Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey, home to a population over 14 millions. During its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital of three world empires, more specifically the Roman Empire (330-395), Byzantine Empire (395-1453) and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1922), hence functions as a spirited and magnificent bridge over the past and present. Back in time, it was given many different names: Byzantine and Constantinople are the two best-known names.
Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world situated on two continents where Asia and Europe embrace one another and where, again, Black Sea and Sea of Marmara pull away through the Bosporus, a narrow strait.
Its geographical position enables the city to host a wide range of cultures from the Balkans to Anatolia, Black Sea and Mediterranean. Significant geographical conditions allowed the city to play a vital role throughout history. Every single civilization has, undoubtedly, been incorporated into the anterior to give way to a supra-civilization structure, and every culture bequeathed to make contributions to the makes of modern Turkey. All these constituents transform the city into a mesmerizing and mysterious one that is always to be remembered in the eyes of its visitors.
As a cultural hub that has been adorned with a myriad of museums, mosques, churches and monuments, Istanbul also enjoys generosity of nature for its unmatched beauties. Historical artifacts are rather scattered on the peninsula situated between the Golden Horn and Sea of Marmara in Istanbul that takes justified pride in exhibiting Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern, Castles Rumelia and Anatolia and many other structures. Historical districts of Istanbul are recognized and registered as a common heritage of humanity by UNESCO, and listed as the World Heritage. The city is also one of the 2010 European Capital of Culture cities.