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East Meets West What Makes Istanbul Unique

As an important strategic location for many of history’s great civilizations, and a major center of the ages-old Silk spice routes that connected Asia, Africa, and Europe, Istanbul has carved out a unique place among cities. Formerly known as Constantinople and Byzantium, Istanbul is a place of remarkable historical convergences, the rise and fall of many empires, and centuries of religious movement and cultural pluralism. All these combined histories and intertwined cultures formed the modern Republic of Turkey, and in the process made Istanbul one of the world’s most fascinating, complex and dynamic cities to visit.

The Rise and Fall of Empires

Founded during the 7th century BCE as Byzantium, over the successive thousand years it metamorphosed into the Eastern capital of the Roman Empire when Emperor Constantine chose the city to become the new, Christian capital of Nea Roma. Yet Constantine’s dominating influence on the city’s construction assured that Nea Roma was referred to as the eponymous Constantinople, which it remained for the Middle Ages and throughout the Latin Empire. Then, for nearly four centuries stretching from the mid-15th century to the mid-19th century, the European peninsula on the Bosphorus served as center of power and home to the Ottoman Sultans who ruled the vast and transcontinental Ottoman Empire.

Today, visitors can stroll in the footsteps of emperors in Istanbul’s many Roman and Latin ruins, as well as amble through the exquisitely beautiful Topkapı Palace, home of the sultans, with its elaborate series of courtyards, gardens, pavilions, chambers and reception rooms that marked a distinctive combination of architectural styles.

Explore Istanbul’s Unique Heritage from the Old City

When you’ve decided to dive into the amazing sea of culture that is Istanbul, the next decision is where to stay and what to do! If this is your first visit to Istanbul, then allow us to recommend that you stay in the Old City. Located on the Historic Peninsula that sits alongside the European banks of the Bosphorus, the Old City features an amazing wealth of important sites including not just the Topkapı Palace, but also the Gulhane Park, the Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and the unusual subterranean Basilica Cistern, to name just a few.

If you are planning a visit to Istanbul, consider staying at the Hotel Büyük Keban, conveniently located within easy walking distance of the marvels of central Istanbul. History lovers will truly get the most out of their Istanbul stay by exploring the serpentine alleys, climbing backstreets, and broad avenues of the Old City and the European peninsula, and the Hotel Büyük Keban is right in the midst of it all: art and architecture, music and cinema, fashion and food.

Comfort and Convenience in the City Center

We at the Hotel Büyük Keban are proud to have been welcoming travelers from around the world for over 40 years. Our entire premises have recently been updated and refurbished – all the better to serve you. We look forward to welcoming you to our uniquely fascinating city! To learn more or to book your reservation today, visit us online!


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