Cool Reconstructive Images Of Constantinople From the 4th to the 13th Century
Constantinople was among the most powerful and the most influential cities the world had ever seen. As the inheritors of the glorious Roman Empire, the Byzantines had among the longest-lived Empires in the world and the longest one in Europe. If we were to consider the Byzantine Empire, or better yet, the Eastern Roman Empire, as the continuation of the Roman one, then yes, it was the longest ever empire that has ever existed on Earth.
The history of Constantinople started with Emperor Constantine the Great who moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome in 330 AD to the newly founded city of New Rome, later to be named Constantinople, after its founder. It’s located right on top of the strait of Bosphorus that separates the Black Sea from the Mediterranean, as well as the continent of Europe from Asia. Three of its sides had natural defences – mainly water, while its western side was to be defended by the largest and most imposing walls in the whole world.
Some of the most grandiose monuments were built here throughout the ages, the most imposing of which being the Hagia Sophia Cathedral, The University of Constantinople, The Emperor’s Palace, and the Hippodrome – capable of entertaining some more than 100,000 spectators at once. But after the city was finally conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, when they first used the mighty bombard to take down its walls, Constantinople slowly turned into present-day Istanbul. And as a result, many of its old Roman-style buildings had been transformed.
But, in order to get a glimpse and form an image of how the mighty city once looked like, artist Antoine Helbert designed and painted a whole series of illustrations in order to bring the city’s former glory back. His works are comprised of various plans, elevations and sections of the major buildings and monuments that once existed there.