Istanbul

Card image cap

With its strategic location, the ancient and unique of Istanbul serves as a geographical and cultural bridge between the two continents of Europe and Asia. Modern architecture merges with the traditional and historical city. Istanbul is not only the largest city of Turkey, but is also considered one of the biggest cities in the world. With its lengthy and colorful history from the 7th century BC to today, Istanbul has been a melting pot of the many civilizations and different people it inhabited. At first the city was named Byzantine in 700 BC. It then became the new capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in the name of Constantinople, due to its strategic location, as well as having control of the Bosphorus and the harbour of the Golden Horn. Many palaces, hamams and churches were built during this time. Although the city was attacked by the Arabs, Bulgars, and Crusaders, it wasn't until 1453 when the Turks, led by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, conquered Istanbul did the Byzantine Empire came to a final end. The city was renamed Istanbul and became the capital city of the Ottoman Empire. After the first world war and independence war of Turks, capital city was changed as Ankara, however Istanbul remained as a the commercial and cultural center of the country and continues to this day as one of the most colorful and important cities of the world. Today, traces from the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empire are still very much apparent and the mosques, palaces, and churches from those times pull tourists from all over the world. Istanbul is such a colorful city, there are endless places to go to, different foods to eat at, streets to walk, and an infinite amount of experiences that can't be found in other places. One could visit many mosques and churches in Sultanahmet, then cross the Golden Horn and stroll through Istiklal Caddesi to shop for jewellery, designer clothes, go to galleries or eat. One could also cross the Bosphorous strait to visit the Asian side of Istanbul, which includes local shops and lokantas (tradesmen's restaurants), the Crimean War Cemetery and Florence Nightingale Museum. These are just one of the many places to visit in the historic and serene city, and it is clear that from the past to now, Istanbul has and will always remain one of a kind.