A city that evokes a sense of intrigue and mystery, a taste for the exotic, a place where the West meets East… This is Istanbul! Standing firmly over two continents, Istanbul is truly an international city that has flourished through three powerful empires and several civilizations over thousands of years of history. Istanbul exudes a literal sense of what it means to be ‘cosmopolitan.’
Rich history and diverse culture
Fusion of old and new world
Traditional cuisine and trendy restaurants
Although indigenous people had been living in and around this area for several millennia, according to legend, the city that would become modern Istanbul was founded by Byzas the Megarian around 667 BC. Byzas, having visited the Oracle at Delphi brought a colony of people to a vacant point of the Golden Horn peninsula, where the Topkapi Palace presently stands, and founded his new city which became known as Byzantion. Because of its strategic location, this city would become one of the most important cities for thousands of years. The next great phase of this city would be in AD 324 when the Roman Emperor Constantine I chose Byzantion to become the new capital of the Roman Empire renaming it Nova Roma. Following Constantine’s death in 330, the city would become known as Constantinople and would consequently be named as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire which would later become the Byzantine Empire. For the next several centuries, the Byzantine Empire would fend off several would be conquerors, allowing Constantinople to remain free and prosperous. By the 1400s, Constantinople came under siege by the Ottoman Turks and finally fell in May of 1453 AD. It is from this point in history that the city would be known as Istanbul.