Istanbul, imperial capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, is the only city in the world which bestrides two continents-a magnificently situated city, as a poet once wrote, 'surrounded by a garland of waters...'
The Greek colony of Byzantium was transformed into Christian Constantinople in AD 330 and became Islamic Istanbul after the Turkish conquest of 1453. Yet despite a succession of sackings, riots and earthquakes, it always managed to retain its unique atmosphere and appel. For over 2,000 years travellers have come, been dazzled and taken home tales of its marvels and mysteries, its debaucheries and delights. John Freely tells the story of the city from its foundation to the present day, brilliantly capturing the flavour of daily life as well as court ceremonial and ,ntrigue. He also includes a comprehensive gazetter of all major momuments and museums.