Lead: When Sultan Mehmet II attacked the city of Constantinople in 1453 he was facing formidable odds. For over 1000 years that City behind those walls advisedly defended itself from all comers.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The defenses of Constantinople were legendary. Assaults on the city were frequent. Any temporary successes an enemy might have were quickly reversed and tended to strengthen the post-invasion metropolis. The main walls had three layers of defense. The inner wall, some 30 feet above the exterior approaches, was the strongest, the outer wall was the weakest. Each layer of defense was separated by a walkway which could be used to transport men and matériel but also to trap enemy soldiers and slow down any assault. The building materials were squared stone, brick and lime mortar supplemented by marble and other tough natural stones quarried nearby. The walls were punctuated with almost 100 defense towers guarding the approaches and public access roads. In the final assault in 1453 the fiercest fighting was on the outer walls and along the internal defenses of the so-called Golden Horn, a narrow waterway that protected the City's northern side.