With one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe, Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents.
Istanbul’s fate has been sealed by its vital strategic location and its enchanting natural beauty. For more than 1500 years it was the capital of three empires: Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. It was beautified accordingly with magnificent monuments and became a metropolis where diverse cultures, nations and religions mingled.
History of Istanbul goes back to 2nd millenium BC but its fame started with Emperor Constantine as he declared the city as the new capital of empire. Afterwards, it was named Constantinople and it was embellished with beautiful structures during the Byzantine and Ottoman era.
ISTANBUL IN NUMBERS
Here are some numbers about Istanbul;
15.519.267 (as of January 1st, 2020 – that is almost 19% of the entire population of Turkey)
Population Growth Rate: 1% annually
Avarage Temperature – 14 °C
February – 6.1 °C / May – 16.7 °C / August – 23.8 °C / October – 15.7 °C
Avarage Relative Humidty: 80%
Numbers of Temples
Mosques – 3446 / Churches – 143 / Synagogues – 16 (as of January 1st, 2020)
Buildings & Structures
Suspension Bridges: 3
Tunnels : 2
Marmaray Tunnel, opened in 2013 for subway train
Also, Euroasia Tunnel, opened in 2016 for cars
Sabiha Gokcen Airpott (SAW), located in Asian Side of Istanbul
Also, Istanbul Airport (IST), located in European Airport
SITES TO SEE IN ISTANBUL
One of Istanbul’s most venerable monuments. From the courtyard you will enjoy the striking view of the domes. Once inside you will see how the mosque got its name. Viewing the colorful blue Iznik tiles that adorn the interior. Also, These tiles were made at the peak of Iznik tile production in the early 17th Century
Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine wisdom. It was a testament to the sophistication of the 6th Century. Especially The vast edifice was built over two earlier churches and inaugurated by Emperor Justinian in 537. So, The immense dome is an architectural marvel, as it seems to hover overhead.
It was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. Also, It had a capacity of 30thousand spectators and was like the main arena of Constantinople
So Here you can see the Egyptian Obeliskand the Serpentine Column.
Gain a fascinating insight into this grandiose complex of buildings. Because It was the residence of the Sultans for 400 years. Therefore, There are four main courtyards which contain extensive gardens, pavilions, fountains, royal gates, kitchens, library and mosques. Enjoy the exhibitions such as ‘Sacred Trusts’, ‘Portraits of Sultans’, ‘Kitchen’ and ‘Imperial Weapons’
It was constructed in 532 AD built by Justinian to hold the water supply for the Great Palace. So, the Cistern is 70 meters wide and 140 meters long with a capacity of 80,000m³ of water. Also, here you will find an atmospheric forest of 336 beautiful columns. Also don’t miss the two columns featuring the head of Medusa on their bases.
Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest covered Bazaar in Turkey with more than 4,000 shops. So A variety of handicrafts, carpets, rare jewels and souvenirs all sold in small shops next to each other.
Chura Church has one of the best examples of Byzantine mosaic art. It was first built in the 5th century at the outside of the city walls. Therefore they call it Chora. So, It means country side in Greek. So, the museum is located near the city walls over the Golden Horn today. Originally it was a Christian church. Then, it was converted into a mosque after the Conquest of Constantinople and after the Republic it became a museum.
The Spice Bazaar is one of the best known historic bazaars of Istanbul. Also, it is called Egyptian Bazaar. you can find all manner of Turkish Delight candy (lokum), baklava, teas and Turkish coffee, and dried fruits. The array of containers overflowing with colorful spices is really something to see, as well as smell.
Enjoy Cruise on the Bosphorus strait where separates the Asian and European continents. So, Passing along the shores of the Bosphorus you will view magnificent palaces and restored Ottoman villas, impressive fortresses and the waterside residences of Istanbul’s elite.
TURKEY TRAVEL GUIDE RECOMMENDS
Please review one of the Istanbul Tours of Impetus Travel