Istanbul Travel Info
One of the major sights during a Bosphorus cruise is Rumeli Fortress located in Rumelihisari. It is built at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus strait, where its width is 600 meters. The neighbourhood also takes its name from the fortress.
Before the conquest of Istanbul, the fortress was constructed by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1452 in order to cut supply lines from the Black Sea decided to built a castle. He had constructed Rumeli Fortress just opposite of Anatolian Fortress (Anadolu Hisari) which Sultan Beyazit I had built in 1391. Interestingly, construction of the fortress with about 30.000m2 area was finished in just 4 months and Sultan Mehmet had been successful thanks to these two fortresses.
Since 1960 Rumeli Fortress serve as a museum and an open-air theater for 'Rumeli Hisari Concerts'. The most famous singers of Turkey take part in these concerts during summer. In the castle, there is an exhibition of materials used in the conquest of Istanbul such as cannon balls and chains.
You can visit the castle everyday between hours of 9.30 am and 4.30 pm except wednesday. Admission is 3tl(~1 euro).In addition, there are beautiful cafes and tea gardens in there. You can have breakfast with the magnificent view of Bosphorus waters while many commercial ships, fishing boats and passenger ferries cruise by.
For transportation, you can take the bus No 559C from Taksim and get off at the last station and walk for 10 minutes down the hill, or take No 25E, 40, 40B or 42 from Besiktas, they stop in front of the cafes next to the fortress. The ferry service near Rumelihisari area is too sporadic, once in the morning and once in the rush hour, land transportation is very frequent.