Fall of Constantinople (1453)
The Siege of Constantinople that resulted in its fall took place from April 2 to May 29, 1453. The Ottomans led by Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror numbering about 100,000 men continuously bombarded the city walls from the land and sea, while Constantinople was defended only by 5,000 soldiers. The Ottomans broke through the Byzantine defenses and captured the city on May 29, 1453. The last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI was killed in the fighting.
The Fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Byzantine Empire. Capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans closed the path to India for the Christian states forcing them into finding a new way to Asia which resulted in the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Ottoman conquest of Constantinople was also a major blow to the Christendom but no European king was wiling to respond the Pope’s call to crusade against the Turks. The leading role of the Orthodox Christianity was transferred from Byzantium to Moscow which claimed to be the “Third Rome”. The emergence of Ottoman Empire as an Asian-European great power also resulted in major political changes. The Ottomans conquered almost whole Balkan Peninsula by the end of the 15th century which greatly affected the future development of the Southeastern Europe that was ruled by the Ottoman Turks over the next four centuries.