The name change – from Constantinople to Istanbul – didn’t happen until the 20th century. But the city itself has been inhabited since the 13-11th centuries BCE. Since then it has been Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul, which translate to The City. Today, the city – which is a megacity and an alpha world city as it is in both Europe and Asia – has a population of over 13 million and is larger than Moscow (the largest city solely in Europe).
Below are some of the pictures from Istanbul – one of the coolest things about the city is that the history is reflected so evidently in its cityscape and architecture. The styles range from Byzantine, Greek, Roman, Ottoman and even Genoese. The city is booming – the economy is spread across many industries including the traditional textiles but also manufacturing, agriculture and industrial and service sectors. There is a strong middle class entrepreneurial movement and just as strong arts vibe in the city. I pretty much want to move back there.
One of the interesting things to see was that in a city as well groomed as Istanbul, that like Egypt, it is really hard to get the right permits to renovate buildings, so there are lots of decrepit buildings whose owners are just letting them fall apart because it is cheaper to rebuild from scratch rather than renovate.