Istanbul, 630 26th Street, Greeley
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 14.1 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe, second largest in the Middle East and the third-largest city in the world by population within city limits. Show more...
Istanbul's vast area of 5,343 square kilometers is coterminous with Istanbul Province, of which the city is the administrative capital. Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus—one of the world's busiest waterways—in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.
Founded on the Sarayburnu promontory around 660 BC as Byzantium, the city now known as Istanbul developed to become one of the most significant cities in history. For nearly sixteen centuries following its reestablishment as Constantinople in 330 AD, it served as the capital of four empires: the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before the Ottomans conquered the city in 1453 and transformed it into an Islamic stronghold and the seat of the last caliphate. Although the Republic of Turkey established its capital in Ankara, palaces and imperial mosques still line Istanbul's hills as visible reminders of the city's previous central role.