presentation of Istanbul
Like a lost and forgotten kingdom, Istanbul awaits you to be discovered again. Istanbul is an alive museum with its innumerable historic sites, one can discover always there new treasures with the turning of a lane. Istanbul is also a point of meeting of several civilizations which have met for 8000 years.
Originally founded by Greek colonists as Byzantium, it was made into the eastern capital of the Roman Empire in AD 324, by the Roman Emperor Constantine; Byzantium was re-named Nova Roma ("New Rome"), but this name failed to impress; and the city soon became known as Constantinople, "the City of Constantine". With the fall of Rome and the Western Roman Empire, Constantinople became the sole capital of what historians now call the Byzantine Empire.
The small Greek city of the colony of Mégare in IVe century became one of the large metropolises of the world, with more than ten million inhabitants. Extending on approximately 365 km 2, Istanbul is a noisy and frantic city which, in spite of that, knew to keep a human scale.
Istanbul evokes the ostentation of Thousand and One Nights: With its museums, its churches, its palates, its mosques, its markets and its natural beauties, it is the dream of escape par excellence
the aqueduct of Valens : This Roman aqueduct, is not used any more. But
with its construction, the aqueducts of Valens carried water in the
cisterns of the city starting from various sources, some being located
at more than 200 km of the city.
Begun with Constantin the Large one, it was completed only into 378 by the Valens emperor. Several restorations were necessary to face a series of earthquakes.
Today, this aqueduct constitutes one of the most popular monuments of Istanbul under which to length of day thousands of cars pass.
texts and photographs : Stephane