Istanbul, still called Constantinople in Greek, is a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its rich history and beautiful, ancient architecture. Istanbul, or Constantinople, has passed through numerous civilizations’ hands from Greek settlers to the Roman Empire and the Ottomans. It was the seat of power for the Byzantine Empire, the eastern and later surviving half of the Roman Empire. It featured the world’s last surviving Great Library, and still maintains some of the ancient Theodosian Walls that kept it safe for centuries. A city so rich in history has countless fascinating facts, so read on to enjoy 40 of them!
40. A City of Many Names
Istanbul, the major city in Turkey that sits on the Bosphorus Strait, has gone by many names throughout history. As one of Eurasia’s most important and oldest cities, it has gone through many eras and proper names. Originally a small Thracian settlement called Lygos, Istanbul indeed came into its own as a Greek settlement called Byzantium. Eventually, the Roman Emperor Constantine named the city after himself, calling it Konstantinoupolis which became anglicized as Constantinople.