Istanbul Pictures, Images & Photos. Turkey { 287 images } Created 14 Apr 2012

(updated 2021)
Pictures, images & photos of Istanbul and the historic buildings of the Roman Byzantine Constantinople. Istanbul is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It literally straddles the East West divide of the Bosphorus with its western bank in Europe and its Eastern bank in Asia. Originally the Greek city of Byzantium, the strategic importance of its peninsula was recognised by Emperor Constantine who made it into the Imperial City of the Roman Empire in AD 330. The peninsular overlooks the southern entrance to the Bosphorus and with a natural habour, the Golden Horn, was the perfect site to control Trade from the East to the West. This new city was also a Christian city and Constantine built the first great churches of the Roman Empire. After Fall of The Roman Empire in the 5th century Constantinople became known as Byzantine after the Greek city of Byzantium. The Emperors of Constantinople would not have understood themselves as Byzantine as they were Emperors of The Roman Empire and remained so until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Even Constantinople became fabulously rich and powerful and therefore a target for conquest. The massive land walls that protected the peninsular and its sea walls made it impregnable to many attempts to take it by force. It did though fall in 1204 to the stealth of the Venetian Dodge Enrico Dandolo when he diverted the 4th Crusade to Constantinople to help "protect" it from the Islamic onslaught that had conquered most of Asia Minor. The taking of Constantinople led to a 3 day sack of the city during which time the Venetians loaded all of its treasures onto their ships and sailed off to Venice. Even though the Byzantine Roman Emperors retook Constantinople it never regained its glory and went into slow decline. In 1453 it finally fell to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II . Little remains of Constantinople but buildings like the Hagia Sophia, built by Emperor Theodosius II and inaugurated it on 10 October 415, give an idea of the heights of sophistication the Roman Empire had reached. It would be a thousand years before a bigger dome was built than that of Hagia Sophia. The Ottomans have endowed Istanbul with splendid mosques & palaces which fused the mystique of Eastern architecture with that of the west which along with its famous Bazaars make Istanbul one of the most colourful cities in the world. Buy as high resolution stock royalty free images of travel images to download on line or buy as photo art prints.

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