"If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul." Alphonse de Lamartine
With 2600 years of history, Istanbul, previously known as Byzance and Constantinople, was occupied by the Greeks, Romans, the Christians and then the Ottomans. Not surprisingly it has a hugely rich cultural and historic heritage.
This owes much to the fact that it straddles the European side and the Asian side of the Bosphorus, linking the Marmara and the Black Seas. To the south lie the Princes’ islands.
During its long history, the city has welcomed Christians, Armenians, Jews and Muslims and is heaving with countless examples of architecture reflecting this.