1- Istanbul used to be capital of three major empires; Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. It is the largest city in Turkey with almost 15 million residents. However, it is not the capital of Turkey. That honor goes to the city of Ankara.
2- It was called Byzantium until Constantine the Great declared the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire on May 11, 330 AD. The city was called Constantinople until the Turks conquered the city.
5- Istanbul is the last station of the Orient Express that used to operate between Paris and the city until 1977. Agatha Christi wrote her famous book ‘Murder on the Orient Express in Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul.
7- A finalist for a New 7 Wonders of the World, Hagia Sophia Church is located in Istanbul. It had been the largest church in the world for almost 1000 years until the Cathedral in Seville, Spain was completed.
8- Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, Europe and Asia. It is also the only city where you can take the subway to another continent.
10- The 4 bronze horses that were once on the facade, above the porch of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice were actually stolen from the Hippodrome of Istanbul during the sack of Constantinople. The original statues are now located inside the Basilica. These are just some historical and interesting facts that make Istanbul unique.
We, at Real Istanbul Tours’ local guides in istanbul look forward to sharing many more with you during private tours in Istanbul.
Local Guide of Real Istanbul Tours