istanbul constantinopolis

When Did Constantinople Became Istanbul?

Istanbul and Constantinople are most common names used for our city today, however it can be confusing for many so we will explain names of our city and when did Constantinople became Istanbul?

emperor constantineCity of Constantinople has a long history as old as history itself, however most well known name of Constantinople is named after emperor Constantine as city of founder.
Eastern Roman Empire named its capital as Constantinopolis (city of Constantine). During final crusade, Latin army preferred staying in rich Constantinopolis instead of moving towards Jerusalem. This stop lasts about 57 years however in 1261 Byzantines reclaimed the control of city again. Until then city was the richest of Europe and Asia however with Latin soldiers gold reserve of the city was moved to European countries as well. Emperors tried to find remedies for the capital again however nothing was able to return to that old good days of richness and glory with constant flow of gold with ships of trade.

fatih sultan mehmet conquerShortly after taking throne from his father Murad II in 1451, new young Sultan Mehmet started making plans to conquer city of Constantinople as it’s the last unconquered spot between Ottoman country expanding from Central Anatolia in Asia to Belgrad in Europe. Despite many attempts by his predecessors city was protected by strong walls, chain in the Golden Horn and famous Greek fire that can burn ships in the water. He was trained to be a Sultan, an engineer and leader to conquer Constantinople as it was like a cancer cell in the heart of Ottoman country.
In 1453 May 29, after a 53-day siege with strongest cannons designed by young Sultan himself, Muslim Turkish army under rule of Mehmet II (aged 21) took over the city from XI Constantinos Paleologos. Renaming the city as Islambol, made the capital city of Ottoman Empire and practiced the first Friday prayer in Hagia Sophia. Within centuries city called both as Islambol and Constantinople however in last decades of Ottoman Empire it became widely known as Istanbul and with fall of Ottoman Empire city was in the hands of new born Turkish Republic. With order of Mustafa Kemal, the founder of new state, name of the city announced as Istanbul.

After conquest of city Sultan was named as Fatih (means Conqueror) and chance of staying and practicing their religion freely was given to Christian community however most of elegant and educated society preferred leaving the city. Most arrived and resided in Italy and with thoughts of new arrivals the move of Renaissance in Europe started chanign ideology of continent.

chora churchIn the meanwhile city of Constantinople / Islambol was in the process of transformation in hands of Sultan Mehmet, during these period many churches was converted into mosques and minarets started rising in the horizon of city. Pantokrator Monastery, San Paolo Church, Pammakaristos Church and Chora Church are just a few of converted churches, however today still you can see some well preserved mosaics in these mosques. Some was converted into museums now, such as Chora Church and you can visit it with our private Istanbul tour guide during your Istanbul holiday. Please go ahead with the following link to check recommended itinerary for it.

For further interest, please check our blog and feel free to contact our team for assistance in your Istanbul tour.

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