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The City

Asia at one side, Europe at the other and just in front of me, Istanbul!!

Istambul is the bridge between different worlds and times, the door linking the East with the West, the intercontinental bridge between Europe and Asia.
The old and mythical Constantinople, capital city of the Byzantine Empire, a really cosmopolitan city where Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Christians coexist according to a lively, plural and tolerant society. Though the Turkish government is secular, 97% of the population is Muslim and Turkey has the highest percentage of praying centres in all the Islam: one mosque for every 350 inhabitants. Undoubtedly this city, consecrated to religion and prayers, houses the most beautiful temples belonging to different religions: it is possible to visit not only mosques but synagogues and Christian and Orthodox churches as well.


Istanbul is a wide spectrum of cultures, religions, history making its way across the centuries. There are 15 million people living in the hustle and bustle of the streets of this city, surviving the chaotic traffic, the intense smells, the peaceful atmosphere inside the temples and the hubbub in the bazaars. When the sun sets and turns golden red we attend –in a hypnotic trance- to an ancient, stunning and unforgettable spectacle.


The Bosphorus, the mythic strait, divides Istanbul in two sides. The European (Thrace) and the Asian (Anatole). The European side is divided in two by the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorous. Both sides of the Horn are connected by three bridges separating Old Istanbul from the modern city. There are three quite different areas: Old Constantinople in the South; the modern area , across the Gálata river, in the North ; and crossing the Bosphorous by ferry, the Asian zone to the East.
The largest Turkish city has been designated by The Council of European Union –composed of celebrities from all over the World - European Capital of Culture in 2010 together with Essen (Germany) & Pecs (Hungary). The inhabitants of Istanbul chose the slogan . Istanbul, the city of “four Elements” , bridge between Europe and the East.

History of Istanbul

“If the Earth were a single state, Constantinople would be its capital.” stated Napoleon Bonaparte.


Byzantium was the first name of the actual Istanbul. It was a Greek colony, capital city of Thracia.Then it was renamed Contantinople, when it was the second capital city of the Roman Empire and finally Istanbul since the 1920’s.


The Greek city was founded under the name of Byzantium in 675 BC. In 330 AC Roman emperor Constantine I made the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire and it started to be known as Constantinople, the symbol of Christianity and capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.. In 1453 the Ottomans conquered the city and proclaimed Constantinople the new capital of the Ottoman Empire and renamed it Istanbul. It is located in the Anatolian Peninsula, also called Asia Minor and nowadays known as Turkey. Its privileged location turns Istanbul into a bridge between West and East and transformed it in a cradle of civilizations along its 5000 years of history.


A wonderful land where antiquity coexists with modernity, where you can find amazing ruins of classic civilizations, a beautiful and fascinating city offering a rich diversity.


In 1923 when the secular Republic of Turkey was founded, the capital was moved from Istanbul to Ankara, the new growing city. Istanbul, a city dedicated to prayers where you can find the most beautiful temples, where people practising different religions and coming from different parts of the World gather to admire its beauty and find refugee.

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