed Yedikule Fortress
View from the ramparts. You can see the remains of the walls (the cemetery is located above them now), and where there was once a deep ditch, settled gardens of local residents.
And in the background in the haze seen Sea of Marmara ...
In the fortress, there are seven towers Yedikule.
Initially, some of them played the role of the treasury, which houses the state treasury of the Ottoman Empire.
Enter in one of these towers.
The treasures were distributed in different towers - one gold, in the other - the silver, the third - precious stones. It is said that some of the towers were filled to the top.
But gone are the days when the treasury was kept here, the treasures were transferred to other places, and Yedikule has grown into one of the worst prisons of the empire.
And sitting here only high-ranking officials. Including the ambassadors of different countries with whom Turkey fought. Ambassadors was even allocated a separate tower - Embassy.
At various times, we have been here and two Russian ambassador - AM trimming and PA Tolstoy.
Posmotris that itself represents the prison. Fortunately, you can climb the stairs of some towers, and look into the camera and former prison
are treated with high-ranking prisoners very differently, depending on the moment. Someone sitting in a stuffy, dark alone. Someone had servants, arranged cells, good food, the opportunity to go for a walk.
One of the cameras single. There is not even the slit light, and as a toilet used only gap in the plank floor ...
And this is the entrance into a real common prison.
Here wooden beams made of several layers, on which the camera with the prisoners
In fact, everyone can see everything that made the guards of prisoners - torture, interrogation, executions ...
In the middle of the platform at the very bottom is the failure, which dropped the severed head of an executed prisoner.
By the way, the severed heads and then put on public display.
Now I dip for safety shielded metal mesh.
The old wooden beams, pitted wood borers, and half-decayed nails saw a lot of blood and heard a lot of suffering prisoners ...
In 1831, the prison made ammunition, then there was a school and even a zoo.
In 1959, the fortress became a museum complex and in addition to the museum today features Yedikule is the venue for concerts, mass cultural activities.