Where Asia and Europe Meet

Which major city lies in both Asia and Europe?

And the answer: Istanbul.

As one of the world's most populous cities, Istanbul is an ancient cultural and economic hub of both Europe and Asia. Straddling the Bosporus Strait, Istanbul's commercial and historical center lies on the European side, and about a third of its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side.

Istanbul is an ancient city and longstanding cultural hub. The city has carried many names throughout the years, beginning with "Byzantium" at the time of its founding in 657 BCE. Name changes by consequent Roman emperors and Ottoman kings reflected new rule and new beginnings – after all, this city has long since been one of the most coveted sources of political and economic power in the world.

Once the capital of both the great Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Istanbul is home to countless relics and sites of historical significance. The centuries of Islamic influence is palpable through the various mosques across the city, including the famous Hagia Sophia. Many of these ancient sites reflect the convergence of cultures that has historically taken place in Istanbul, with visibly Roman-influenced column styles alongside Ottoman-era palaces, alongside Byzantine cisterns and mosques.

Check out the video below to learn more about the history of this ancient city:


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