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THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE On Tuesday May 29 1453 the last bastion on Christianity in the East Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks led by Sultan Mehmet also called Mahomet This ended the 1100 year reign of the Byzantium Empire and gave the Ottomans a new capital One of the most famous churches in history the Church of Holy Wisdom also known as the Hagia Sophia was converted into a Mosque The Turks used a revolutionary weapon in the siege - the cannon Though the cannon had been in Europe for over a century this was one of the first times they were used effectively The Turkish army would not have been able to capture Constantinople had they not had the great cannon with them had the Byzantinians not been so isolated from the West and had the Turkish soldiers not been so devoted The cannon was essential in the capture of Constantinople The walls of the city were massive and had repulsed invaders since 330 AD It would have taken the Turks a lot longer to breech the walls if they did not have the great cannon and aid from the West would have arrived The cannon had a long range and it was used to block access to Constantinople by sea The very presence of the cannon was very demoralizing for the defenders of the city Once more the bells of the churches rang to sound the alarm but the noise was drowned out by the roar from the great cannon the reverberations could be heard for a hundred stadia after it firedImagine standing on a wall having cannon balls weighing 12 hundredweight booming towards you The isolation from the West the preoccupation of the Western powers with other issues and the clash of the Eastern and Western variations of Christianity helped lead to the fall of Constantinople The people of Byzantine Empire had
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