//by: José Berrocoso//
BYZANTIUM, CONSTANTINOPLE, ISTANBUL
With one foot in the East and the other in the West, Istanbul is the perfect city destination with its captivating blend of sights, sounds and colours. Admire magnificent mosques, atmospheric churches, intriguing museums and Sultans’ palaces.
Take to the waters of the Bosphorus to enjoy fresh fish overlooking the Black Sea. Explore the warren of the streets in the Grand Bazaar or take in the heady scents of the Egyptian Spice Bazaar.
Located between the Black Sea and Marmara Sea and with the Bosphorus straight cutting through its center, Istanbul has been the heart of many civilizations throughout the ages as a result of its geographical location.
Istanbul, which formerly belonged to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, is not the Turkish Republic’s most important city from a cultural and economic perspective. It is the only city in the world standing upon 2 continents, Asia and Europe, with the perfect blend of cultures and heritage from both sides.
The Historic Areas of Istanbul, inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1985, cover four main: the Archaeological Park, the Süleymaniye Mosque, Zeyrek Mosque and the City Walls of Istanbul.
The Hagia Sophia is referred to as the 8th wonder of the world
Aged more tan 1500 years old, Hagia Sophia is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It was once a church and a mosque but is now one of the most visited museums in the world.
Another historical area of Istanbul, on the opposite shorte of the Golden Horn, is the former district of Pera, meaning ´the other shore´. The cosmopolitan caracter of ancient Istanbul is reflected in the Galata Tower and the art nouveau buildings of İstiklal Avenue.
The Golden Horn Haliç
This horn-shapped estuary known as the Golden Horn, divides European Istanbul into two. As one of the best natural harbours in the world, the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and their comercial shipping interests were centred here. Today, lovely parkds and promenades line the shores where the setting sun casts a Golden hue on the water.
Istanbul is an international centre for arts and culture with a rich tradition in opera and ballet, theatres performing both Turkish and international workds, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, auctions and conferences.