The Dardanelles (Turkish: Çanakkale Boğazı, Greek: Δαρδανέλλια, Dardanellia), formerly known as the Hellespont
(Greek: Eλλήσποντος, Hellespontos), is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is located at approximately 40.217, 26.433. The strait is 61 kilometers (38 mi) long but only 1.2 to 6 kilometers (0.75 to 4 mi) wide, averaging 55 meters (180 ft) deep with a maximum depth of 82 meters (300 ft). Water flows in both directions along the strait, from the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean via a surface current and in the opposite direction via an undercurrent.
Hellespont (Greek ; i.e. "Sea of Helle", variously named in classical literature Hellesponium Pelagus, Rectum Hellesponticum, and Fretum Hellesponticum), was the ancient name of a narrow strait also known by the contemporary European term 'the Dardanelles'. It was so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas, who was drowned here in the mythology of the Golden Fleece.
Herodotus tells us that c. 482 BC the king Xerxes I of Persia and son of Darius had two bridges built across the width of the Hellespont at Abydos in order that his huge army, ostensibly made of 5 million men (most historians put the actual number of this army at closer to 250,000 men, though a second school of thought lends the accounts of Herodotus more credence, bringing the number closer to 400,000), could cross from Persia into Greece. These bridges were both destroyed by a storm (vii.34) and Xerxes had the heads of those responsible for building the bridges cut off and the river itself whipped. The Histories of Herodotus vii.33-37 and vii.54-58 gives details of Xerxes' building and crossing of the bridges.
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Photo taken in Yalı Caddesi, 17900 Kilitbahir/Çanakkale, Turkey
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