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History of Istanbul

Discover Istanbul, home of history

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Istanbul's History

Istanbul's history dates back thousands of years there is an array of attractions that bring it vividly to life. This guide will give you the chance to discover the history of Istanbul. Istanbul is a city surrounded by a wreath of water.

History of Istanbul

Described by the historian Procopius as the city surrounded by a wreath of water, Istanbul boasts an exquisite geographical position and deep roots in history.

With a history going back 8500 years, Istanbul is an ancient city that is simultaneously modern and fresh. Old world and modern world, Islamic and Mediterranean coexist in its captivating atmosphere. The distinctive characteristic skyline of the city, combining monumental minarets with modern skyscrapers, is perhaps the best proof.

The outstanding universal value of Istanbul resides in its unique unification of diverse architectural styles of many eras and civilizations. Roman aqueducts, Byzantine churches, Venetian towers, Ottoman palaces, modern buildings and contemporary plazas give the city its matchless beauty.


Byzantine Empire

Founded on the Sarayburnu around 660 BC as Byzantium, the city now known as Istanbul developed to become one of the most significant cities in history. The identity of Istanbul that began to be formed by the Byzantines.

Ottoman Empire

The identity of Istanbul was shaped during the period of Ottoman Empire. Also Istanbul was embellished further during the Ottoman Period with important building activities.

Names of Istanbul

Did you Know? The city of Istanbul has changed a number of names: Augusta Antonina, Nova Roma, Byzantion, Byzantium, Constantinople and finally Istanbul.

The first name of Byzantium was Lygos. Byzantion, latinized as Byzantium, was was the name after 667 BC. Constantinople was the name by which the city became soon more widely known, in honor of Constantine the Great. Kostantiniyye is the name by which the city came to be known in the Islamic world. Istanbul, is the modern Turkish name.


History of Istanbul

Galata Bridge, Istanbul