It is a city of mystery, a city of wonders, whose history is unlike any other. Istanbul—once known as Byzantium, then renamed Constantinople—served as the capital of three empires. Today, its architectural treasures are enduring legacies of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman rule.
Once a major stop along the Silk Road, Istanbul’s historic center is now a UNESCO Heritage site. Its past continues to offer up new discoveries and evidence of the quotidien lives of long-ago city dwellers. There are also reminders around every corner of the city’s place in world history, from Hagia Sophia to Topkapi Palace, from the Chora Monastery to the underground ruins of the Byzantine Great Palace.
Serif Yenen, a travel specialist, and author, highlights some of the iconic places to visit along with sites still waiting to be discovered by visitors to this storied city.
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