Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. Its surface covers the area from the north coast of the Sea of Marmara to the south coast of the Black Sea. Because of this, it is situated on two continents: the western part of the city lies in Europe and East Asia. It is the most populous city in Turkey and Europe, its population exceeds 13 million. Although it is not the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is the financial center, industrial, educational and cultural whole country. This is a 5 universities, the oldest of which was founded Istanbul University in 1453. Istanbul's history dates back centuries, long before our era. The first settlement was founded in this area in the Stone Age. Since then, gradually settled there more and more of the population, especially the Greeks. The first village in the area was founded in 660 years BC, which is now called on the Historical Peninsula Sarayburunu. City dynamically developing, and 330 years, the name changed to the well-known Constantinople, located under the authorities of the Roman Empire. In the fifth century was built in the monumental church of Hagia Sofia, known to this day, considered the best specimen of the architecture of the first century of our era. Over the years, Constantinople underwent raids from various countries who want to conquer it, lose strength and population, and the once beautiful buildings turned into ruins. In 1453, the authorities of the city took over the Turks and became the capital of the Ottoman Empire, later becoming the capital of all Muslims. The greatest flowering of religious architecture occurred between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century, when it was built many palaces and mosques. By raiding the Allies after World War I, Turkey's capital moved to Ankara, Istanbul but still serves as the most representative of the Turkish city. Istanbul is situated on seven hills and divided into three parts: Asian, which mainly consists of residential buildings, with a number of European shopping centers, financial centers and district Galata - New Town. Peninsula in the European part are the main historical monuments. Visible above the city is a beautiful palace Tokapi built in the fifteenth century on one of the hills. It is a monumental building, which honors the Islamic religion, consists of four courtyards, the great gate, numerous meeting held today to explore. Sultanahmet mosque stands on the neighboring hill, is the best example of the Turkish Islamic art flourish. It was built at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and its characteristic is unusual, blue tint facades, in addition to access to the center you have to go through the five gates. The interior is breathtaking landscaped, vegetable decorated earthenware tiles on the walls. Of course you can not ignore the aforementioned buildings Hagia Sophia, which represents the Byzantine style, and was originally a Christian temple. The famous to this day by the beautiful mosaics that can be seen in the middle. Today serves as a museum and is open to the public. It should also visit the historical Beyoğlu and Beşiktaş districts where you can see some of the most beautiful villas and palaces of the Sultan. Today, Istanbul is a city that attracts huge numbers of tourists. Known for its numerous stalls and markets where you can buy traditional Turkish and fakes would develop as well-known brands. We must be careful, because tourists usually lurk higher prices than the natives. Real Turkish delights (and prices) can be found on the Asian side. European part of Istanbul offers many attractions, but it is much more crowded and higher prices prevailing there.
Places of interest