Istanbul

 

Istanbul

Sixteen centuries as the legendary capital of the Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman Empires, Istanbul has long entranced the civilized world. The sole city to span two continents, it physically and metaphorically bridges the cultures and philosophies of Europe and Asia, Occident and Orient. Recent population census made in Turkey shows that Istanbul has a population of about 12 million people, from which almost 65% are inhabitants of the Asian side but with few remains and attractions to see. In contrast, the European side is the commercial and cultural center, further divided into two districts by the Golden Horn; the Old City and the modern downtown. Both extremes of the city, the European and Asiatic can be reached by two bridges. The majority of historical monuments are located in the Old part of the city on the European side. The most famous are St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, The Wall of Theodosius, Topkapi Palace, Suleymaniye Mosque, Underground Cistern, St.Eirene, St.Saviour in Chora, Archeological Museum, Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market; while in the new part can be appreciated the modern face of the city with its skyscrapers and luxurious shopping centers, and at the same time, visitors could be delighted by the wooden houses bordering the Bosphorus and historical sites such as Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Galata Tower, and many others more. Although the Asiatic side of the city has no much to offer to see bears a mixture of modern houses, lovely wooden villas as well as some historical sites such as Anadolu Fortress, Beylerbeyi Palace, Leanders Tower, Cinili Mosque, etc.