Istanbul is a city with a very old history. Istanbul has been under the sovereignty of many different nations for centuries. So much so that some of these states are magnificent states such as Rome, Byzantium, and Ottoman Empires. This historical adventure stretching back 30 years before Rome was divided into two reveals the importance of Istanbul. In other words, we can say that the Byzantine Empire was born from the division of the Roman Empire into two parts. Also, the city, which is a critical place due to its geographical location and political importance, played a vital role in the Roman period and became the capital of the Western Roman empire.
For this reason, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empires gave the necessary value to Istanbul. Developed and grown by the Roman emperor Constantine, Istanbul was known as Constantinople. After the collapse of Western Rome, it began to host the Eastern Roman, that is, Byzantium. In the research about Istanbul, we see those empires such as the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire cherished Istanbul and evaluated it as the capital. However, in today's Turkey, Istanbul is not a capital city but a metropolis.
First Civilizations in Istanbul
If we are talking about the history of Istanbul, we must speak of the Roman and Byzantine empires. Still, according to the research, it has been proven that there has been life in Istanbul since the polished stone age, but it is accepted that the Megarians carried out the known provincial settlement. According to the first recorded information in the post-historical period, the ancient Greek city-state was one of the first owners of Istanbul.
Istanbul, which later came under the rule of the Roman Empire, is the apple of the eye of the Republic of Turkey today, after the domination of the Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman empires, respectively. For this reason, Istanbul is a world city that attracts attention with its beauty and geographical location. What can be deduced from this is that Istanbul is an important city, both politically and socially, regardless of who is under its rule.
Places to Witness the History of Istanbul
Undoubtedly, the best way to get extensive information about Istanbul is to visit the historical museums or places in Istanbul. In our opinion, the first example that can be given would be to visit Hagia Sophia, which used to be an Eastern Roman church. Again, the Maiden's Tower, located in the Bosphorus, should be at the top of the list with its historical structure and magnificent attitude.
In addition, the Galata Tower, one of the important works of Istanbul, was built during the Byzantine period and is a must-see. In addition, the large palace mosaics museum, which is also one of the works of the Roman period, will also serve as a good compass and will make your trip much more enjoyable. Binbirdirek Cistern, also a work of the Constantine period, is among the places to be seen. In addition, the Archeology Museum, which will serve as a treasure trove of the history of Istanbul, is a very productive resource.
Last but not least, one of the places that can be said to be the first place to be seen in Istanbul is the Basilica Cistern, which is known for storing tons of water. In addition to all these, the Theodosius obelisk and Bozdoğan Kemer are the Byzantine period works that should be seen. When these artifacts are visited, it will be possible to reach a wide range of information about Istanbul and the Roman and Byzantine Empires.
Stories of Legendary Places in Istanbul
The Maiden's Tower mentioned in the examples we have given was strengthened during the Byzantine Empire and used for different purposes for centuries, but it has a sad legend. The legend is that a young man named Leandros secretly meets his lover named Heros in this tower. One night, when he sees the light on the tower, he thinks that his lover sent him a sign, and he goes to the tower in the middle of the sea, but this time he is on the board because someone else who knows these secret meetings has turned on the light and turns it off after a while. Therefore, Leondras dies, and his lover leaves herself in the cold waters of the sea. In addition to this sad legend, there is a legend of the Galata tower, which is a Roman structure.
According to Roman belief, a couple who climbs the Galata tower will marry and live happily ever after. Still, if these couples are not destined to meet, they will always encounter an obstacle and cannot get married. In addition to all these legends, there is another common legend of Galata and Maiden's Tower, which is related to the possibility that Galata Tower and Maiden's Tower are in love with each other. However, Bosphorus is an obstacle for lovers to meet. However, it is believed that it helped them to continue their passion for the Bosphorus, that Hezerfen Ahmet Çelebi, who had a dream of flying with wings, carried their letters to each other, and that's why these two towers create a wonderful harmony. All these legends aside, we strongly recommend you visit these places, which we believe will fascinate you both historically and visually.
Frequently Asked Question
What is interesting about Byzantium?
That its art was solely focused on religion.
How did the Byzantine Empire Fall?
It fell when Mehmed the Second conquered it in 1453.
How did the Byzantium Empire get its name?
The name refers to Byzantium, an ancient Greek colony and transit point that became the location of the Byzantine Empire's capital city, Constantinople.
What was the capital city of Byzantium?
Constantinople, now known as Istanbul.
What did the Byzantium Empire invent?
Water cisterns, water mills, flamethrowers, hand grenades, and many more.