Istanbul: The Imperial City

Istanbul: The Imperial City

by John Freely


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Istanbul's history is a catalogue of change, not least of name, yet it has managed to retain its own unique identity. John Freely captures the flavour of daily life as well as court ceremonial and intrigue. The book also includes a comprehensive gazetteer of all major monuments and museums. An in-depth study of this legendary city through its many different ages from its earliest foundation to the present day - the perfect traveller's companion and guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140244618
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/1998
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.07(w) x 7.75(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Freely first went to Istanbul in 1960 to teach physics at Robert College, now the University of the Bosphorus, to which he returned in 1993. His first book was STROLLING THROUGH ISTANBUL and he has subsequently written more than twenty other travel books including CLASSICAL TURKEY, STROLLING THROUGH ATHENS, and STROLLING THROUGH VENICE.

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Istanbul: The Imperial City 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I guess, the best saying about Istanbul is from Petrus Gyllius, -a French humanist and diplomat- who had been to Istanbul during the age of Suleyman the Magnificent. Gyllius called the Bosphorus 'the strait that surpasses all straits, because with one key it opens and closes two worlds, two seas'. This book starts with this comment and goes on emphasising the true beauty of the city. John Freely is a magnificant author and obviously in love with Istanbul. Actually he is a physic professor. You can follow his precise style in all of his books. The very fascinating film 'Notting Hill' from Julia Roberst and Hugh Grant made this book popular all around the world. The travelbooks-shop owner Hugh Grant recommends this book to Julia Roberts just in the beginning of the film and emphasizes its high quality. It goes without saying that Istanbul is a well written and well illustrated book. If you have been to Istanbul before, it will remarkably reinforce your memories. If you are a real fan of history and architecture and adore intellectually written books, dont skip this one. Really breathtaking! It will take you to a whimsical yet magnificent city and its history; particulary Byzantine era. The detailed information about Istanbul's monuments, Theodosian walls (built by Theodosius II in the first half of fifth century, AD, which are still magnificent even in their ruins, the long line of towers and battlements one of the enduring symbols of Byzantium), churches, obelisks, mosques, geography and historical events which were successfully chronicled will definetly help you to understand both its glory and history. Whilst reading this book, you will see the talisman and smell judas trees, terebinths,cypress, plane trees and umbrella pines. The part of history is excellent. You will learn that once upon a time the city had been only a hamlet and had remained a free city up until the last years of the second century. In addition to that, Freely reminds us of its entire given name that is NOVA ROMA CONSTANTINOPOLITANA; New Rome, the city of Constantine. Within the centuries, the name had got shortened and had become today's version. Amazing, isn't it? I must say that if you are interested in these type of books, it worths it, if not you may get a little bit bored. So consider your preferences and then order this one.