What Is Unique about Istanbul, Turkey?

Part Europe and part Asia, Istanbul is the only city in the world that is situated on two continents. During its 2,000-year history, Istanbul was a focal point of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. Its name has changed, too, from Byzantium to Constantinople to Istanbul. The city's multicultural background is evident in its eclectic architecture, co-existing cultures, and myriad religious beliefs. Istanbul is home to some of the most famous churches and mosques in the world, including the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

A confluence of cultures:

  • Biblical scholars believe that Noah’s Ark landed on Agri Dagi – also known as Mount Ararat – in eastern Turkey.

  • The rise of early Christianity is evident in Istanbul. St. John, St. Paul, and St. Peter all lived and prayed in southern Anatolia.

  • The Hagia Sophia was originally constructed as a Greek Orthodox church by the Byzantines, but it was used as a mosque for 500 years during the Ottoman Empire. It is now a museum.

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Post 1

The capital city of Turkey is not Istanbul, but Ankara.

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