1st day of April… It was windy 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 nautical miles (3.7 km).

In the Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece, the two islets these lighthouses were built were called the Symplegades. They clashed together randomly, destroying any ship that 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 warships entering the Istanbul Strait from the Black Sea during the Crimean War (1853–1856). The lighthouse went into service on May 15, 1856, together with its counterpart. It was run by the French until 1933 when the 100-year concession was canceled and the Turkish authorities took over. Today, it is maintained by the Coastal Safety Authority of the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

Rumeli Lighthouse, Istanbul
Rumeli Lighthouse, Istanbul

The lighthouse is situated on a hillside 58 m (190 ft) high above 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 a 500 mm (1.6 ft) focal length allows the white light that group flashes every 12 seconds, a range of 18 nautical miles (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 visits 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 the remains of what was once a large castle that was used to protect İstanbul.

Rumeli Lighthouse Castle, Istanbul
Rumeli Lighthouse Castle, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Rumeli Lighthouse Village, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Rumeli Lighthouse Village, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Rumeli Lighthouse Village, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Rumeli Lighthouse Village, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Rumeli Lighthouse Village, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Rumeli Lighthouse Village, Istanbul.
The Black Sea, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Istanbul
The Black Sea, Istanbul
A bike ride on a sunny but windy day: LOOK 565
A bike ride on a sunny but windy day: My LOOK 565 bike
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Published by Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, a former road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the city of Istanbul on this website.