Constantinople: where East meets West
Constantinople is a place of great contrasts. It’s a mega-city with a population of approximately 14,000,000 that straddles two continents, Asia and Europe.
It’s a city steeped in history, where tradition and culture are piled layer upon layer, where stately palaces, cathedrals, mosques and synagogues lie beside chaotic bazaars, steaming hamams and intimate nargile joints.
Ottoman Constantinople sits easily with ancient Byzantium, but emerging on top of them is a new modern, cool city that has been working at break neck speed to transform itself.
In the past decade, development has transformed ghetto-like no-go zones into hip and vibrant neighbourhoods whose stylish clientele spill out into the streets, eating and drinking until the early hours of the morning. Amazing clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, shops, hotels and galleries are springing up at an explosive pace.
It’s also a city that remains a favourite destination for Greeks from around the world and their desire to explore this once great capital of the Byzantine Empire is eagerly welcomed by the resident of Constantinople.
Keen to further explore his Asia Minor roots, George Hatzimanolis recently visited this mythical city.
Photos: George Hatzimanolis
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