Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Boukoleon Palace

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Boukoleon Palace
Address  Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Kennedy Cd. No:40, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Similar  Great Palace of Constantinople, Bodrum Mosque, Valens Aqueduct, Palace of Blachernae, Palace of the Porphyrogenitus

The Palace of Boukoleon (Greek: Βουκολέων) or Bucoleon was one of the Byzantine palaces in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul in Turkey.) It was probably built by Theodosius II in the 5th century. The palace is located on the shore of the Sea of Marmara, to the south of the Hippodrome and east of the Little Hagia Sophia.

Hormisdas is an earlier name of the place. The name Bucoleon was probably attributed after the end of the 6th century under Justinian I, when the small harbour in front of the palace, which is now filled, was constructed. According to tradition, a statue featuring a bull and a lion stood there, giving the port its name (βοῦς and λέων are Greek for "bull" and "lion" respectively). The palace is accordingly also called the "House of Hormisdas" and "House of Justinian".

Emperor Theophilos, among his other works, rebuilt and expanded the palace, adding a large façade on top of the seaward walls. The ruins suggest a balcony looking out to the sea was present, accessible through three marble-framed doorways, still visible today.

In the 1204 sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, Bucoleon was taken by Boniface of Montferrat who:

"rode all along the shore to the palace of Bucoleon, and when he arrived there it surrendered, on condition that the lives of all therein should be spared. At Bucoleon were found the larger number of the great ladies who had fled to the castle, for there were found the sister of the King of France, who had been empress, and the sister of the King of Hungary, who had also been empress, and other ladies very many. Of the treasure that was found in that palace I cannot well speak, for there was so much that it was beyond end or counting." (Villehardouin)

Among the prizes, then, was Empress Margaret, daughter of Bela III of Hungary, whom Boniface married. During the subsequent Latin Empire (1204–1261), the Bucoleon continued to be used as an imperial residence. After the recapture of the city by Michael VIII Palaiologos, however, the palace, along with the entire Great Palace complex, was gradually abandoned in favour of the Blachernae Palace.

When Mehmet II, the Ottoman emperor, entered the city in 1453, it was noted that the then-famous palace still stood, albeit in ruins. The ruins of the palace were partially destroyed in 1873 to make way for the railway line to Sirkeci.

Boukoleon palace


References

Boukoleon Palace Wikipedia


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