29 May 1453: The Bloody Fall Of Constantinople

Constantinople

It was a Tuesday like none other. All you could see was destruction, the two armies shooting at each other, huge cannons were being used to blow up enemy soldiers and walls. The water in the gutters had turned insidiously red. Dead bodies upon dead bodies of Ottomans and Byzantines were floating in the sea.

This was day 53 of a bloody siege laid on this beautiful, one of the riches cities in Europe, by 80,000-200,000 Ottoman men. On 29th May 1453 the siege laid over Constantinople by the 21 year old Sultan, Mehmed II came to an end giving power over Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire.

Roman emperor, Constantine the Great had made Constantinople the imperial capital in 330. The history of Constantinople is very interesting spanning over 11 centuries before being handed over to the Ottomans on this fateful day of 29th May.

During those 1100 odd years, it was captured only once during what they call as Fourth Crusade in 1204, only to be recaptured from the Latins in 1261. The 29th Day of May of 1453 came as the final blow which took away Constantinople for good.

Constantinople(modern day Istanbul), post the siege was made the new capital of the Ottoman Empire signifying the importance that the siege had. Capturing this city was in no way a small feat. Only once had it been previously captured in the 1100 year history to be taken back just 57 years later.

Constantinople even had withstood the black plague that lasted from 1346 to 1349 although it had sadly lost more than half of it’s population to this plague. Even though the empire was left to just a few kilometres around Constantinople by 1450, the city itself enjoyed a great name and fame being the largest and the wealthiest pf cities of Europe.

This siege might have lasted for 53 days, but Mehmed II had been planning this hostile takeover all along since 1451, when he had succeeded his father at the age of 19. He had strategically cut of the supplies and made an elaborate plan to take over the city as a crown jewel for himself.

Once the initial assault was successful, the Ottoman army spread throughout the city with only a few citizens managing to escape their bloody fate.

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