06.04.

1453: Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror Began the Siege of Constantinople

1453: Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror Began the Siege of Constantinople
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Modern painting of Mehmed II and the Ottoman Army approaching Constantinople with a giant bombard, by Fausto Zonaro

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 6 April 1453
  • The sultan used heavy artillery, often called the military bombardon, for the attack on Constantinople. The bombardon allegedly fired a missile with a mass of a few hundred kilograms.

On this day in 1453 the Ottoman Turks began the siege of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, who was only 21 years old at the time, led the siege.

At the time, Constantinople was one of the most fortified cities in the world, but the Byzantine Empire was reduced to a small remnant (it only comprised the surroundings of Constantinople and parts of present-day Greece).

The Byzantine emperor Constantine XI set a defensive chain at the entrance to the Golden Horn because he wanted to improve defense from the sea.

The large chain really prevented the Ottoman ships from entering the port of Constantinople. Therefore, Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror ordered his troops to move the ships from land into the waters of the Golden Horn.

The sultan used heavy artillery, often called the military bombardon, for the attack on Constantinople. The bombardon allegedly fired a missile with a mass of a few hundred kilograms.

The Ottomans captured the city after a siege that lasted fifty days. The sultan moved his capital to Constantinople (the former capital of the Ottoman Empire was Adrianople).

He turned the famous Hagia Sophia Church in Constantinople into a Muslim mosque.

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