GOLDEN GATE: A historic name first used in Constantinople and now in San Francisco
The following historical account was tendered by the California Highway & Transportation District in a former Internet reference:
"Actually, the term Golden Gate refers to the Golden Gate Strait which is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The strait is approximately three miles-long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots. It is generally accepted that the strait was named Chrysopylae or Golden Gate by Army Captain John C. Fremont, circa 1846. It is said it reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul or Constantinople named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn."
On 1 July 1846, before the discovery of gold in California, the entrance acquired a new name. In his memoirs, John C. Frémont wrote, "To this Gate I gave the name of Chrysopylae, or "Golden Gate"; for the same reasons that the harbor of Byzantium was called Chrysoceras, or Golden Horn." The name was popularized worldwide by the 1849 California Gold Rush.
It appears much more than casual that Captain John C. Fremont might have named the entrance to San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate. The chief entrance to the City at the Great Walls of Constantinople was in fact named the "Golden Gate." (See: John Julius Norwich, Byzantium, The Early Centuries, New York , 1992, photographic section between pp. 124-125.)
The Golden Gate was emulated elsewhere, with several cities naming their principal entrance thus, for instance Thessaloniki (also known as the Vardar Gate) or Antioch (the Gate of Daphne), as well as the Kievan Rus', who built monumental "Golden Gates" at Kiev and Vladimir.
Of further interest to our readers may be the following observations:
- Rome, located on "Seven Hills" [Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, Viminal] east of the Tiber, was followed by Constantinople which was also built on seven hills (330 A.D.).
- Constantinople is situated at the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the waters of the Bosporus and its harbor, the Golden Horn. San Francisco too is located at the tip of a peninsula and is surrounded by water three ways - on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the San Francisco Bay, and on the north by the Golden Gate. The interesting detail is that the United States Geological Survey, 1973a, 1973b describes San Francisco by approximately a seven mile by seven mile square. The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) tells us that this is a city of 49 square miles [7 by 7] situated upon 44 hills. Given the famous hilly topography of the city, one might wonder if there are not five more underestimated elevations that have been disregarded. This, certainly would round things off to an entertaining total of 49 (. . . reminiscent of the "1849 Gold Rush" and its highly popular "San Francisco 49ers"). (See: http://www.sfsu.edu/~puboff/tour/seven.htm)
- The Church of Byzantium or Constantinople is by tradition the Church of the Apostle Andrew, or Andreas in the Greek language by Patriarchal lineage. A major geological feature that marks the San Francisco Bay Area is the famous San Andreas Fault. In addition to the subject of names, however, the earthquake faults mentioned in the next section reveal an even more dramatic physical linkage between Constantinople and San Francisco. (See: Apostolic Universal Center, Christ Unto Byzantium (Miami: CSA Press for the publishers, 1971), p. 12)
Earthquake Faults: Similarity Between San Francisco and Constantinople
(The following excerpts are quoted from the AOL News article written by Patrick Quinn of The Associated Press on Friday August 27, 1999.)
Quake Provides Lessons About Fault
". . . Scientists say they have learned key lessons from the deadly earthquake in Turkey that could save lives along the country's North Anatolian fault and its California twin, the San Andreas.
". . . It jumped over lakes and ignited other faults, which has some seismologists worried the same could happen along the San Andreas.
". . . Turkey's quake and the 500-mile fault are important to seismologists who study the San Andreas, which is nearly identical in length and type. Both also run along two tectonic plates grinding against each other."