Originally a church, later a mosque, now a museum, was the largest ever cathedral building in the world for a thousand years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in Spain
Satelite View of Istanbul
Beyazit in Istanbul
Istanbul “timeless city”
“If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” Napoleon BonaparteIstanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople)is,- the largest city of Turkey ,- the largest city proper in Europe ,- the third largest city proper in the world .
Names► The city has also been nicknamed " The City on Seven Hills“► The historic peninsula, the oldest part of the city, was built on seven hills (just like Rome), each of which bears a historic mosque.► The hills are represented in the citys emblem with seven triangles, above which rise four minarets.► Two of many other old nicknames of Istanbul are Vasilevousa Polis (the Queen of Cities),► Dersaadet, originally Der-i Saadet (the Door to Happiness) which was first used towards the end of 19th century and is still remembered today.
History► Founded in 667 BC► In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire, the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.► The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010.► The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
Conquest of Istanbul► On 29 May 1453, Sultan Mehmed II "the Conqueror" captured Constantinople after a 53-day siege and proclaimed that Constantinople was now the new capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Moving of Capital City ► When the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the capital was moved from Istanbul to Ankara.
Location► The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province.► It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents.
Location► Istanbul is located in the north-west Marmara Region of Turkey. It encloses the southern Bosphorus which places the city on two continents —the western portion of Istanbul is in Europe, while the eastern portion is in Asia.► The city boundaries cover a surface area of 1,830.92 square kilometres , while the metropolitan region, or the Province of Istanbul, covers 6,220 square kilometres.
Climate► The city has a temperate climate with extremely hot and humid summers; and cold, wet, snowy winters.► Humidity is generally rather high which can make temperatures feel much warmer or colder than they actually are.► Snowfall is quite common, snowing for a week or two during the winter season, but it can be heavy once it snows. It is most likely to occur between the months of December and March.
Population► It has more than 11 million people,► Takes first place in Europe,► Third in world wide.
Demographics► The population of the metropolis more than tripled during the 25 years between 1980 and 2005. Roughly 70% of all Istanbulites live in the European section and around 30% in the Asian section.► Due to high unemployment in the southeast of Turkey, many people from that region migrated to Istanbul, where they established themselves in the outskirts of the city.► Migrants, predominantly from eastern Anatolia arrive in Istanbul expecting improved living conditions and employment, which usually end with little success.► This results each year with new gecekondus at the outskirts of the city, which are later developed into neighbourhoods and integrated into the greater metropolis.
Religion► The urban landscape of Istanbul is shaped by many communities. The religion with the largest community of followers is Islam.► Religious minorities include Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Christians, Catholic Levantines and Sephardic Jews.► According to the 2000 census, there were 2691 active mosques, 123 active churches and 26 active synagogues in Istanbul; as well as 109 Muslim cemeteries and 57 non-Muslim cemeteries.
Economy► Istanbul has always been the center of the countrys economic life because of its location as an international junction of land and sea trade routes.► The opening of specific markets in the city during the 1980s further strengthened the citys economic status.► Inaugurated at the beginning of 1986, the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) is the sole securities market of Turkey.
Tourism► Istanbul is one of the most important tourism spots of Turkey.► There are thousands of hotels and other tourist oriented industries in the city, catering to both vacationers and visiting professionals.► In 2006 a total of 23,148,669 tourists visited Turkey, most of whom entered the country through the airports and seaports of Istanbul and Antalya
Architecture► Throughout its long history, Istanbul has acquired a reputation for being a cultural and ethnic melting pot.► As a result, there are many historical mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces, castles and towers to visit in the city.► Some of these historical structures, which draw millions to the city every year, reflect the heart and soul of Istanbul.