Built in the fifth century during the rule of Theodosius II, the city walls are the largest surviving Byzantine structure in Istanbul. The walls stretch out in a great arc, covering six-and-a-half kilometres from the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn. The walls have inner and outer ramparts with a terrace in between. The gates are particularly spectacular.
The walls have been breached just twice in the 1600 years since they were built. The first time was in 1204, by the Fourth Crusade; the second was by the cannons of Sultan Mehmet II in 1453 during the Siege of Istanbul.
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