Where is Istanbul? What is unique about this?
The city has also been nicknamed "The City on Se ...more
First, Istanbul was called Byzantium, then Constantinople. It is divided by the Bosphorus: one side is Europe, the other Asia, "where east meets west". From 1453 it was the seat of the Ottoman Empire.
The Topkapi Palace was the home of the Emperors, and is now a museum where you can see the harem and some beautiful tiles and treasures. (There was a comedy "heist" film called "Topkapi" with Melina Mercouri and Peter Ustinov.) If you can get hold of it, Noel Barber's book "Lords of the Golden Horn" is a very readable, colourful and fascinating account of the Emperors, their lives, concubines, wives, cruelty...
Istanbul also has some superb architecture, from the ancient Hagia Sophia Mosque to Suleiman the Magnificent's and the Blue Mosque.
There's a lot more to see, like ancient history, the souk, etc; it is a city of ...more