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Istanbul Holidays Give You The Chance To Know Its History

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By Author: Amanda Sutcliffe
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Istanbul is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world today and is visited by numerous travellers from different corners of the globe annually. The city was known as Byzantium and Constantinople before it was given its present name by the Ottoman empire that brought it under their rule in the 15th century. It spans the continents of Europe and Asia, with its historical part on the European portion and a majority of the population on its Asian side. Being a transcontinental city, it also gives its visitors the best of Asian and European cultures. During your time spent in this part of the world, you’ll also get to know more about its intriguing history.

The Greek settlers from a historic town of Greece known as Megara had established this city on the European side as 'Byzantium'. The savings made on your cheap holidays to Istanbul can be utilised for exploring the ancient sites that date back to the days of the establishment of this city. One of them is Byzantium's acropolis, which was built by the Greek settlers ...
... on the early settlements of Thracians. Byzantium was under the Persian rule for a brief period of time but was soon recaptured by the Greeks during the Greco-Persian wars that lasted nearly 50 years.

Byzantium came under the rule of the Roman Empire in the 1st century. After years of war, the city was devastated. However, before the end of the 2nd century, it began to prosper and was called Constantinople after it was transformed into a Christian city by the Roman emperor known as Constantine, who came to be known as 'Constantine the Great'. The use of the name 'Constantinople' continued until the 20th century. This city became the Roman Empire's capital in the year 330. Under the reign of Justinian the Great, the Hagia Sophia was built. You can explore this grand structure during your Istanbul holidays. It was the largest cathedral in the world for almost a thousand years until it was damaged by the Ottomans and transformed into a mosque.

Sultan Mehmed II, also known as 'Mehmed the Conqueror', captured this city and proclaimed it as his empire's new capital in the mid-15th century. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. He resettled Muslims, Jews, and Christians who had fled the city during the battle to parts of Anatolia. He also invited people from various parts of Europe to his newly-created capital with the intention of creating a cosmopolitan society. While getting around in the city during your Istanbul holidays, you can explore several buildings that were constructed in this period, such as the Topkapi Palace.

Over the years that followed, this city was transformed into a symbol of Islamic culture by the Ottomans. Istanbul also experienced times of political struggles and rebellions during this period. The modernisation efforts in the late 19th century became a major factor for the decline of the Ottoman Empire. After the Turkish War of Independence, the Sultanate was abolished. The Turkish Republic was established in the year 1923 with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as its first President.

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