Fortress of Europe
Rumeli Hisar, the Fortress of Europe, was built in only four months to close off the great maritime highway of the Bosphorus during Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror‘s siege of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1452.
A smaller fortress on the Bosphorus’s Asian shore, the Anadolu Hisar, completed the blockade with its cannons. Together, the two mighty Ottomanfortresses prevented European reinforcements from reaching the besieged Byzantine capital by sea from the north.
Today this symbol of blockade and conquest lies beneath the graceful span of the second Bosphorus bridge which unites rather than divides the continents of Europe and Asia. The bridge is named, appropriately, the Fatih Köprüsü (Conqueror Bridge) for the builder of Rumeli Hisar and Conqueror of Istanbul (1453).