From past to present; Istanbul, which admires everyone with its beauty, has always been an indispensable city with its seven hills, Bosphorus and natural harbors. For this reason, Istanbul has a history of richness. Throughout history, Istanbul has been the target for many and the capital for several empires. In this article, we will take a look at the magnificent history of this beautiful city accompanied by empires. Here are the realms have passed through from Istanbul and their works have survived!
The foundation story of Istanbul
Byzas set out from Greece – Megara, with the desire to establish a new city. He consults with the priest of Delfi about location. The priest tells him he needs to build his city against the Blind Country. Byzas does not fully understand what the priest means and continues to stroll around confused. Then one day, while looking at Kadikoy from Sarayburnu, “Why these blind people, built their cities in that barren location, instead of this beautiful land?” he passes through. At that moment, the words of the priest of Delfi comes to his mind! Thus, Byzas will find where to build his city.
In 667 BC, the Byzantion Empire, founded by King Byzas, was ruling in Istanbul. When the Roman Empire dominated the city, Septimus Severus named the city for a while for his son’s name as “Augusta Antonina.” In the period of Emperor Constantine I, Istanbul was declared the capital of the Roman Empire. In the meantime, the city was renamed as “Nova Roma.” In the year 337, with the death of Emperor Constantine I, the name of Nova Roma was translated into Constantinople.
Byzantine Empire Period
Byzantine Empire dominated Istanbul between 324 and 1453. The city was the administrative center of the east of Rome during this period. In the Byzantine period, the city was enlarged and developed with a new architectural understanding. In addition to a 100,000-person capacity hippodrome, structures such as harbors and water facilities were built. Emperor Constantine built the Hagia Sophia, which was regarded as the world’s largest cathedral (in 360) during the years he ruled in Istanbul, and changed the religion of the Roman Empire to Christianity.
The existence of the Byzantine Empire begins with the death of I Theodosius. With the collapse of Western Rome in 476, most of the Romans migrated to the city. Thus, the capital of the Byzantine Empire was Istanbul. By 543, a massive plague epidemic began, and half of the population was destroyed with this epidemic. As a result, Emperor I Jüstinyen reestablished the city.
Istanbul, which was raided many times, was looted in 1204 AD during the 4th crusade and was transformed into real debris. In 1261, the period of the Latins was over, and the Byzantine Empire was gradually shrinking. After 1391, Istanbul began to be surrounded by the Ottoman Empire.
Ottoman Empire Period
The conquest of Istanbul by the Ottoman Empire was 29 May 1453. This decisive date also defines the end of the Middle Ages. Istanbul developed rapidly during the Ottoman period; hundreds of palaces, mosques, bazaars, schools, and baths were built in the city. In as little as 50 years, the city has become one of the largest cities in the world where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live together. Golden Horn Bridge, Karaköy Tunnel, railways, maritime transport, hospitals, and many other innovations were built during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.
The 2500-year-long capital period of Istanbul ended with the declaration of the Republic. However, it continued to be one of the most active cities in the world after this date. With the proclamation of the Republic, Istanbul has continued its modernization and has been continuously developing along with the buildings constructed. Today, this beautiful city is one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to culture and entertainment tourism.
Symbols of the magnificent history survived today
As you can see, Istanbul has a glorious history that does not end with telling. Throughout history many empires have lived in this city, they have fought for this city. This historical richness of Istanbul has also provided many historical buildings. There are many historical buildings in Istanbul that have attracted the attention of the whole world from the past to the present. It is almost impossible to count these structures one by one. However, let’s sort out for enthusiasts the most well-known of them! Here are some of the buildings that have the nature of historical works:
Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum, Basilica Cistern, Cafer Agha Madrasa, Golden Horn Bridge, Galata Tower, Binbirdirek Cistern, Haseki Hurrem Hamam, Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Fortress, Anadolu Hisari, Yedikule Fortress, Beylerbeyi Palace, Ciragan Palace, Yildiz Palace, Grand Bazaar, Egypt Bazaar, Tekfur Palace, Coppersmith’s Bazaar, Eyup Sultan Mosque, Maiden’s Tower, Hidiv Pavilion…