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Are you visiting Istanbul as part of your vacation in Turkey? You will want to know about the interesting information about Istanbul contained on this page.
Although Ankara is the capital of modern day Turkey, Istanbul has been the capital of two great empires. Istanbul today is busy city with a population of 20 million inhabitants. One interesting piece of information about Istanbul is that it lies on the border between Asia and Europe so that one part of Istanbul is in Europe while the other part of Istanbul is Asian. These two parts of Istanbul are divided by a stretch of water called the Bosphorus near the sea of Marmara. There are currently three bridges that connect Asian Istanbul to European Istanbul.
Istanbul is still seen by many as the cultural heart of Turkey even if its not the capital; it is where the majority of business takes place with the largest sea port in Turkey being in Istanbul. A visitor to Istanbul can get a great view of both sides of the city from the bridges. It has a fascinating and rich history so if you are interested in visiting and learning new information about Istanbul you should plan to stay there for a few days at least.
Information of the history of Istanbul
Istanbul is a city with 3000 years of history. In Roman times it was the seat of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and was known as Constantinople. It was not until the 15th century that the Ottomans took control of Istanbul giving it a more Islamic character. The traces of these two empires can still be seen today in Istanbul where often magnificent mosques and churches stand side by side. One of the most striking things about the city is the view one gains standing on the south bank looking at the hills to the north which are peppered with minarets all of which sound in unison at prayer time.
If you are looking for information about the history of Istanbul then aside from visiting Istanbul's museums, you should visit the old part of the city where most of the old religious architecture is found. You will find many old mosques and churches left over from the Roman era.
Information on the Asian part of Istanbul
The Asian part of Istanbul is comparatively quiet being composed mainly of residential suburbs and not many sites of interest for the visitor. There is, however, in this part of Istanbul the main train station that you will if you want to travel
to most places in Turkey.
Information on the Beyoglu part of Istanbul
The Beyoglou area of Istanbul is north of the Bosphorus but differs from the old part of Istanbul as this is generally a more up market expensive area. Most of the foreign embassies are situated in this area of Istanbul as well as the expensive five star hotels.