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Rumeli Fortress

The Rumeli Fortress sits on a hill on the European side of Istanbul, overlooking the Bosphorus at its narrowest point. Built by Sultan Mehmed II prior to the conquest of Constantinople, the fortress was intended to help him control traffic along the Bosphorus and prevent aid from reaching the city from the Black Sea during the Siege of Constantinople in 1453. With the help of thousands of workers, the fortress was completed in just over four months.

In addition to three main towers, the fortress had one small tower and thirteen watchtowers, as well as three main gates next to the three main towers. It also had wooden houses for soldiers, a small mosque and a large cistern that distributed water to the fortress through three wall fountains. The shaft of the mosque’s minaret and one of the water fountains remain in the fortress today.

After the conquest of Constantinople, the fortress served as a customs checkpoint before later becoming a prison for foreign prisoners-of-war. It was completely abandoned by the 19th century, allowing a residential neighborhood to pop up inside. In 1953, Turkish president Celal Bayar ordered the residents to be relocated so the fortress could be renovated. It reopened as a museum and open-air theater in 1960 and as functioned as such ever since.

Practical Information

The Rumeli Fortress is located in the Sariyer district of Istanbul. To get there, take a ferry to Yenikoy or Sariyer and then catch bus 25E. The fortress is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but is closed Wednesdays. Admission for adults is 3 Turkish lira.

Tours & Tickets

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Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Half-Day Cruise from Istanbul

4 star rating: Recommended 67 Reviews

Take a leisurely afternoon cruise along Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, and enjoy an onboard lunch and visit to the Black Sea, too! After savoring delights such ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $51.36

Bosphorus Strait Cruise with Rumeli Fortress or Kücüksu Palace Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 32 Reviews

Combine a Bosphorus Strait sightseeing cruise with a tour of Küçüksu Palace or Rumeli Fortress on this exciting 2.5-hour Istanbul experience! ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $28.54

Private Tour: Rumeli Fortress and Anadolu Fortress from Istanbul

Daily tours in Istanbul with private tour guide to Rumeli Fortress & Anadolu Fortress & Poyrazkoy Village

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: Flexible

From USD $227.00

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