1st day of April… It was winddy, but sunny and warm. I jumped on my bike and ride it to the North, to the Black Sea.
Rumeli Lighthouse (Turkish: Rumeli Feneri, aka Türkeli Feneri), a historical lighthouse still in use, is located on the European side of Bosphorus’ Black Sea entrance in Istanbul, Turkey. Rumeli (or Rumelia) is the former name for the Turkish lands in Europe. It is across from the Anadolu Feneri lighthouse, which is on the Asian side of the strait at a distance of 2 nmi (3.7 km). In Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece, the two islets these lighthouses were built were called the Symplegades. They clashed together randomly, destroynig any ship who passed between them. A line connecting the two lighthouses marks the northern boundary of the Port of Istanbul. The place where the lighthouse is erected is named Rumelifeneri, which today is a fishermen’s village in Sarıyer district.
The lighthouse was built by the French in order to provide safe navigation for the French and British war ships entering the Istanbul Strait from Black Sea during the Crimean War (1853–1856). The lighthouse went in service on May 15, 1856 together with its counterpart. It was run by the French until 1933 when the 100-year concession was cancelled and the Turkish authorities took over. Today, it is maintained by the Coastal Safety Authority of the Ministry of Transport and Communication.
The lighthouse is situated on a hillside 58 m (190 ft) high above the sea level and the entirely white painted tower has a height of 30 m (98 ft). It is the tallest lighthouse in Turkey. The tower has the form of a two-staged octagonal prism. Initially, it was lit by kerosene that was later replaced by Dalén light using carbide (acetylene gas). Today, the light source is electricity, however, a butane gas lighting system is also installed for backup purposes. The Fresnel lens with 500 mm (1.6 ft) focal length allows the white light that group flashes every 12 seconds, a range of 18 nmi (33 km).
The lighthouse is listed in Turkey under the code “TUR-053” and its radio call sign is TC1RLH.
Rumeli Feneri is open to public visit as a historical site.
Genoese-built Rumeli Feneri castle, approached by a dirt road. The place where it stands is quite large, but much of what can be seen is simply remains of what was once a large castle that was used to protect İstanbul.