Istanbul, Turkey

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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet
January 28th 2019
Published: September 3rd 2020
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What a city to take pictures — especially on the water, on the routes of the ferries that constantly shuttle between 2 continents that the city straddles.

Check out this amalgamation of videos taken during our visit

There’s a lot to like about Istanbul. As the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires (and even the Roman Empire just before its collapse), it has an amazing history. As a commercial and political center and the largest city on earth for a very long time — it attracted many ethnic groups, all of whom left their marks.

Modern day Istanbul is a major city in Turkey with a population of 15.5 million residents including at least 1 million displaced Syrians. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, an intact Roman Aqueduct, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.

The desire to explore it is still here for visitors and locals. We boarded one of the city’s beloved ferries on the European side. We congregate on the open deck and as we depart, the city’s modern silhouette emerges beyond the waters of the Bosphorus — the minarets, the Spice Bazaar, the bustling bridges, crowded seafronts, the Galata Bridge, Golden Horn and beauty that overwhelms you.

We sailed east to the Black Sea. At 19 miles long, the Bosphorus not only connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean, but also splits Istanbul between two continents, Europe and Asia. Probably one of the most important straits in the world, this watery boundary houses numerous Byzantine and Ottoman fortifications as well as a mixture of residential homes.


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