The narrowest part of the Bosphorus, about 780 meters wide, is at one end of the region, Rumelia, opposite Anadolu Hisarı. Anadolu Hisarı, built by Yıldırım Bayezid in 1390 to ward off a threat from the Black Sea, ensured that Göksu Creek could also be brought under control. The region it is in is so beautiful that he called the Hisar “Guzelce Hisar”. Even today, no matter what is happening around her, her beauty has not diminished.
However, Hisar, which has been in ruins and forgotten for many years; it has been seen from the outside, its history has not been touched or visited. IMM Heritage, affiliated with the Cultural Heritage of Istanbul Municipality (IMM), has been elevating the city’s historical spirit step by step, not forgetting the 632-year-old fortress. He started the restoration of Anadolu Hisarı, which has not been entered since 1990. Visits to the open site will also continue as work continues.
Güzelce Hisar will soon be Istanbul’s new museum, event and exhibition venue. Pleasant memories will radiate from the building that has witnessed much war and pain, but also so much beauty, to the Bosphorus.
FORTRESS OF THE GREAT CONQUEST ATTACKS
Anatolian Fortress, built by Yıldırım Bayezid for defense and observation purposes, became ‘Hisarpeçe’ in 1452 by being bent with bastions around the corners by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. It has become an important offensive stronghold. It has become a landmark on the way to conquering Istanbul with its location and function. Known in historical sources as “Guzelcehisar”, “Gözlücehisar”; During the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror, Anadolu Hisarı, also known as “Yenicehisar”, perhaps fulfilled its main task with the Great Conquest in 1453.
FROM PRISON TO RUINS
The important witness to the conquest, Hisar, was also used as a prison for a time. Although it kept its solidity until 1830, it has also been affected by the change in its environment over time. With the conversion of the area into living space, it will be crossed by the street. Although later repaired, its original texture was destroyed and it became the fateful partner of Istanbul. Worn out, forgotten. Even in its ruined state, one failed to contemplate the beauty it had retained…
ISTANBUL HİSARLAR MUSEUM
Rumeli and Anadolu Hisarları are indispensable parts of the city’s silhouette, which is a partnership with the city’s destiny, which became concrete with modernization. Today it is being restored by IMM Heritage teams and visited during the work and every step is shared with the citizens. The monuments that once heralded conquest are preparing to soon share their historical value, beauties and Bosphorus views unseen in years with visitors under the name Istanbul Hisarlar Museum.
The restoration of the historical building that will be transformed into Istanbul’s new cultural district continues with dignity. The IMM Heritage team shares the entire process with enthusiasts and is currently continuing nearly 35 active restorations. Oktay Özel, head of the cultural heritage department, shared Anadolu Hisarı’s works with the local press, saying that “the works remind the public of an important phenomenon that has been forgotten”.
The focus of the IMM Heritage is on merit and public work without competition. Özel’s aim is to carry out regular maintenance measures after the restoration of historical buildings that have been unused for years with public funds. Özel explained that preventive protection is crucial in historic buildings and that IMM Heritage was born from this concept.
İBB Heritage also attaches great importance to the preservation of the ruins’ aesthetics in all of its work. “Our goal is not to make the common mistake that is discouraging in restoration work,” says Oktay Özel, explaining that they show sensitivity on the matter. The discomfort of poor restoration with new stones and covering the historic texture with an artificial skin is well known.
Özel said that if it is deemed necessary, they even intervene in applications outside their own area of work via the Directorate for Protection, Implementation and Inspection (KUDEB) of the IMM.
WILL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC IN JUNE
Saying, “We have carried out the most comprehensive restoration works in the history of Rumeli Fortress since 1950 and Anadolu Hisarı since 1930,” Özel shared that they are happy to present two important works that bear witness to the conquest of Istanbul to future generations to pass on.
Knowing that it is their duty to carry these two beautiful Bosphorus Guardians into the future and to those who visit Istanbul in good health, Özel gave the news that Anadolu Hisarı, which has been closed since 1990, will open to the public in June.
A NEW CULTURAL SPACE IN ISTANBUL
Located on the two closest coasts of the world’s two continents, Hisarlar will be Istanbul’s new museum, culture and exhibition space after the meticulous works are completed. Music and art mingle with the unique view of the Bosphorus.
- The study area is open to visitors to Istanbul with its open-ended restoration approach. Anadolu Hisarı was seen by about 2,000 people with tours starting in September 2021.
- The restoration project, approved but not implemented by the Conservation Board in the early 2000s, was initiated by IMM administration in 2021.
- As part of the work, the Namazgâh in the IMM building, which is located right next to Anadolu Hisarı, will also be renovated.