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Istanbul Turkey Welcome to Istanbul, Turkey

 

Istanbul is one of the most ancient and glorious cities of Europe, called "The Golden Bridge" between East and West. It was founded in 667 BC by Greek colonists and acquired the name of Byzantion. Archaeological researches showed that first human settlements on this place date back to 5500-3500 BC.

During the Roman Empire period it expanded and gained economic importance as a major port and sea trade centre. Constantine the Great proclaimed the city his capital in 324 AD, after the split of Roman Empire. In his honour the city acquired new name of Constantinople. It became the capital of powerful Byzantine Empire.

The city's unique position favoured the flourishing of trade, diplomacy and culture. The Byzantine Empire was Greek in culture, and the city became the centre for Greek Orthodox Church, which built there several grand churches, including Hagia Sophia, once the largest cathedral in the world.

Till 12th century Byzantine Empire sank into decline. In 1204 the Fourth Crusade, originally launched to Jerusalem, but had instead turned on Constantinople, looting and desecrating it. The city became the capital of the catholic Latin Empire. Byzantine Empire split in several states, the Empire of Nicaea recaptured the city and restored Byzantine rule.

The city fell under the power of Ottoman Empire and eventually became its capital. To handle its abject economic decline the Turkish Sultans invited Greek and Catholic merchants back, and ordered forty thousand families from Rumelia, regardless of faith, to settle in the city. The result was the formation of unique cosmopolitan society, incorporating groups of Muslim, Christian and Jewish religion.

The period was marked by rejuvenation of trade and commerce, construction of impressive palaces and mosques. By 18th century the Ottoman Empire lost its political predominance, but the city remained an important trade and culture centre. It became modernised only in 1870s, with the construction of bridges, water system, electric light and the introduction of telephones and cars.

After the establishment of Republic in 1923 the capital moved to Ankara, though Istanbul underwent drastic reconstruction, vast industrial areas emerged. Rapid growth of population resulted in numerous residential developments. Now it is the country's major economic, financial and entertainment centre with unique multicultural atmosphere, where East meets West.

We offer 2982 hotels in Istanbul Turkey with low rates and discounts. Our reservation system provides cheap and luxury hotels in Istanbul, hostels, motels, B&B and other budget accommodation in Istanbul. We have excellent hotel deals in central Istanbul. You can also book Istanbul airport hotels at low prices. Our system is secure and absolutely charge-free.

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