ALL ABOUT ISTANBUL Names This amazing city had several names. In chronological order, they sound like this... Byzantium - the settlement of the ancient Greeks. Antonina - the name of the city during the Roman Empire. Second Rome - the name when the imperial capital was displaced from Rome. Constantinople - the first official name of the new capital. Istanbul - the name derived from the Ottoman conquerors.There are many other well-known, but unofficial names of Istanbul - the Slavic name of Tsargrad and the romantic "pearl of the Bosphorus". Capital of the worldFor more than two thousand years this city has been the real capital of the world. 9 Roman emperors, 90 emperors and empresses of the Byzantine Empire, 30 Ottoman sultans lived in Istanbul in olden times. Istanbul is located between East and West. One part of the city is located in Europe, another one - at the opposite side of the Bosphorus, in Asia. Geography If you want to find one more city in the world located on two continents simultaneously, then stop spending your time in vain. Istanbul is the only city of this kind. It is divided between Europe and Asia, East and West. The Asian part of the city is larger than European, but the second one is more concentrated. Istanbul is built on fourteen hills and divided into three parts. The Bosphorus and the Golden Horn Bay are also situated in Istanbul. Istanbul consists of the following districts:EyüpEminönüÜsküdar Bakırköy Beykoz Beyoğlu Beşiktaş Şişli Fatih Sariyer Kadıköy Princes' Islands ZeytinburnuThe city is one hundred and seventy km long, sixty km wide. The total area of Istanbul is 8,000 square kilometers. The city is constantly growing.Population According to official data, 15 million people live in Istanbul. According to the unofficial - up to twenty. 20 percent of the population of Turkey live in total in Istanbul. Don't forget to add 10 million of tourists visiting the city annually.HistoryThe town was built at the Bosphorus 10,000 years ago. These were the settlements of the Bronze Age. In the seventh century BC, the city was founded at the behest of the Greek Oracle of Delphi. Alexander of Macedon had visited the so-called Byzantine Empire and ordered to build an observation tower in the middle of the Bosphorus (it has been preserved till nowadays). In the era of Rome, the city was a part of the eastern province; then the Emperor Constantine had displaced the capital here and began the grand construction works of Constantinople - the undisputed capital of three empires (Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman).SightsIstanbul is the richest city in the world, regarding the sights. There are: the giant cathedral of Hagia Sophia (one of the four great temples of the world), Blue Mosque, Yerebatan underground reservoir, Hippodrome with three columns (Egyptian, Greek, and the column of Constantine), majestic palace of Constantine, Topkapi Palace, St. Irene Church, Chora Church, Galata tower of 61 meter, Archaeological Museum... There are more than 100 mosques of 15-16 centuries, many Orthodox churches and monasteries, ancient baths of the Roman and Byzantine periods. You can also find in Istanbul 150 museums for any taste: from the Museum of Islamic Calligraphy to the Istanbul UFO Museum.