A remarkable view of the world's most enchanting and imperial city, capital of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires
"Surrounded by a garland of waters" on the narrow straits of the Bosporus dividing Europe and Asia, Istanbul -- formerly known as Constantinople -- has been an unrivaled locus of cultural exchange since its beginnings as the Greek colony Byzantium. In its more than twenty-six centuries of existence the city has survived countless natural and political catastrophes, foreign conquests, and dynastic upheavals, enduring fantastic changes in religion, language, political status, and name. Despite these onslaughts of time, a vibrant local character and spirit have abided. This fascinating history of the city from its foundation to the present is a guide for the curious traveler as well as an evocation of an illustrious past.