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Photos The walls of Constantinople

Discussion in 'Urban Exploration' started by OutsideYourWorld, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. OutsideYourWorld

    OutsideYourWorld Celebrated Poster

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    A city of around 20 million people, Istanbul is fucking massive. It's too much. Rolling hills of concrete and ugly towers are its suburbs, and a congested, sweaty mess is the center... And the "Grand bazaar" is overpriced with 90% of the same, Chinese crap. So, after I arrived in the city with my ride, the perverted Christian monk who wanted me, I wandered the hell away from the center.

    My biggest quest was to find the famous walls of the city, that have held through the biggest empires of this side of the world. Long before the Romans, kept those pesky Mongolians away, and when the city did eventually fall, it wasn't due to a weakness in the walls. They are world famous for a reason.

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    I followed them from coastline to coastline, trying to imagine them in the prime, as I do with old things. Most areas of the walls are crumbling away into nothingness, massive pieces have been removed for major roads, and much of it just simply left unattended. Where tourists kinda-sorta stroll by, there are renovations going on, but for the most part these hugely important and complex fortifications are just there. Something to walk around.

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    They began as humble, single walls, but grew to be comprised of three defensive lines making up the system. Each one taller than the last, with the largest at 12 meters high. Huge guard towers sat around 50 meters apart. Moats and other extra defenses popped in and out over the centuries (More than a thousand years, goddamn), but the essential plans stayed the same. It's easy, standing at the top of one of these towers, to see how you could just rip apart an army trying to storm the walls... Makes you feel sorry for the poor bastards who were ordered to try.

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    I didn't see one other tourist along the whole length. I had them all to myself! I loved how there were gardens between each space in the walls, or little pens for animals. Imagining how corpses likely piled up in the same spot a lady was tending to her crops in, hundreds of years ago. Now it's all just part of the landscape.

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    The history of those walls is much too complex to really begin to describe, but very interesting. If anyone is passing through Istanbul, and wants to escape the tourist trap that is most of the city, I highly recommend walking those walls and mellowing with the history there. I was even offered a hooker! That Turkish hospitality ;)

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  2. Matt Derrick

    Matt Derrick StP Founder, Admin, and travel addict
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    sweet, i love it, thanks for posting!
     
  3. sd40chef

    sd40chef Appreciated Participator

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    Cool photos man. Next time I'm there, I will check these walls out for sure! Big history in that city. and yeah, is really massive for sure. Definite nostalgia to when you said rolling hills of concrete, it truly feels like a sprawling metropolitan of never ending very similar suburbs, each with their shops and mosque/masjid. The centre can get pretty crowded as well. What I like about Istanbul is its geographical location with Bosphorus strait connecting the Sea of Marmara to the Black sea, as well as the Europe/Asia sort of "border", seperated by the strait. The feeling I feel from that is unique. I also liked the abudance of street cats in the city and how people take good care of them, never saw a city like that. I wasn't much attracted to the Sultanahmet tourist area, but moreso around Karakoy/Galata tower, the graffiti was really awesome in that area, and the architecture too. Didn't get to see much of Turkey, like yourself, but what I saw of it was mostly Istanbul, then hitching to Edirne and into Bulgaria. Gives a totally different perspective of the country I suppose...
     
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    #3 sd40chef, Apr 23, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  4. sd40chef

    sd40chef Appreciated Participator

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    .
     
    #4 sd40chef, Apr 23, 2017
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  5. OP
    OutsideYourWorld

    OutsideYourWorld Celebrated Poster

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    I loved all the cats. In Cannakale to the South (also probably my favorite town in Turkey) there is a park with what must be near a 100 cats. People just dump them there and it's grown into a cat sanctuary of sorts. You can lay on the ground and they just swarm over top of you. It's awesome.
     
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  6. sd40chef

    sd40chef Appreciated Participator

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    Woah, amazing. Definitely will check that out if I get the opportunity.
    Dont know what happened to that post, my bad. edited it and double posted.
     
  7. AlmostAlwaysLost

    AlmostAlwaysLost Failed Adventurer
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    Incredible for once I am speechless
     
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  8. Tude

    Tude Sometimes traveler is traveling.
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    Aweseome - thanks for sharing!!
     
  9. JeikBueno

    JeikBueno is getting to know the place

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    Wow excellent flicks dude :) I've read about the Byzantine Empire ever since I got my first library card as a kid, cool to finally see that the walls that withstood 1000 years of sieges, barabarians & ottoman bombards. Well, not so much the Bombards.