Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and its financial and cultural centre. The city is located on the Bosphorus strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of Turkey. The area of Istanbul has been settled since prehistoric times. Greek settlers from Megara founded the first city, Bizantion, in the 7th century BC. After the city was annexed to the Roman empire and later became Costantinople, initially the capital of the East Roman empire, later known as the Byzantine empire. In 1453 Constantinople was conquered by the Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, who renamed the city as Istanbul and made it the capital of the Ottoman empire. Following the declaration of the republic of Turkey in 1923, the capital was transferred to Ankara. Nowadays Istanbul has over 11 million inhabitants and generates generates 55% of Turkey's trade. From a tourist perspective, Istanbul offers many interesting sights, ranging from the Hagia Sophia museum, several mosques, the Topkapi palace and other interesting architecture. The historic areas of Istanbul have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985.

Historic centre photo gallery  - 24 pictures of Historic centre
Hagia Sofia photo gallery  - 20 pictures of Hagia Sofia
Beyoglu district photo gallery  - 16 pictures of Beyoglu district
Miscellaneous photos photo gallery  - 13 pictures of Miscellaneous photos
24 photos of the historic centre of Istanbul, where Costantinople lied in the 15th century
20 photos of Hagia Sophia, a former cathedral and mosque with 1500 years of history converted to a museum in the 20th century
16 photos of Beyoglu, a district of European Istanbul located to the north of the Golden Horn
13 miscellaneous photos of Istanbul
Gallery with all images
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©Copyright Alfred Molon