Short history of Istanbul
The foundation of Istanbul is generally agreed to date to 677 BCE by a Greek colonist named Byzas from Athens. This colony became known as Byzantion, and grew to be one of the most successful city states in the Greek world.
Following subjugation by various empires (Lydian, Persian, Athenian and Macedonian), it became part of the Roman empire in 64 BCE. In 324 CE, Constantine the Great become sole ruler of the Roman Empire, and he moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium, and his new city became known as Constantinople. Theodosius I, a successor of Constantine, divided the empire between his two sons, and when the Western Empire fell to barbarian armies in the 5th century, the Greek speaking, Eastern Empire, (known as the Byzantine Empire) survived. Justinian in the 6th century developed Constantinople into a thriving city whilst also expanding the empire. During the middle ages, the city was a centre of learning, art and culture and law when most of Europe was experiencing a dark age.
Constantinople fell to Sultan Mehmet II on the 29th May 1453, after a 54-day siege and his first task was to rebuild a city that had been destroyed by war. The Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace were built and people encouraged to move to the city from all over the empire, forming a truly cosmopolitan society. Mehmet and his successors went on to expand the Ottoman empire into Europe and the Middle East.
In 1923 the capital of Turkey was moved to Ankara, and a booming economy led to an energised city once more.
The Bascilica Cistern which could hold 100 million litres of water