Istanbul guide. Places to see in Istanbul. Istanbul city walls.
Istanbul today refers to the whole city but actually Istanbul, Constantinople was the city inside the Istanbul city walls built during the Byzantine period. Today the walls surrounding the old city has two parts: Sea walls along the Marmara shores (total length is 8,5 km.) and Land walls between Yedikule and the Golden Horn.
In addition to the walls around the historical peninsula there were also walls around Galata (Karakoy and Beyoglu today) and Kadikoy on the Asian side. Galata walls disappeared probably because it was (and is) an important port and become urbanized many times. Stones from Kadikoy (or Chalcedon) walls were carried to the European side to built new buildings in the city during the Roman and Ottoman period.
Istanbul walls were constructed by Constantine the Great, the founder of the city, in the 4th century and Theodosius in the 5th century and frequently restored in the Byzantine period because it was vital for Byzantians to protect the city in the age of city states.
Unlike Byzantine, the walls in the Ottoman period lost its importance, due to the age and impossibilty of a danger from the sea and land. Therefore, only the walls underneath the Topkapi Palace were restored.
Enjoy your Istanbul trip!