Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey
By VikiPicture (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. Located on either side of the Bosporus, a narrow strait separating European and Asian Turkey and joining the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, parts of Istanbul are located in Europe and other parts in Asia. As the former capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires, it is one of the world's most historic places. After Constantine declared the city capital of the Roman Empire in 330, it became known as Constantinople. Only in 1930 did the name "Istanbul" come into existence.

Much of the city of Istanbul has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its amazing Byzantine architecture, churches, mosques, synagogues, villas, castles, gardens and ancient ruins. Perhaps no other city in the world has the sheer number of landmarks as does Istanbul. One of its most famous landmarks is the Serpentine Column, a monument built to honor Apollo for the victory over the Persians at Plataea in 479 BC. The Column of Constantine is a monumental column ordered built by Constantine. The column, which still stands today, was built in honor of the declaration of the new capital city of the Roman Empire, Byzantium, which Constantine renamed as Nova Roma, but eventually became known as Constantinople (today Istanbul) after his death in 337.


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