Rumeli Fortress Museum (Rumelihisari): what to see, tickets, tips

Rumeli Fortress (Rumelihisari) is an impressive fortress located in the European side of Istanbul, along the Bosphorus Strait. Built in the 15th century by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, the fortress is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Also serving as a museum, this is a must-see attraction in this unique city!

Fast Facts about Rumeli Fortress

  • Rumeli Fortress is located on the European side of Istanbul, along the Bosphorus Strait.
  • It was built by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1452, just before he conquered Constantinople.
  • The fortress was built in just four months with the help of approximately 3,000 workers.
  • It is made up of three main towers and a central tower that is connected to the walls by four smaller towers.
  • The fortress covers an area of approximately 30,000 square meters.
  • The fortress has been used for a variety of purposes throughout its history, including as a customs station, a prison, and a barracks for soldiers.
  • In 1960, the fortress was converted into a museum and opened to the public.

Quick History

Rumeli Fortress was built in the 15th century by Sultan Mehmed II, also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, just before the conquest of Istanbul to secure the city from the Byzantine navy.

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The fortress played a significant role in the conquest of Istanbul by serving as a staging ground for the Ottoman army to launch their attack on the city. After the conquest, the fortress was used as a military base to control and protect the Bosphorus Strait and the Black Sea.

In the 18th century, the fortress was partially damaged due to an earthquake and the weakening of its foundation. During the 19th century, it was used as a quarantine station for plague outbreaks and later as a military training center. In 1953, the fortress was turned into a museum and has been a popular tourist attraction ever since.

Today, the Rumeli Fortress Museum showcases the history and architecture of the Ottoman Empire. It is a remarkable example of military architecture with its strategic location, double walls, and towers. The fortress is surrounded by a picturesque park and offers stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait and the surrounding area.

What to expect from your visit?

When visiting Rumeli Fortress Museum, you can expect to step back in time and learn about the fascinating history of this ancient fortress. The museum features several exhibits showcasing the history of the fortress, including its construction, strategic importance during the Ottoman Empire, and the various battles and events that took place within its walls.

Rumeli Fortress at Istanbul Turkey – architecture background

You can also explore the fortress itself and enjoy stunning views of the Bosphorus and surrounding area. The fortress is well-preserved and visitors can see many of the original structures and features, including the walls, towers, and gates.

Additionally, the museum hosts a variety of cultural events and activities, including concerts, theater performances, and traditional Turkish celebrations, providing visitors with a unique and immersive cultural experience.

Visiting Tips

  • Check the opening and closing times of the museum beforehand to avoid any disappointments. It is recommended to visit the fortress during daylight hours.
  • The fortress involves a lot of walking, so it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking on uneven terrain.
  • The fortress can get quite hot during the summer months, so be sure to bring plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • The fortress offers some spectacular views of the Bosphorus, so be sure to bring a camera to capture the moment.
  • The museum offers guided tours that can provide you with a lot of information about the history and architecture of the fortress. Consider joining one of these tours to enhance your experience.
  • There are certain rules to be followed when visiting the fortress, such as not climbing on the walls or touching the exhibits. Make sure to respect these rules to help preserve the fortress for future generations.

Hours and Fees

Rumeli Fortress Museum is open every day between 09:00-19:30 except Mondays. Closed on Mondays.

Getting to Rumeli Fortress Tips

Rumeli Fortress is located in Sariyer district. See on google map.

For those coming from Sultanahmet or Galata, can take the Kabatas-Bagcilar T1 tram line, and get off at Kabatas stop. And than you can take the public bus for Sariyer.

For those on the Asian side of Istanbul, can take the ferry to Besiktas. And than you can take the public bus for Sariyer.

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