Istanbul, a fascinating city built on two Continents, divided by the Bosphorus Strait. This is one of the greatest cities in the world where you can see a modern western city combined with a traditional eastern city, it’s a melting pot of many civilizations and different people. Istanbul was also announced by the European Union as the 2010 European Capital of Culture.
From the foundation of Byzantium in the 7th century BC until today, Istanbul held always an important role in the history of humanity in this part of the world. Everybody wanted to gain control of this area because of its strategic location; Empires were born here on the ashes of previous ones.
Since the Republic in 1923, Istanbul continued to grow and today it boosted its population over 14 million people living in this spread out city. This makes Istanbul the largest city of Turkey and one of the biggest cities in the world.
Get to know Istanbul like you never thought was possible, with facts you never thought even possible. This is the list of 10 interesting facts about Istanbul that will surprise you.
1) Istanbul is home to 3113 mosques.
2) Istanbul is way older than you think. Recent evidence suggests that people have lived here for 8500 years.
3) Te incredible Hagia Sophia has collapsed and been rebuilt three times since the 4th century AD.
4) The Mevlevi Sema Ceramony, popularly known as the Whirling Dervishes is thought to be a path to reunion with God.
5) The Grand Bazaar attracts between 250K to 400K people daily.
6) In the 1630s, it is rumored that, by using fake wings and the wind from the top of the Galata Tower, Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi became perhaps the first person to fly to another continent.
7) Valens Aqueduct carried water into the old city for more than a thousand years. It was still active at the start of the 20th century.
8) The Bosphorus is a natural strait running right through Istanbul, separating Europe from Asia. Some believe an ancient deluge caused by a break in the strait might have inspired the myth of Noah’s flood.
9) Leonardo da Vinci envisioned a bridge over the Bosphorus, 471 years before the first one was built.
10) A 19th century French poet and traveler, Alphonse de Lamartine once said, “If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul”.