Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey located in the northwestern side of the country, is the place where Europe meets Asia.
Strategically positioned on the Bosphorus Strait, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, Istanbul is a melting pot, where different civilizations and cultures meet.
The history of Istanbul dates back to 660 BC, when the Greek King Byzas from Corinth established Byzantium on the European side of the city. After Constantine the Great made the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire, in 330 CE, it became widely known as “Constantinopolis”. In 1453, the city was conquered by the Ottomans and became the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate. Since the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the world knows it as Istanbul.
Center of Christianity for over a millennium and capital of the last caliphate for the next five centuries before turning into the economic center of a republic, Istanbul is a city of great contrasts, where tradition and modernity meet.
The population of the city has constantly grown up to 14 million residents, as many people from across Anatolia have moved to Istanbul, drawn by the hope for a better life.
The city, a place where highly-priced commodities are traded, is the financial and the administrative capital of Turkey.
Its European side, that is the Thracian side, is the commercial and historic side, while its Asian side, the Antolian, is the place where about a third of the city population lives.
The Asian side experienced major development during the second half of the 20th century, much of it being an extension of the economic and commercial centers of the European Istanbul.
The Fatih district on the European side is what, until the Ottoman conquest, was the whole of the city, across from Galata, demolished in the 19th century, to make way for the northward expansion. Galata is now part of the Beyoğlu district, which forms Istanbul’s commercial and entertainment center on Taksim Square.
Downhill from the popular Taksim area, are the small neighborhoods of Karakoy and Beyoglu, where the streets are lined with small hotels and shops, and head further is the Galata Bridge, famous for its fishermen and their fishing boats.
In Fatih, one can have an exciting shopping experience and taste the Turkish delights in the Grand Bazaar, a huge market place with a great variety and quality of goods on sale.
The entire city is a living museum of various architectural styles. Istanbul has 17 palaces, 49 churches and 64 mosques, which makes it the world’s fifth most visited city in the world and the ideal place for cultural tourism.
The large palace Top Kapi and the imperial mosques Fatih Mosque, Bayezid Mosque, Yavuz Selim Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque) and Yeni Mosque, all built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th and 17th centuries, attract tourists from all over the world.
Originally a church, later a mosque and now a museum, the Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century by the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great, is also an interesting place to visit.
Seat of government during the late Ottoman period, the Dolmabahçe Palace, a blend of Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical and traditional Ottoman architecture, is also an interesting touristic attraction.
Istanbul will always be the heart and soul of Turkey, where the Oriental tradition meets the Western modernity, where rich and poor, old and new, all come together, in a city of two continents, where one always would return with pleasure.
Book now your great experience in Istanbul at:
Antusa Palace Hotel&Spa
Alemdar Mahallesi Çatalçeşme Sokak No:7 SULTANAHMET 34400 Fatih,
P: +90 2125110771