Fall of Constantinople: History in 3D – Paronama 1453 –


Strapping riders brandish threatening their words…

Fatih the Conqueror surrounded by his men dressed in army uniforms, knight armors, long robes or workers cloths.

Hundreds and Hundreds Ottoman Warrios in 3D  ready to conquer Constantinople with oversized cannons and climbing stairs…

2.350 square meters in action!

These pictures are details from the PANORAMA 1453 – the over dimensional painting about thee Conquest of Constantinople, hosted in Panorama-History Museum located in Istanbul. A dome-like building was constructed exactly for this purpose: to host “The Ottoman Conquest of  Constantinople”, as it is praised.

“You are invited to the Conquest of Constantinople!” I read on the museum’s website.

Am I? Am I invited to experience the capture of  the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which  occurred after a siege by the Ottomans under the command of Sultan Mehmed II, later know as Fatih, the Conqueror? A siege that ended with the ultimate Fall of Constantinopel, on May 29, 1453? Am I invited to watch the Fall as seen through Turkish eyes?

OK, I say to myself, let’s take the challenge…

I don’t hear the war cheers, I do not smell the blood, but I see fire and destruction, bloodshed and violence.

Looking deeply into detail, my stomach gets slightly upset. It has less to do with my patriotic proud being offended. It has to do with my aversion to violence, to any kind of violence. 2.350 sq meters of violence? This is too much for me.

The painting pictures some 10,000 Ottoman and Byzantine soldiers combating each other in detail. 10,000 live models were used for this purpose. Something like that: People played war, artists transfered them into a model construction and then painted them in 3D.


Panorama Museum web  calls  me to “witness the conquest of Constantinople once again and experience the moment when the soldiers entered the city, almost exactly as it happened. You will witness the explosion of the cannonballs, cast by the Hungarian cannon expert Urban, and see them flung at the walls of Constantinople. The battle cry of Sultan Mehmed II’s soldiers and the sound of the marches played by the Janissary band will accompany you“.

Explosion of cannonballs flunging at walls, soldiers’ battle cry, Janissary marches? What a sanguinary environment to spend a pleasant culture day at the museum…

I wonder if one needs to have a special affiliation to war to glorify the war in such monumental dimensions. And thus to do so  555 years after it happened.

At the opening ceremony in January 2009, Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan, said that the Panorama was a true representation of İstanbul’s conquest as told in history and literature. “Our children will look at the future with respect for their history and feel proud of it,” he said.

As the project started in 2005 ( a year after the victory of Islamists in Turkey) I can’t exclude the possibility of a potential cultural counterattack of PM Tayip Erdogan to Kemalist Generals.  In Anitkabir, the Mausoleum of the founder of Modern Turjey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, there are room-sized panoramic paintings of historic battles. Very impressive is the one picturing the War of Indepentance against the Greeks with clear details of the Catastrophy of Smyrna in 1922. This project was completed in 2002.

The Ottoman past of Turkey was tamboo for many decades by the kemalist status quo and here we see Erdogan bringing it back to teach children of their past battle-glories.

Can Modern Turkey ever be free from presenting battle and war as a mean of Culture? Will turkey ever get a more panoramic view of things?


Video – Panorama 1453 – this is not an Ad, but is the best video to see how the project was excecuted

What makes Art Shocking ?

“When a painting is framed it is limited; no matter how great the impression of three-dimensions may be, one can still see the edges of the picture, thus making it clear how far the picture is removed from where you. However, as there is nothing in the “İSTANBUL 1453 Panoramic Museum” that one could call the “limit” or “frame” of the picture, anyone looking on the painting will be able to perceive the work in its true dimensions. The moment the observer steps onto the platform they will experience a shock that lasts for 10 seconds. This situation is a result of your confusion at not being able to find reference points for dimension, like a start or a finish to the painting, thus increasing the impression of the picture’s reality.” From Panorama 1453 website



Today’s Zaman – English http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=165797

Worldbulletin – with Conquest Film/Turkish  http://www.worldbulletin.net/video.php?id=1


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Fall of Constantinople: History in 3D – Paronama 1453 –”

  1. Jobn Davis Says:

    It is a great tragedy that Constantinople fell. It is a shame that Europe allowed this city state to fall to this religious world view that is bent on bringing all the world into submission to Islam. People in Greece and around the world need to read the book The Cry From Constantinople by Angelo Christopholos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: