Istanbul Fun Facts
Knowledge is part of the adventure, it is true, when you are in Istanbul you need to have the knowledge about many things to make your time here meaningful.
Here we will know about the amazing facts of Istanbul that the city hides behind its amazing history.
The Capital of the World
Istanbul has been the capital of some of the strongest and biggest empires during its time, from the Roman empire, Latin, Byzantine, and the Ottoman empire.
Nowadays it is Turkey’s largest city with over 18 million population, more than 177 countries around the world, however it is not Turkey’s capital, Ankara has been the capital since Turkey was proclaimed a republic by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923
In 330 AD when the great Roman Emperor Constantine made the city the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, he decided to build it just like Rome, on seven hills, the city also took its name after the emperor -Constantinople (City of Constantine), it was then renamed Istanbul in 1930 but many still call it Constantinople, actually to ensure the usage of the new name back then, the Turkish post office didn’t deliver any mail addressed to Constantinople.
During the time of the Ottoman Empire, there were approximately 1400 public toilets scattered around the city while the rest of Europe had none.
The subway in Istanbul is the third oldest subway in the world, it was built in 1875 after London and the one in New York, and it is located in Beyoglu district.
And of course, that Istanbul is the only city in the world to connect two continents, the historic center is based on the European side of the city, the Bosphorous divides the city and it is the link between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
Istanbul was the European Cultural Capital in 2010. Two years later it became the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination.
At the moment there two international airports one on the Asian side of the city and the other is on European side.
There is a tunnel under the Bosphorous connecting Marmaray rail system between Asia and Europe.
Istanbul was the most crowded city of the worlds in 1502 until London took the title in 1840.
Agatha Christie wrote her famous novel “Murder on the Orient Express” in Istanbul
Istanbul is surrounded by sea, with the Bosphorous cutting through it, and yet, snow is common in Istanbul in Winter with an annual average of 18 inches. The European bank of the Bosphorous is filled with palaces and parks while the Asian bank is filled with lovely residential neighborhoods.
The nargile (shisha)was the center of Istanbul’s social and political life while it is still being popular with many locals and tourists and it is interesting to try.
The old city of Istanbul
The old city of Istanbul is filled with facts wherever you go, The Blue Mosque (or Sultan Ahmet Mosque) is the only mosque in the city with six minarets. At that time four was the common maximum, and it was disrespectful in the Muslim world, in order to solve the issue one more minaret had to be added to the Grand Mosque. Take a tour to discover the Ottoman Relics in the Old City.
For about 900 years until the Seville Cathedral was built in 1520, Hagia Sophia was the largest church in the world, it was considered on of the 20 finalists for the New 7 Wonders of the World.
With 3000 shops covering 61 streets, The Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest historical bazaar in the world, in fact you would need at least three days to see all the shops.
You might think that the tulips are originally from the Netherlands, but, the first tulips bulbs were sent from the Ottoman Empire to Vienna in 1554 and they were later sent to Augsburg and Amsterdam.
The four bronze horses decorating the San Marco Cathedral in Venice were originally taken from Constantinople by the crusaders in the 13th century.
Galata Tower was built in 1348 at the apex of fortified walls and was used to house prisoners of war, and later became an observatory, and now offer an amazing 360-degree view of the city. Originally it was named the Tower of Christ.
Most of Istanbul’s nightlife venues can be found in the Galata district including, Beyoğlu, Istiklal Street, and Taksim Square. It is best to discover the Beyoğlu district with a guide to live the best experience.