Rumeli Castle (Rumeli Hisari) is an Ottoman fortress dating to 1452. It was built by Ottoman sultan Mehmed II (Mehmed the Conqueror) in preparation of the conquest of Constantinople. The castle is situated on the shore of the Bosphorus Strait at its narrowest point with approximately 660 meters. It is just opposite of Anadolu Castle (Anadolu Hisari) that is another Ottoman castle built in 1394 by Bayezid I. Both Anadolu Castle and Rumeli Castle were built by Ottoman sultans in order to prevent military and economic aid to the Byzantine Empire coming from the north, Black Sea. Thus, Bosphorus strait connects Black Sea with Marmara Sea.
Rumeli Castle consists of three large towers, one small tower, and thirteen smaller towers, which all are in very good condition. The architect of the castle was architect Müslihiddin and by the time it was built, its name was Bogazkesen (Strait Cutter).
Rumeli Castle after the conquest of Constantinople
After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the castle lost its military importance and served as a customs checkpoint until the seventeenth century and then as a prison until the nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century a neighborhood was formed inside the castle with its houses, mosque, shops, and so on. However, this neighborhood was destroyed in 1950s. Since 1960 the Rumeli Castle functions as a museum and this magnificent castle is open to the public as an open-air museum.
Amazing facts about the Rumeli Castle (Rumeli Hisari)
From above the Rumeli Castle is in the shape of the name of Prophet Muhammad, which shares same spelling with Mehmed (Ottoman sultan commissioned the castle) in Arabic.