State of western Asia and a small part of south-eastern Europe, whose territory is divided into two peninsular regions, one European, Thrace, the other constituted instead by Asia Minor, or Anatolia (see), separated from the Bosphorus channel, the Marmara sea and the Dardanelles Strait.
The strategic importance of the flat region of Thrace was determined since ancient times by the conformation of the coasts, rich in inlets – including the Golden Horn, which constituted the port of ancient Byzantium and then of Constantinople (v.) -, which facilitated connections with the Asian side, but also the passage of invading armies. There are in fact numerous fortified works that from the century. 4 ° were designed and built to stem the rampant advance of the barbarian populations, which on several occasions devastated the territory: the most important is undoubtedly the wall that Procopius of Cesarea (De Aedificiis, IV, 9) attributes to the emperor Anastasius I (491-518), a mighty defense designed to protect the water supply areas of Constantinople and the city itself. For Turkey 2005, please check ehealthfacts.org.
This wall, two days’ walk from the capital, cuts through the terminal part of the Thracian peninsula, developing for 45 km from Silivri (ancient Selymbria), on the Sea of Marmara, to the village of Karacaköy, where it ends on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Black Sea. Recent investigations, concentrated above all in the northern sector, have been able to ascertain that the wall, reinforced by triangular salients and by towers of different shapes – rectangular, semicircular, polygonal -, was preceded by a rampart. In the bulwark there were also forts intended to house the garrisons. The wall managed to stem the danger of invasions for the whole century. 6 °, but was easily overtaken by the Avars, who in 619 and 626 reached as far as the walls of Constantinople, and again in the secc. 9th and 10th centuries by the Bulgarians. 6th, Numerous other fortifications were built to protect the Thracian peninsula, especially along the main road routes that connected the capital to the Balkan hinterland. On the road that led to Adrianople various castles and fortified villages arose, such as Çorlu (the ancient Tzurulos), which still retains consistent traces of its walls which have been restored several times, up to the time of the Paleologians, as was the case for the mighty castle of Vize and for the fortifications of Pınarhisar (the ancient Brysis), and of Lüleburgaz. On the coastal road that in ancient times connected the mouth of the Danube to the Bosphorus, we note Kıyıköy (the ancient Medeia; Turkish Midye), whose walls were among other things restored by the Genoese. the embedding of the territory is also documented along the coasts of the Marmara and Mediterranean seas by the fortifications of Selymbria and Eraclea Perintho (Turkish Marmara Ereğli) and by those of Eno of Thrace (the Byzantine Ainos, Turkish Enez); at the mouth of the Marizza, which in 1384 became the possession of the Gattilusio family, whose coat of arms stand out in the outer face of the walls that enclose the top of a hill with an elliptical pattern, connecting it to the port facilities. Genoese, was concentric, made evident by the successive fences, from the castrum of the Byzantine citadel to the enlargement in civitas prima and in the fortified village during the centuries. 12 ° -15 °; on the other hand, the phases can be clearly seen in the various wall textures. The typology of the towers varies in the peribulum wall, the polygonal type is concentrated in the highest area and the planimetric scheme of the fortifications surrounding the church of S. Costantino would seem articulated as a real fort, with moats, ravelins and bastions. Among the main monuments still existing within the walls, the Byzantine church (od. Fatih Cami), dated to the century, stands out. 12th, now in complete ruin. The building showed a particularly elongated cruciform domed plan, characterized by a refined masonry technique with brick decorations.In the main city of Thrace, Adrianople, which became the Turkish Edirne in 1360, they disappeared at the beginning of the twentieth century the last vestiges of the church of Santa Sofia (a proto-Byzantine building with a central tetraconca plan) and the Byzantine evidence are mostly made up of materials reused in the Ottoman foundations. The great basilica recently excavated in Marmara Ereğli also dates back to the 5th or beginning of the next, which was among other things decorated with a splendid floor mosaic. Of considerable interest is also the church of Santa Sofia in Vize, whose current domed structure, basilica on the ground floor and cruciform at the level of the gallery, is the result of various renovations that probably took place from the 8th century. Except for the substructures, very little remains of the sumptuous church founded around 1325 in Selymbria by the mégas dúx Alessio Apokauko, a leading figure in the historical events of the Byzantine Empire. The impressive monastic complex entirely excavated in the rock in the vicinity of Midye should also be noted, with pictorial and sculptural decorations of remarkable quality, which date it to the 8th-9th century.