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Anatolian Fortress or Anadolu Hisari Istanbul

Anatolian Fortress or Anadolu Hisari Istanbul
This is the point of the Bosphorus that is the narrowest and is why Sultan Beyazıd I chose the location to build his castle. It also became the site of where wealthy people built their yalıs or mansion houses including the superb Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa Mansion which is the oldest of the waterside mansions to have survived. This area of Istanbul was also famous for the “Sweet Waters of Asia”.

The suburb of Anadolu Hisarı grew around the “Anatolian Castle” whose construction was started by Sultan Mehmed II and the remains of which are overlooked by the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the second of the Bosphorus crossings. This is still a very pretty area with several significant yalıs grouped around the castle. Although the banks of the Goksu River are now rather built up they were once the city’s foremost pleasure gardens and reminiscent, even today, of the Thames at Maidenhead in England.

The Anatolian Castle

The Ottoman sultans’ had longed to capture Istanbul way before Sultan Mehmed II took the city in 1453, and Sultan Yıldırım (the Thunderbolt) Beyazid recognised that the site of an ancient temple to Jupiter on the narrowest point of the Bosphorus was the best place for the castle. He launched his first attack on Constantinople from here which ended in failure when Tamerlane came rampaging across the country and took the sultan away in chains. It was Sultan Mehmed II who expanded his great-grandfather’s fortification and at the same time built his own on the opposite shore at Rumeli Hisari ( Rumeli Fortress ); the Anadolu Hisari became known as Güzelce Hisarı (Rather Pretty Castle) to differentiate it from its more imposing rival.

The new Anatolian Castle had a keep with surrounding walls that enclosed an area of 7,000 square meters (23,000 square feet) and had an outer barbican with three towers. In the 20th century a road was driven through the walls that unfortunately left them somewhat less impressive.


There is a bridge over the Goksu River that leads to a winding narrow road that takes you down to the river to a garden in front of the fortress that has a rare namazgah (an out-door prayer arena) complete with its early 18th century stone mihrab and mimber.


The Anatolian Fortress is located in Beykoz .

Getting to Anatolian Fortress

There is a limited ferry service that links Anadolu Hisarı with Cengelkoy , Istinye and places in between (, or use Bus No. 15 from the front of the Uskudar ferry terminal.

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