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What city used to be called Constantinople?Answer – Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul is quite a unique place for a number of reasons: It straddles two continents (Europe and Asia), it’s the most populous city in Europe, and it can trace its history all the way back to the 7th century BC. The city that we now know as Istanbul was named Constantinople when it was “founded” in 324 CE by the Roman emperor Constantine I. Constantine named it after himself — because, why not? — and made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. The Eastern Roman Empire came to be known as the Byzantine Empire (or just “Byzantium”), and Constantinople remained its capital through thick and thin. The city was raided by enemies, torn apart by rebellions, and even occupied by crusaders in the Middle Ages. But things in Constantinople more or less held up until May 1453. That’s when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II took over, marking the end of the Middle Ages. Locals began to call the inner part of the city “Istanbul,” a mix of “Islambol” (“city of Islam” in Turkish) and “eis tin Polin” (“to the city” in Greek). However, the name wasn’t officially changed until the Republic of Turkey was formed in 1930, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire.:
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