Constantinople, Byzantine, New , the city’s been known by a lot of names. Hi, I’m Rebecca Brayton, and welcome to Today we’re our travel series with a look at this historic of Istanbul.
Straddling the Bosphorus strait, its skyline studded with and , Istanbul is one of the truly great cities. Its history tracks back from Byzantine to Constantinople, to its place at the head of the Ottoman . Today, it helms as turkey’s cultural and business capital. Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world which is on two : Europe and . In this city, you can the streets where crusaders and janissaries once marched, admire that are the most expressions of islamic piety and hand for bargains in the grand . Istanbul is situated near the north Anatolian fault line which runs from northern Anatolia to the Marmara sea. This fault line has been responsible for deadly in the region throughout history. There are several in Istanbul that are steeped in history. Hagia Sophia was built as a byzantine by Emperor Justinian the first nearly fifteen years ago and converted into a mosque after the Ottoman of Constantinople in 1453. Don’t be fooled by its stonebreak exterior. Its orient dome is breathtaking as are what’s left of the original mosaics upstairs on the balcony level. Urban legend has it that Hagia Sophia might not withstand Istanbul supposedly imminent earthquake, so get there while you can.
Directly opposite the park outside Hagia Sophia is the Majestic Blue , also known as the Sultan Hamid Mosque, a relatively more recent built in the 17th . Today, it is still in use for worshippers at ordained prayer times. This structure is one of Istanbul’s finest, with its shining grey domes and piercing minarets.
Throughout the Byzantine period, the was the center of the city’s social life. Huge amounts were bet on chariot races, but these were not simple sporting events, they also provided some rare during which the Emperor and the common could come together in a single venue.
One of the monument still surviving from antiquity is the Serpentine Column. The was moved from Greece by Constantin The Great when Constantinople became the new capital and has stood at the hippodrom ever since. The World Obelisk also known as the Column of Constantin is situated near the Serpentine Column at the side of the hippodrom. The 105 foot high obelisk was constructed with roughly cut stones and was originally decorated with gilded bronze plaques and a at the top. Thutmose’s Obelisk once graced the great temple of Karnak in ancient Thebe. It was brought to Constantinople by Emperor Theodosius in 390 ad, almost two after it had been carved.

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