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Thursday, May 29, 2014

29 May 1453: "The City has fallen" - The "City of Hellenism and Christianity" fell into Muslim hands


29 May 1453: "The City has fallen"
 
As today, 561 years ago, the Constantinople fell to the Ottomans - The time of the Fall
561 years have passed from that fated day of 29 May 1453. During that day, Constantinople, the "City of Saints", the "City of Hellenism and Christianity" fell into Ottoman hands.


Thas day has caused mourning and wailing in Hellenism. In the minds of all the Greeks, the Fall occupied a central position as the largest national loss.

The phrase "no matter how long will take, some day she will be ours again" resounds in the hearts of us all.
Perhaps, when Mehmed II began to besiege the city, Constantinople was just a shadow of herself, but one must remember the glorious moments that lived during the times of Constantine XI and generally Paleologian period when the State was more Greek than ever.

The time of the Fall
On 28 May 1453, a large procession took place in Constantinople under the Emperor. All the people and the clergy, with tears in their eyes, wandered the crumbling walls and finally Constantine addressed a last speech at the last Greek and Philhellenic defenders, boosting their morale, making them cry, among the candles and incense; on the last night of our City...

"Lord, save your people..." said with fervor and faith, thousands of Greeks...
Constantinople wept seeing the end coming.
"Forgive me, Lord", whispered in fear and awe Constantine Palaeologus. "Forgive me ... and give me valorous end."
With all the officers, the officials and all the people, Konstantinos had his last Holy Communion, asking for forgiveness.

"It was like that the day didn't want to come the dawn"
It was not dawn yet, when the Ottomans screaming like Possessed, attacked on the few defenders, who were scattered all along the walls.
Along with the Turks came the Janissaries, The Greek - kidnapped kids who were raised like beasts by the Turks...
But the few brave Greeks and Philhellenic, with the Ioustinianis and Palaeologus in the frontline, defended with such heroism, which has no equal in the history of men...

The besieged celebrated! They had successfully repel the first attack
"Keep tight, my brothers! They subside," cried the king, full of joy. The golden yellow flags with the double headed eagle at the Castle began fluttering again! Unfortunately not for long...
The enemies were unstoppable. Now Mehmet sent restful soldiers, the Special Forces, the elite army escorted ten thousand Janissaries, hitting the weakest point of the walls. The Gate of St Romanus, near the valley of the Lycus River!

"She has fallen! The City has fallen"
The end came ... The City had just fallen into the hands of the Ottomans.
Constantine turned his head. He was all alone anymore! Almost everyone around him had fallen as heroes! As Greeks!
"Is there not a Christian here to take my head?" Cried with all his strength as his sword killed another Turk, fearing not to fall alive into the hands of the Turks!

Hundreds of years after, Greeks are still alive. But our city and Hagia Sophia is in foreign hands.
The response of Constantine Palaeologus to Mehmed II shortly before the fall of Constantinople
Mehmed II, having prepared everything as best he thought, he sent a message saying to the king: "Know that the war preparations are complete. It is the time to put into practice what we long want. We leave the outcome to God.

What do you say? Do you want to leave the city and go where ever you want, along with your nobles and their possessions, leaving the populace unharmed from me and you? Or do you want to resist and lose your life and your possessions and your people when would be captured by the Turks to spread throughout the land?"And the king along with the senate responded:  

"If you want to live in peace with us, like your ancestors did, you have the blessing of God; because they thought my parents as their fathers and honored them accordingly, and they considered this city as their homeland. In times of need, all of them, were coming inside the city to be saved and none of the city's opponent did not live many years. Keep the castles and the land that you grabbed from us unfairly, appointed the annual taxes depending on our strength and leave peacefully. Did you think that although dream yourself as winner, you may lose? To deliver you the City is not my right nor of any other of its residents. Because everyone, as one soul, we rather die with our will and we not feel sorry for our lives."

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