Istanbul is one of the main cities in Turkey that stretches across Asia and Europe across the Bosphorus. The ancient city reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In Sultanahmet, the open-air horse racing field and Roman eras has for centuries been a site for chariot racing, and Egyptian obelisks have remained so. The famous Byzantine Hagia Sophia is distinguished by its elevated rare Christian mosaics and 6th-century dome.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque was named during the Ottoman period (the Blue Mosque) for its blue inner tiles. Around 1460, Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans until the 19th century, carries royal rooms and artifacts that were once a great harem. Nearby are Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. Straddling the Golden Horn inlet, Galata Bridge is a famous spot for fishing and leads to the modern heart of the city.
The eastern side of the city includes waterfront and residential areas such as Kadikoy. The only capital in the world found in Europe and Asia, Istanbul stretches between modern and ancient worlds.