To the world of cultures blended by history, and beauty intersecting in the strait – Part 1
“The Crossroads of Civilizations.” Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city which straddles the border between Asia and Europe, embodies this phrase which has often been used in the history of the world. Divided by the 30km long Bosphorus Strait, the city is known for its intersection of ‘East’ and ‘West’, as well as Christianity and Islam. Exotic and elegant, oriental and majestic, Istanbul is a city that is too unique to be described in words. The best way to get to know the city is to see it with your own eyes and experience its history. What will the city, so deeply intertwined with different concepts of history, show us?
The Bosphorus, a bridge between Asia and Europe
In the morning haze, the ship sails through the Bosphorus Strait, which separates the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. Along with other surrounding straits, it has played an important role since ancient times as a key point of maritime traffic between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The shadows of the city float on both sides of the river and the morning sun begins to melt the darkness, revealing itself little by little. The domes of mosques and the towering minarets – the looming exotic atmosphere makes you wonder what kind of sights and people we will encounter here today. Soon we wake up to the sound of the azan, which announces the time for Islamic prayer, and the ship enters the harbor, into the embrace of the city.
As we sail through the Bosphorus, with signs of night still lingering in the air, we can feel the city slowly turning up the heat.
Water buses carry people from land to land, across the Bosphorus. It’s a fantastic scene, just like a painting.
In front of the harbor is the “Historic Centre of Istanbul,” registered as a World Heritage Site. The city that has spun 1,500 years of history as the capital of two great empires greets us.