The economic and cultural hub of Turkey, Istanbul was known as Byzantium and Constantinople during the ancient times. It was given its present name when the Ottomans established their rule over the country during the 15th century. This transcontinental city spans the continents of Europe and Asia, linked by the Bosporus Strait. The historical and commercial centre of this city is in the European part and one-third of its population resides in the Asian part. It is owing to this unique feature that the city is considered as a bridge between the East and West.
Your cheap Istanbul holidays would give you the chance to explore the city’s most fabulous structures and many of them were built during the Ottoman era. The more ancient sites remind you of the rich history of this city, which can be traced back to 660 BC when the Greek settlers established it as Byzantium. It was followed by a short-lived rule by the Persians. The war between the Greeks and Persians later resulted in the recapture of Byzantium by the Greeks. After the 1st century, it prospered under the rule of the Roman Empire. The city came to be known as ‘Constantinople’, when it was ruled by the Roman Emperor, Constantine, also known as ‘Constantine the Great’.
During the Fourth Crusade in the early 13th century, the city was taken over by the Catholic crusaders and the Byzantine Empire was created. In the 15th century, the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople after a siege that lasted 8 weeks. It came under the rule of Sultan Mehmet II ‘The Conqueror’ and was declared the Ottoman Empire’s capital. The grand church, Hagia Sophia, was converted into an imperial mosque and came to be known as ‘Aya Sofya’. Your cheap holidays to Istanbul would give you the opportunity to explore this magnificent structure and its majestic surroundings.
Sultan Mehmet II created a cosmopolitan society by inviting people from various parts of Europe to settle in Constantinople. Tragedy struck years later when the epidemic of plague reduced the population of 500,000 residents to merely 1,800. Mehmet II later began a redevelopment process, which witnessed the construction of the Grand Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace. While getting around in the city during your cheap holiday to Istanbul, you can visit these fabulous attractions that have stood the test of time. Under the Ottomans, the city got transformed from a major centre of Christianity to a symbol of flourishing Islamic culture.
The rule of Suleiman the Magnificent was a golden period in the history of the Ottoman Empire. It saw the development of arts and the construction of several architectural wonders. By the end of 18th century, the population of the city grew to 570,000. The city was named ‘Istanbul’ and the rule of Sultan Mahmud II saw considerable political reforms and the introduction of new technology. The 19th and early-20th centuries saw a period of instability and wars, which ultimately ended with Turkey becoming a republic on the 29th of October, 1923.
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