The dome next to Istanbul’s ancient walls is one of the city’s newest tourist attractions. The 360 degree panorama, complete with sound effects of cannon fire and fighting, depicts the moment in 1453 when the Byzantine city of Constantinople was seized by the Turkish Sultan.
On the painted walls, Ottoman troops are poised for the final assault. Across the sky, flaming firebombs leave smoking trails. Close up the battle is already raging. The city’s walls are crumbling. Soon Constantinople will fall and the era of the Ottoman Empire will begin.
The dome is crammed with excited Turkish children on school trips, all visibly impressed by this vista of a glorious past.
“It’s a significant moment, the salvation of Istanbul,” says 15-year-old Jansu. “There’s nothing bigger… It really gives you a great feeling.”