Golden Horn

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For the book The Golden Horn by Judith Tarr, see The Hound and the Falcon.
Image:Panoramic view of the Golden Horn.jpg
Panoramic view of the Golden Horn as seen from Galata Tower

The Golden Horn (in Turkish Haliç, in Greek Khrysokeras or Chrysoceras or Χρυσοκερας) is an estuary dividing the city of Istanbul. The name in English is a direct translation of its Greek name. In Greek legend, Byzas the Megarian named it after his mother Keroessa.

With the Sea of Marmara, the Golden Horn forms a peninsula with a deep natural harbor. This site was originally settled by ancient Greek colonists as the city of Byzantium. The Byzantine Empire had its naval headquarters there, and walls were built along the shoreline to protect the city (by then renamed Constantinople) from naval attacks. At the entrance to the Horn, there was a large boom pulled across from Constantinople to the old Tower of Galata (also known as the "Tower of Christ" in older texts) on the northern side, preventing unwanted ships from entering.

There were three notable times when the chain across the Horn was either broken or circumvented. In the 10th century the Vikings (Varangians) dragged their longships out of the Bosporus, around Galata, and relaunched them in the Horn; the Byzantines defeated them with Greek fire. In 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, Venetian ships were able to break the chain with a ram. In 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, having failed in his attempt to copy the Venetians and break the chain with brute force (indeed, heavily damaging his own ships in the process), instead copied the tactics of the Rus', towing his ships across Galata into the estuary over greased logs.

After the Fall of Constantinople to Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Greek citizens, the Greek Orthodox Church, Jews, Italian merchants, and other non-Muslims began to live along the Horn in the Phanar (Fener) and Balat districts. Today the Golden Horn is settled on both sides, and there are parks along each shore. The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce is also located along the shore, as is a Muslim cemetery. The Galata Bridge, built in 1836, connects the districts of Galata and Eminönü. Two other bridges, the Atatürk Bridge and the Haliç Bridge, are located further up the Horn. Until the 1980s the Horn was a dumping ground for industrial waste, but has since been cleaned up and is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul because of its history and beauty.

[edit] Leonardo's bridge

In 1502 Leonardo da Vinci produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (240 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Sultan Bayezid II. The bridge was intended to span the Golden Horn. It was never built, but Leonardo's vision was resurrected in 2001 when a smaller bridge based on his design was constructed in Norway.

On 17 May 2006 it was announced that the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had resurrected the Leonardo da Vinci Designed Bridge Project. (The order for the resurrection of the project had been given in 1999). After 500 years Leonardo da Vinci's bridge will span the Golden Horn. The Turkish architect in charge of the construction is Bülent Güngör. Güngör is also credited with the restoration of Çırağan Palace, Yildiz Palace, and Sümela Monastery. The Bridge will be an exact copy of da Vinci's design with a single span of 720-foot (240 m), a width of 8 metres, and a height above the Golden Horn of 24 metres, as envisioned in the original plan of da Vinci.

[edit] Trivia

The Golden Horn hosted the 4th round of the spectacular Red Bull Air Race World Series for the first time on July 29, rog ca:Corn d'Or de:Goldenes Horn (Türkei) es:Cuerno de Oro fr:Corne d'Or hr:Zlatni rog id:Tanduk Emas hu:Aranyszarv-öböl nl:Gouden Hoorn ja:金角湾 no:Det gylne horn pl:Złoty Róg ro:Cornul de Aur ru:Золотой Рог (бухта в проливе Босфор) sv:Gyllene hornet tr:Haliç

Golden Horn

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