Theodosian Wall of Constantinople (Self Guided), Istanbul

Constantinople was so named after the Roman emperor Constantine the Great who made the city the capital of the eastern empire. This walking tour will take you along the great wall that saved the city many a time during its wars against the Avars, the Tartars, the Russians, and the Bulgarians.
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Theodosian Wall of Constantinople Map

Guide Name: Theodosian Wall of Constantinople
Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul (See other walking tours in Istanbul)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: kane
Golden Gate

1) Golden Gate

The Golden Gate was the entrance to the city of Constantinople, for all the visitors who chose to enter it from the West. The Walls of Constantinople were built by Constantine the Great to protect it against attacks by both, land and sea, and The Golden Gate was its Western entrance. These walls have been present ever since the city was established as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. The walls have undergone tremendous modifications and additions and are one of the most elaborate fortification systems to be build during the ancient times. The gate stood on the 7th Hill of Istanbul, and was ornately decorated during those times.

The Golden Gate is also known as the Gate of Saturninus, the Xerolophos Gate, and İsakapı ("Gate of Jesus"). The gate survived until the Ottoman times, but in 1509, it was partly destroyed by an earthquake. Many emperors made a triumphant entry through the Golden Gate including the emperor Heraclius in 628, who also recovered the True Cross and entered the city on a Chariot drawn by four elephants. The Gates had been decorated with gilded Bronze and many statues. The emperor John I Tzimiskes and Manuel I Comnenus included the Gates in a fort with five towers. Today, remains of the fort are still visible, and the central square is used as an open-air theater.
Second Military Gate

2) Second Military Gate

The Second Military gate is located between towers 22 and 23 and in ancient times led up to an amphitheater. It was named "The closed gate" as it was sealed for a few centuries, due to a famous prophecy that it would lead to the fall of Constantinople. It was reopened later and was called the Belgrade gate, as many Serbs had settled in the area after the conquest of Serbia.
Gate of Spring

3) Gate of Spring

The Gate of Spring is also called the Pege Gate and The Gate of Selymbria in the Turkish Language. The gate is named so after a monastery present outside the Walls of Constantinople, the Zōodochos Pēgē which means “Life-giving Spring”. The gates are located near the suburb of Balikli in the city of Istanbul. During the ancient times this gate was also called, Porta Melantiados in Greek, which means the Gate of Melantias.

The gate has survived many centuries since it was built in the Byzantine times, but its arch was replaced by the Ottomans. This gate is important in history as it was through this gate that General Alexios Strategopoulos entered the city; and along with the forces of the Empire of Nicaea, retook the city from the Latins in 1261.

Until the Ottoman takeover, the city of Constantinople has remained intact from invasions due to The Walls of Constantinople, which were built by Constantine the Great. These walls were built and fortified against attacks form invaders by land and sea, and parts of the wall are still seen standing in the city of Istanbul. The gates including the Golden Gate and The Gate of Spring were among the few gated entrances to the city during those times.
Third Military Gate and "Sigma"

4) Third Military Gate and "Sigma"

The third military gate is one of the two minor military gates that guard "the Sigma" - a "c"-shaped part of the wall, probably made to enhance the defense of the wall in that particular part. The third military gate is nowadays sealed up, but you can come and see the site from where the ancient defenders of this magnificent city stormed out to defend the walls. "The Sigma" is still a topic of discussion for historians.
Gate of Rhesios

5) Gate of Rhesios

The Gate of Rhesios has been standing at the same spot for over 16 centuries. It is the best preserved and one of the most intriguing gates, as it has the oldest inscriptions. Some of them date back to the year of the construction of the gate. Another name of the Gate of Rhesios is "The gate of Reds" as it was the party of the Reds that financially contributed to its construction.
Gate of St. Romanus

6) Gate of St. Romanus

Originally named after a nearby church, the Gate of St. Romanus is actually the Gate where the very last Roman emperor fell. The gate nowadays bears the name Topkapi - the Gate of the cannon (in Turkish), as it was here that the biggest cannon existing at that time, with a weight of almost 18 tons.
Fifth Military Gate

7) Fifth Military Gate

The Fifth Military Gate has vanished without a trace. The towers and walls next to it are damaged as well, bearing the sign of the final and decisive Ottoman assault on the last remnant of the Byzantine Empire. It is because of this that the gate is called, in Turkish, Hücum Kapısı ("Assault Gate"). Although the gate itself is absent, visitors can actually stand in the place where the Theodosian wall was firstly breached in over a millennium.
Gate of Charisius

8) Gate of Charisius

Gate of Charisius is also known as Adrianople gate as it led into the city. It was exactly through this gate that the first Sultan of the Ottoman empire entered the city of Constantinople, in triumph. The gate is located at the highest of the seven hills and is the second most important gate after the Golden Gate. This is also the place from where the defense of the city was mounted by the last Byzantine Emperor.

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