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.
Tours & Tickets
Explore the aromatic maze of stalls that make up Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar, and then hop aboard a sightseeing boat for a jaunt along the famous Bosphorus Strait! ... Read more
Duration: 3-4 hours
Begin the tour with a brief visit to the 17th century Spice Bazaar, one of Istanbul's most colorful and bustling attractions. Then take an unforgettable cruise ... Read more
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
When your cruise ship docks in Istanbul, head out on a 3.5-hour shore excursion to visit the city’s famous Spice Bazaar and then cruise along the Bosphorus ... Read more
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)