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Contemporary Istanbul

hagia-sophia

Through the years Istanbul city has been a capital for the biggest and most powerful Empires in the world Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman Empires. In fact, Istanbul city is the only city in the world which served as the capital of three empires and for that, the city has been through a lot of changes, whether from the architectural aspect or the cultural aspect.

 

The old Istanbul was constructed in 660 BCE by Greeks and became the capital of Eastern Roman Empire in 330 AD, at that time the city was given a different name it was called “nova Roma” which means the new Rome, and through the years istanbul was called various names like Constantinople, Dersaadet, Asitane, Islambol and more than 100 name but finally the city name officially became Istanbul. Original old city of istanbul covered the area from the Golden Horn to the Bosphorus and the old walls settled to the west by Marmara Sea.

Now days, Istanbul city is very different and more organized but still the beautiful city combined with the old historical places to remind everyone of what great city it is. Huge buildings and tall towers are spread all over the place to be able to contain more than 25 millions people live and work in it. The transportation lines and facilities reach every single district in Istanbul and you can notice that when you visit the city while in the 19th century, transportation was more limited. Metro lines, Metro Bus line, Tramway lines, busses, minibuses, and taxis are everywhere to serve the people, actually, Istanbul’s transportation line are considered one of the most interconnected in branched transportation lines in the world. So when comes to infrastructures, Istanbul city has made an enormous job at building a unique organized infrastructure that ensure to the people a comfortable living standards.

For architecture, old istanbul city offered huge palaces for government institutes and small houses for the people, while nowadays istanbul has got bigger and construction is expanding fast, now you can find tall buildings, compounds, and towers for both people and government institutes but still right next to the old historical buildings. Actually, the historical old Grand Bazaar is still used as a covered market and shops open everyday for customers. Of course, new big shopping markets, trade centers, and big malls are opened now but the huge markets already existed earlier because geographically, Istanbul city is an important city that is located right on the silk road “which was the main and most important trade road in the world”, the only difference is adding more centers to the old ones with more modern designs like Mall of Istanbul, or Laleli street where you can find wholesalers.

For locals, the daily open markets that existed earlier are still available. You can find food, vegetables, fruits, clothes, antiques and many other products to buy in relatively cheap price compared to other shops.

 

While in education, Istanbul city was and still is the city that gathered most important schools and universities in the world from Byzantine Empire’s period, passing through Ottoman Empire’s period and to the current time Istanbul city is an important city for education specially for philosophy, history, and humanitarian sciences. In fact, Istanbul city has more than fifteen universities that educate both local and international students from more than 69 countries around the world. For example, Istanbul University was established in 1453 and still for more than five hundred years an important educational institute in the world that graduated many students who left a significant mark in the world like the famous Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk or Politician Abdullah Gul.

Nowadays Istanbul city is not just beautiful and organized it also has more places to spend a beautiful time at like Restaurants and Cafes on the Bosphorus sides, or big giant malls like Cevahir mall or Mall of Istanbul, and if you are a fan of arts Istanbul city is one of the best choices to visit because of it rich culture. You can find many art galleries like Arter Gallery, museums like Salt Galata, theatres the Ataturk theatre, music shows, and many cultural centers where to spend precious time.

 

People from everywhere travel to istanbul not just for having a good relaxing time, but also for studying, for trading and investing, and many travelled to stay and start a new happy life.

As the team of istanbul.com, we have been working hard since 1995, serving Istanbul and Istanbul lovers with our in depth & up-to-date content on Turkish culture, food and lifestyle.