Istanbul is the cultural retreat of Istanbul. Though not the capital, it certainly grabs all the attention by its rich, historical, cultural heritage. It is the largest city in Turkey with a population of 13.5 million. Istanbul is also ranked among the largest populated cities in the world.
Did you know these interesting facts about the beautiful city of Istanbul?
Fact 1: Istanbul was discovered in 660 BC on the Sarayburnu promontory and was then known as Byzantium.
Fact 2: Istanbul is known for its busiest waterways mainly between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea.
Fact 3: Istanbul shares its land in both Europe and Asia and is the only city in the world to be divided between two continents.
Fact 4: The third oldest subway in the world is in Istanbul after Londonâ€™s and New Yorkâ€™s. The subway is 573 meters long built in 1875.
Fact 5: Istanbul is famous for its bazaars. One of the biggest bazaars is the Grand Bazaar consisting of more than 3,000 shops.
Fact 6: Istanbul is named the European Capital of Culture. During 2010-2011, seven million tourists visited the city of Istanbul.
Fact 7: Turkeyâ€™s largest, multi-purpose stadium is Ataturk Olympic Stadium with a seating capacity of 76,092 people.
Fact 8: The Ataturk International Airport in the city of Istanbul is the primary airport. In 2011, the airport handled 37.4 million passengers.
Fact 9: Bosphorus Strait has two suspension bridges that connect Europe to Asia.
Fact 10: The largest church in the world is in the city of Istanbul. The church is about 900 years old and is called Hagia Sophia.
Fact 11: Turkeyâ€™s biggest lighthouse lies in the Sile district along the coast of the Black Sea.
Fact 12: In 1502, Istanbul was the most populated city of the world.