Early morning on the upper deck of a ferry at the landing stage Kabataş. The cruise ship "Emerald Princess" has landed at the entrance of the Golden Horn. Looking to the left one can see the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace on top of the green headland of Istanbul's old town. Here is the connection of the Bosporus (which divides Europe and Asia) with the Marmara Sea. The sun just rised behind the Bosporus bridge that connects the two continents. On the waterfront lies the Dolmabahçe palace, the last residence of the Ottoman sultans and Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see the other names of Istanbul) is the largest city of Turkey and the third largest city in the world. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province.It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.