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Yedikule Fortress

Yedikule Fortress

Yedikule Fortress is perhaps best known as the gigantic, ancient fortress that overshadows the southern European approaches to the city of Istanbul.  The history of the structure dates back to the fourth century, when Theodosius the Great constructed a triumphal arch there.  The gates of the arch were covered with gold plate, leading to its signature title as the Golden Gate of Byzantium.  Theodosius’s successor, Theodosius II, later built four of the fortress’ seven towers, incorporating these and the archway into the new city walls.  The final three towers were not built until after the fall of the Roman Empire, during the era of Mehmet the Conqueror.  Throughout the Ottoman period, the fortress was used for defensive purposes, as a prison, and as a place of execution.