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29 May 1453: When “the city is burning….»

The day the Byzantine Empire "fell"!! The History of Fall!!

OR Fall of Constantinople was the result of the siege of the Byzantine capital, of which the Emperor was the Constantine II Palaiologos, by the Ottoman army, headed by the sultan Mohammed II……..

The siege lasted 6 April to Third, 29 May 1453 (Julian calendar). This fall of Constantinople, it also marked the end of the millennial Byzantine Empire.

The consequence of the Fall was the relentless continuation of the Turkish territorial advance in the North.. Africa and Central Europe. At the end of it 17century the Ottoman Empire reached its peak, threatening her Vienna.

Many times the Fall of Constantinople is used by historians as a sign of its end. Middle Ages and its inception Renaissance and Age of Discoveries.

In fact, many of them agree that the mass movement of many Greeks from Istanbul to Italy due to the Fall played a decisive role in shaping the content and philosophy that the Renaissance figures followed..

The Byzantine Empire and the wider region 1450

The Byzantine Empire and the wider region 1450

according to 1.100 years of life of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople had been besieged several times but had only once fallen into the hands of the enemy, the 1204 by her Crusaders Crossroads. After the 1204 In the city a weak Latin kingdom was established and the rest of the Empire was divided into separate kingdoms..

One of them, or Greek Empire of Nice managed to prevail in the area and regain the city 1261. For the next two centuries, the weakened Byzantine Empire was constantly attacked by Latins, Serbs, Bulgarians and especially the Ottoman Turks.

The 1453 Apart from Constantinople itself and its environs, they belonged to the Empire, most of the Peloponnese, focusing on him Mystras. OR Empire of Trabzon, a Greek state created by 1204 on the edge of Asia Minor and managed to survive all this time, was a completely separate political entity from Byzantium.

Muhammad II

Portrait of Mohammed II, by Gentile Bellini (London, National Gallery). According to a tradition, Muhammad disagreed with Bellini on how the human neck should be depicted.. To solve the problem, the sultan ordered that a slave be brought before them, which he put to behead on the spot.

In the Ottoman camp, The Mohammed II, twenty-one years old (the 1453), very tough character, warlike, he generally succumbed to lower passions, but at the same time he showed an interest in science and education, while he also possessed the gifts of a general, of the politician and the organizer.

The desire to conquer Constantinople had been fulfilled obsession for the young sultan: It is said that he stayed awake all night, engraving on the paper the plan of the city and noting the points that could be more easily offended. After deciding to give the final blow to the City, Muhammad began to work with extreme care.

First he built, to the north of the city, on its European shores Bosphorus, at its narrowest point, a strong fortress, the Roumeli Hisar (or Bogaz Kessen, in Turkish "Laimokoftis"). The cannons that were placed there were everything,what more advanced was the military technology of the time. This action caused great concern to the Byzantines, who now believed that their end was near. This fortification was cut off, in combination with the pre-existing fort on the opposite Asian coast (East-Hissar), the maritime communication of Istanbul with the ports of the Black Sea, thus depriving the city of valuable aid and supplies. Immediately after, Muhammad II sent him Turahan Bey to invade the Byzantine areas of the Peloponnese, to prevent Constantine's brothers from sending reinforcements, who ruled the Despotate of Mystras.

Constantine II Palaiologos

The area that recognized the power of the last Byzantine Emperor, was confined to Istanbul, with the areas closest to it of Thrace, as well as most of it Peloponnese (Definitely), which was far from the reigning and under the real domination of the Emperor's brothers.

Konstantinos IAI made generous efforts to save everything from the Empire,what was possible, he himself was distinguished as a character for his energy and bravery. An Italian humanist, The Francesco Philelfo, characterizes him as a man "with a pious and superior spirit". Many researchers claim that the Byzantine Emperor made every effort in this unequal struggle, transported to the city all the quantities of grain that could be collected and repaired the city walls. However, the city's guard had just reached a few thousand.

The Emperor turned to the West for help. In the end, no serious military aid arrived in the city, while inside he had to face their reactions Anthocyanins, whose main motto was "Turkish sariki better than tiara papier".

The Ottomans in front of the walls

Istanbul, Byzantium
Design section of the land walls of Istanbul

The first Ottoman excerpts appeared in 2 April, while the whole army gradually reached outside the city walls to 5 April. On the same date, the sultan arrived with the last units and immediately blocked the city from land and sea..

At 6 April The siege was officially declared by Mohammed II, after all, according to the customs of the time, his proposal to surrender the city promising to respect the lives and property of the inhabitants, rejected by the Byzantines. The cannonade started immediately, με αποτέλεσμα ένα τμήμα των τειχών κοντά στη Χαρίσια πύλη να καταστραφεί, όμως οι υπερασπιστές κατάφεραν να το επισκευάσουν γρήγορα.

THE συνεχής βομβαρδισμός της πόλης, που δεν διακόπηκε για αρκετές βδομάδες καθόλου, εξάντλησε εντελώς τον πληθυσμό, men, women children, priests, μοναχοί προσπαθούσαν να αποκαταστήσουν τις πολυάριθμες ρωγμές του τείχους. Η πολιορκία είχε ήδη διαρκέσει πενήντα μέρες. Ταυτόχρονα στο οθωμανικό στρατόπεδο επικρατούσαν φήμες, πιθανόν ψεύτικες, για την πιθανή άφιξη πολυάριθμου χριστιανικού στόλου από τη Δύση, which forced Mohammed to intensify his efforts to seize the city.

At 21 May, the sultan sent an ambassador to Constantinople. He demanded the surrender of the city to her promise to allow the Emperor and those who wished to leave with their belongings. also, would recognize Constantine as ruler of the Peloponnese. End, guaranteed the safety and property of the population that would remain in the city. The counter-proposals of Constantine was inspired by a spirit of dignity and determination. Δέχονταν να πληρώσει ακόμα υψηλότερους φόρους υποτέλειας και να παραμείνουν στα χέρια των Τούρκων όλα τα κάστρα και τα εδάφη που είχαν στο μεταξύ κατακτήσει. Για την Κωνσταντινούπολη όμως δήλωσε: Το να σου (παρα)δώσω όμως την πόλη ούτε σε εμένα επαφίεται ούτε σε άλλον από τους κατοίκους της• διότι με κοινή απόφαση οι πάντες θα αποθάνουμε αυτοπροαίρετα και δεν θα υπολογίσομε τη ζωή μας.

Η τελική επίθεση

1280px Benjamin Constant The Entry of Mahomet II into Constantinople 1876
Η είσοδος του Μωάμεθ Β΄ στην Κωνσταντινούπολη (πίνακας του Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, 19the century).

Ύστερα από την αποτυχημένη προσέγγιση, ο Μωάμεθ Β΄ κάλεσε πολεμικό συμβούλιο και κατόπιν έβγαλε λόγο προς τους στρατιώτες του, ζητώντας του θάρρος και σταθερότητα. Τόνισε ότι υπάρχουν τρεις προϋποθέσεις για έναν επιτυχή πόλεμο: or wish (για τη νίκη), or ντροπή (για την ήττα) and the υπακοή στους ηγέτες. Επίσης δήλωσε με όρκο πως ο ίδιος ήθελε μόνο τα τείχη και τα οικοδομήματα της πόλης και πως αφήνει στο στρατό του όλα τα άλλα. He stressed that there are treasures in the buildings and especially in the churches and that they will benefit from the Alexandropotism of the inhabitants., among them were many young women. Finally, he ordered fasting and prayer. The attack was scheduled for the night of May 29.

At 28 It took place in May large procession in Hagia Sophia, the last Christian service held at the city's famous church, which was attended by many officials and believers. Konstantinos IAI in a speech to his people, as Sfrantzis saves him, she urged him to bravely resist, saying that the Turks "are supported by weapons, cavalry, artillery and their numerical superiority, but we rely first on God and our Savior and then on our hands and our power which God Himself has given us. ". Constantine concluded his speech as follows: . So you knew that: If you honestly obey everything,what I ordered you, I hope that, with God's help, we will avoid His just punishment, hanging over us.

The fall

Moldovita Άλωση της Κωνσταντινούπολης
Νωπογραφία από άγνωστο καλλιτέχνη στην Εκκλησία της Μονής Moldoviţa απεικονίζει την άλωση της Κωνσταντινούπολης, 1537

Την Τρίτη το βράδυ, 29 May, between 01.00 and 02.00, εκδηλώθηκε γενική τουρκική επίθεση. Μόλις δόθηκε το σύνθημα η πόλη υπέστη συνδυασμένη επίθεση από τρεις πλευρές συγχρόνως. Οι Βυζαντινοί κατάφεραν να αποκόψουν τις υπόγειες σήραγγες απ’ όπου οι Τούρκοι προσπάθησαν να περάσουν κάτω από τα τείχη. Παρόλο που στις επιθέσεις ήταν περισσότεροι αριθμητικά, οι Βυζαντινοί τους απώθησαν αρκετές φορές προκαλώντας τους τρομερές απώλειες.

Οι δύο πρώτες επιθέσεις αποκρούστηκαν. Όμως ο Μωάμεθ Β΄ οργάνωσε πολύ προσεκτικά την τρίτη και τελευταία επίθεση. Με ιδιαίτερη επιμονή οι Τούρκοι επιτέθηκαν κατά του μέρους των τειχών το οποίο ήταν κοντά στην πύλη του Αγίου Ρωμανού (Fifth), όπου πολεμούσε και ο ίδιος ο Αυτοκράτορας. Ένας από τους κύριους υπερασπιστές της πόλης, The Γενουάτης Ιουστινιάνης, τραυματίστηκε σοβαρά και αναγκάστηκε να εγκαταλείψει τον αγώνα. Αυτή η απώλεια υπήρξε ανεπανόρθωτη για τους Βυζαντινούς.

However, ακόμα και μετά από αυτή την επιτυχία, οι Οθωμανοί αδυνατούσαν να διεισδύσουν στην Πόλη. Στα τείχη, Nevertheless, δημιουργούνταν συνεχώς ρήγματα και ο Αυτοκράτορας, πολεμώντας ως απλός στρατιώτης, έπεσε στην μάχη. Δεν υπάρχουν ακριβείς πληροφορίες για τον θάνατο του και για τον λόγο αυτό ο θάνατός του έγινε γρήγορα θέμα ενός θρύλου που έχει συσκοτίσει την ιστορική πραγματικότητα. Σύμφωνα με τη λαϊκή παράδοση, οι Τούρκοι δεν κατάφεραν να σπάσουν τη γραμμή άμυνας των τειχών, παρά μόνο όταν από εσωτερική προδοσία μπήκαν από την Κερκόπορτα και περικύκλωσαν τους αμυνόμενους.


Η πολιορκία κράτησε σχεδόν 2 months, after all, ο σημαντικά ισχυρότερος Μωάμεθ κατέλαβε την Κωνσταντινούπολη την Τρίτη 29 May 1453 (αποφράς ημέρα). Μετά τον θάνατο του Κωνσταντίνου οι Τούρκοι όρμησαν μέσα στην πόλη, αρχίζοντας μαζικές λεηλασίες. Ένα μεγάλο πλήθος πολιτών κατέφυγε στην Hagia Sophia, ελπίζοντας να βρει εκεί ασφάλεια. Αλλά οι Τούρκοι διέρρηξαν την κεντρική πύλη και όρμησαν μέσα στην εκκλησία όπου έσφαξαν το πλήθος. On the day of the fall of Constantinople, or possibly the next, the Sultan officially entered the city and went to Hagia Sophia, where he prayed. The Conqueror then settled in the imperial palaces of the Blachernae.

As Sfrantzis delivers, an order was given for three-day looting of the city. Other sources make it clear that the looting was stopped after the first day. Historian Doukas reports that the sultan reserved for himself the buildings and walls of the city, leaving the rest of the goods, prisoners and loot at the disposal of troops. The civilian population of Istanbul was killed without discrimination. Churches and monasteries with all their wealth were looted and desecrated, while private property was seized and looted. Countless cultural treasures were lost during these days. Valuable books burned, they were torn to pieces or sold at degrading prices. The historian Kritovoulos, which belonged to the Ottoman camp, reports there was no elemental pity during the looting and the city was completely deserted.

Consequences of Fall

The Orthodox Byzantine Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Ottoman Empire., whose capital was moved from Edirne to Istanbul where it was renamed by the Turks Constantinie and remained the seat of the Empire until its final collapse, the 1922. On the contrary, the Patriarchate of Constantinople shone with the appointment of a patriarch of the anthenotic Gennadiou Scholariou at Mohammed's suggestion, receiving various additional privileges from him, even an Ottoman guard.

The fall of Istanbul may have marked the beginning of Turkish rule in Greece, but most importantly: led to the peak of the renaissance of ancient Greek studies that was transmitted to Italy first as well as to the rest of Europe then. Cities like Venice, Florence, Rome etc.. They opened their arms to the refugees of Byzantine scholars who settled in them, carrying the precious burden of ancient Greece., thus contributing to the emergence of new trends, mainly of humanism that the new century brought (15the century).

Sultan Mohammed II oversees overfishing Turkish fleet. Fausto Zonaro painting, (1854-1929)

Legends and traditions

The way he sacrificed himself last Emperor, as well as that no information was saved about his last moments on the battlefield, they were the source of inspiration for a variety of legends, most notably that of the "marbled king" who is currently waiting to regain his city and empire..

A popular Christian tradition, reports that at the time the Turks broke into the gate of Hagia Sophia, the Divine Liturgy was being performed and the priest at the moment he saw the Muslims rushing to the crowd of believers, entered and disappeared inside the wall, behind the Holy Altar, which opened in front of him in a miraculous way. It was said that when Constantinople returned to the hands of the Christians, the priest will come out of the wall to continue the service. Another legend says that the emperor Constantine had six fingers in one hand and if a Greek is found who has six fingers then he will recover (Constantine) the city and its empire.

At the end of the 19th century, the American historian E. A. Grosvenor reports that in the Abu Vefa district of Istanbul, there was a low anonymous tomb which the Greeks honored as the tomb of Constantine and secretly used as a place of prayer.. But the Ottoman government intervened at the time, imposing penalties and deserting the place..

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