Sunday, June 29, 2008

Destruction of the Walls of Constantinople

This photo is probably one of the best views of the Byzantine walls of old Constantinople in the Edirnekapi district in Istanbul, Turkey. This wall was built in the fourth century AD during the rise of the Constantinople as the "New Rome" in the Eastern Roman Empire. Though it is extravagant, much of the wall in this area has been either vandalized or neglected when it comes to preservation and care.

This view of the wall shows one of the reinforcing towers crumbling. It is hard to tell at sight just how long it has been deteriorating like this, but it is certain that this section of the wall has suffered a lot of damage. Just below this section of the wall in the photo there is spray paint and other forms of grafitti and disrespect. It was very disturbing to see the state which this section of the wall was in, particularly since it is so close to the Kariye Church, one of the most beautiful and well-preserved Byzantine churches in the world. Other sections of the wall that we had passed on the way were in much better condition and were very impressive.

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