Interesting Facts about Istanbul

The name Istanbul immediately evokes a rich imagination of rich oriental culture, architecture straight out of fairy tales, exotic customs and the scent of spices.

Neolithic artifacts, discovered by archeologists in the recent years indicate that the area of Istanbul has been inhabited for over 8,000 years.

It’s older than you expect

Istanbul, under different names, was throughout centuries the capital of four great empires: Byzantine, Roman, Latin and Ottoman empire.

The capital of empires, but not of the country

Istanbul is the only city in the world that lies on two continents.

One city, two continents

Its first name was Byzantium (from the name of legendary king Byzas) gave to it in 660 BC by Megarean colonists.

City of many names

Roman Emperor Constantine the Great built Constantinople on seven hills to make it match the famous seven hills of Rome.

Seven hills

The biggest one – the splendid Blue Mosque, an absolute must-see – is the only one in Istanbul with six minarets, the maximum number allowed.

 Mosques at every corner

Hagia Sophia collapsed and was rebuilt three times throughout its history.

The surprising history of Hagia Sophia

Religions of Istanbul

Five times a day you can hear the call to prayer from minarets all over the city

Snow in Istanbul

One of the great curiosities about Istanbul is its weather

Tulips in Istanbul

To celebrate its precious flower, Istanbul – just like Amsterdam – organizes yearly the Tulip Festival in April/May

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