Ever since Istanbul became the Imperial Capital, as stated in “Istanbul The Imperial Capital,” in the 15th century, it has borne witness to the most magnificent periods of the Ottoman Empire. During this time, Istanbul became the hub of political, cultural, and economic activities in the empire. With its exceptional architectural structures, historical artifacts, and extensive cultural heritage, Istanbul has preserved the memories of the significant periods in its history as the imperial capital. Even today, Istanbul remains one of the most popular tourist destinations globally, boasting a rich historical and cultural background.
Modern and Traditional Together: Istanbul The Imperial Capital
It is Istanbul’s endless variety that fascinates its visitors. The museums, churches, palaces, grand mosques, bazaars and sites of natural beauty are countless. As relaxing on the western shores of the Bosphorus at sunset and watching the red evening light reflected on the other continent, you may suddenly and profoundly understand why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build a city on this remarkable site. At such times you can see why Istanbul is truly one of the most glorious cities in the world.
Istanbul is Turkey’s most developed and largest city, with the latest discoveries indicating that the history of human habitation there goes back some 400,000 years. The purple years of Istanbul may have started in 330 when Emperor Constantine declared the city the capital of his empire – royal purple is the colour of the Byzantine imperial family. Until 1453, when it was conquered by the Ottomans, the city served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. During the reign of the Byzantines, Istanbul was adorned with a number of great monuments, which made it the most magnificent city in the world, even during the declining years of the empire.
Historic Areas of Istanbul
The Historic Areas of Istanbul, inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1985, cover four main areas: the Archaeological Park, the Süleymaniye Mosque and its associated Conservation Area, Zeyrek Mosque and its asscoiated Conservation Area, and the City Walls of Istanbul. In its evalulation report the International Council on Monuments and Sites has stated that one cannot conceive of the World Heritage List without Istanbul, which has been associated with the world’s major political, religious and artistic events for over 2000 years. The cultural property in this area includes unique monuments and masterpieces of universal architecture, two of which are the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), built by Anthemios of Tralles and Isidoros of Milet in 532-537, and the Süleymaniye Mosque, a masterpiece of Sinan the Great Architect. The 6650m city walls of Theodosius II, with its second line of defences created in 447, has been one of the leading references for military architecture.
THE NEW Istanbul
Building on its assets inherited from a glorious past, Istanbul is an international city with a financial and economic centre offering services in banking, telecommunications, marketing, engineering and tourism.
International conferences and festivals, fairs, fashion shows, sports and art performances give a new dimension to the life and potential of the city.
Istanbul is one of the busiest centres of ‘congress travel’ in the world, offering every support and service to conferences of all sizes. Great service is available due to Istanbul’s excellent transportation and communication facilities and a wide choice of accommodation equipped with the latest technology.