Places in Istanbul

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The 2010 European Capital of Culture

This is just the latest tribute to a complex urban history spanning Europe and Asia, forged since antiquity by the achievements of coexisting civilisations. Dubbed ‘New Rome’ by Constantine, plundered by crusader greed in 1204, and Ottoman capital from 1453, today’s teeming city welcomes her visitors in safety. Ancient and evolving, while adjectives abound, Istanbul’s essence is best captured in fleeting images: in wailing hilltop minarets, bargaining in bazaars, virtually organic streets and kaleidoscopic dining and nightlife; in shrieking gulls, darting taxis and cruise ships negotiating the Bosphorus, its main artery. Istanbul is life.