In 1453, during the Fall of Constantinople, the Turks assembled a mobile bridge by placing their ships side by side across the water, so that their troops could move from one side of the Golden Horn to the other.
Golden Horn Bridge designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502.
In the years 1502–1503, there were plans to construct the first bridge at the current location. Sultan Bayezid II solicited a design and Leonardo da Vinci, utilizing three well-known geometrical principles, the pressed-bow, parabolic curve and keystone arch, created an unprecedented single span 240 m long and 24 m wide bridge for the Golden Horn, which would have become the longest bridge in the world of that time, had it been constructed. However, the ambitious design was not approved by the Sultan.
A smaller-scale version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Golden Horn Bridge was brought to life in 2001 near Oslo, Norway by the contemporary artist Vebjørn Sand, the first civil engineering project based on a Leonardo da Vinci sketch to be constructed. The Leonardo Bridge Project hopes to build the design as a practical footbridge around the world, including the Golden Horn in Istanbul, using local materials and collaborating with local artisans as a global public art project. The Wall Street Journal referred to the Project as a “…logo for the nations.”
Another Italian artist, Michelangelo, was also invited to design a bridge for Istanbul. Michelangelo rejected the proposal, and the idea of building a bridge across the Golden Horn was shelved until the 19th century.