Brief History Of Istanbul

Byzantium

Istanbul’s history dates to the seventh century BC. According to legends, a man called Byzas from Megara, one of the city-states in Ancient Greece was looking for a colony for his people. He goes to the temple of Apollo in Delphi and asks where he should go. The oracle states that the lands on the opposite side of the “land of the blind” would be an ideal region.

Byzas sets out with this advice and arrives in the area which we call Sultanahmet of ​​today’s Istanbul. After being stranded in today’s Topkapı Palace area, he was so impressed by its beauty. King Byzas looks at the opposite side of the Bosphorus and spots extraordinary scenery. He realizes that there is another colony there. Byzas thinks: “Why would these people build colonies in the face of such a beautiful place? These people must be blind!” Then he remembered what the oracle said to him, and he knew this was the right place.

The town takes its name from its founder, Byzas, and becomes Byzantium. Byzantium became a part of the Roman Empire in the 1st Century BC, but it remained a small town for several centuries.

Constantinople

Constantine became the emperor of the Roman Empire in 312, and that was a turning point for this small town. Constantine was aware that Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, was no longer safe from the barbarians in the north. Since Rome was now an older city, there was no space for change and expansion. Constantine had a new town in mind. For this purpose, he began to look for a safe and less developed area within the empire, where he could build according to his ideas. When he arrived in Byzantium, this small city, which is a peninsula, he saw it as very suitable to realize this ideal. A wall that would surround the town would be a very suitable defense mechanism. Like Roman, this new capital would have seven hills.

Constantine, in 330, proclaims Byzantium as the capital of the Roman Empire and calls it Nova Roma, i.e., New Rome. After Constantine’s death, people changed the name of the town to Constantinople. It means the city of Constantine. Constantinople remained the capital of the Roman Empire for 1123 years. In 1453, the Ottomans conquered the city, and it became the capital of the Ottoman Empire from 1453 to 1923.

Istanbul

Ataturk declared the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, and the capital became Ankara because it was a more central location. The fact that Ankara is the capital does not mean Istanbul has lost its importance. Istanbul is still economically, culturally, and politically the most important city in Turkey.

Istanbul is one of the largest cities in the world. Because of its unique location and the bridge between both European and Asian continents. With the Bosphorus, it is one of the most beautiful and impressive cities in the world.

Tour Guides in Istanbul

During our private Istanbul tours, our guides walk with you through the vast history of these two empires; thus, you will experience different and fascinating cultures. You will love the outstanding art and architecture.

If you are interested in visiting Istanbul, where the East meets the West, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be so happy to assist you in any way we can.


Private Tours of Istanbul

If you are interested in visiting Istanbul with an experienced private tour guide, please contact us! Our private tours are the best option to enjoy the most amazing and complex areas such as Istanbul.

Let us make your time in Istanbul a memorable one!

Contact Us