"City Walls" Theodosian City Walls Tip by Hopkid

Theodosian City Walls, Istanbul: 39 reviews and 70 photos

  City Walls at Edirnekapi
by Hopkid
  • City Walls at Edirnekapi - Istanbul
      City Walls at Edirnekapi
    by Hopkid
  • City Walls - Istanbul
  • Pedestrian gate near Mihrimah Sultan Camii - Istanbul
      Pedestrian gate near Mihrimah Sultan Camii
    by Hopkid

When you come into central Istanbul from Ataturk Airport, you're likely to come across the 5th century city walls. They are a very impressive site indeed. Built by Emperor Theodosius between A.D. 412-422, the walls are very tall and thick to boot, it's no wonder that were breached by attackers from the west only twice in a thousand years. The first time was during the Fourth Crusade in the 13th century and the last was when Mehmet the Conqueror came calling to complete the Muslim Conquest in 1453. Although portions of it are in disrepair since normal maintenance and upkeep stopped in the late 19th century, you can see pretty much all 6.5 km of the wall in some state of condition. Some of the major gates have been renovated and restored. You can start from the Yedikule Fortress on the south end and venture along its length to its northern end near the Golden Horn in Ayvansaray.

We happened across the walls on our aborted attempt to view Mihrimah Sultan Camii in Edirnekapi where the walls break for Fevzi Pasa Caddesi to come through. The towers on either side of the street there are huge and an equally huge Turkish flag flies from the north tower. There are also pedestrian gates in other parts of the walls, which is what we went through just south of the gate at Fevzi Pasa Caddesi. The walls are also a very short walk from the Kariye Muzesi so if you're in the neighborhood visiting the beautiful mosaics and frescoes, you might also want to take the short walk to see this 5th century engineering marvel.

Directions: In the districts west of the main tourist areas; approximately 6 km from Sultanahmet. Take a bus or taxi west to the gates. You can also take the tram from Sultanahmet to Topkapi or pick up the light rail transit in Aksaray to Ulubalti.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 21, 2008
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