Fall of Constantinople
The fall of Constantinople (Greek: Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, romanized: Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs; Turkish: İstanbul'un Fethi, lit. 'Conquest of Istanbul') was the capture of the Byzantine Empire's capital by the Ottoman Empire. The city fell on 29 May 1453, the culmination of a 53-day siege which had begun on 6 April 1453.
|Fall of Constantinople|
|Part of the Byzantine–Ottoman Wars and Ottoman wars in Europe|
The last siege of Constantinople (1453), French miniature by Jean Le Tavernier after 1455.
|Commanders and leaders|
Naval forces: 26 ships
|Casualties and losses|
|Unknown but likely heavy||
The attacking Ottoman Army, which significantly outnumbered Constantinople's defenders, was commanded by the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II (later called "Mehmed the Conqueror"), while the Byzantine army was led by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos. After conquering the city, Mehmed II made Constantinople the new Ottoman capital, replacing Adrianople.
The fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, and effectively the end of the Roman Empire, a state which dated back to 27 BC and lasted nearly 1,500 years. The capture of Constantinople, a city which marked the divide between Europe and Asia Minor, also allowed the Ottomans to more effectively invade mainland Europe, eventually leading to Ottoman control of much of the Balkan peninsula.
The conquest of Constantinople and the fall of the Byzantine Empire was a key event of the Late Middle Ages and is considered the end of the medieval period. The city's fall also stood as a turning point in military history. Since ancient times, cities and castles had depended upon ramparts and walls to repel invaders. Constantinople's defenses in particular, especially the Theodosian Walls, were some of the most advanced defensive systems in Europe and the world. However, these substantial fortifications were overcome with the use of gunpowder, specifically in the form of large cannons and bombards, heralding a coming change in siege warfare.