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The Different Names of Istanbul

Istanbul in Different Names
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Istanbul is one of the most significant cities in the world history as it hosted numerous civilizations throughout centuries. All of these civilizations have contributed to the melting pot that is now Istanbul. Of course, such a multicultural city has made its mark on those who crossed paths with itself. Let’s check out the different names given to Istanbul in several languages and cultures. You may be amazed at the variety!


The city of Constantinople was named after the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Having been the capital city of the Roman and the Latin Empires for more than 1,100 years, Constantinople became the capital of the Ottoman Empire upon its conquest by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453.

Istanbul, Turkey


Stanpolis or Stanpoli means “The only city” or “Towards the city” in Romaic. This name is said to be the origin of the city’s current name, Istanbul.

Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey


In his dialogue “The Republic”, Plato uses the name Kallipolis to describe his utopia. Kallipolis, which means “Ideal city”, is one of the many names given to Istanbul.

Istanbul, Turkey


Meaning “Big and golden city” in the Viking languge, the name Mikligarður was rightfully given to Istanbul since it was one of the two biggest cities in the world at the time.

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul


The origin of Istanbul can be traced down to Byzantion, an ancient city located in what is now Istanbul in the 7th century B.C. The name Byzantion is later turned into Byzantium by the Romans in an attempt to latinize it in the 1st century A.D.

Istanbul, Turkey


Istifanya is the name of Istanbul in Dutch.

Istanbul, Turkey


In Albanian, Istanbul is called Stambolli.

Istiklal Street, Istanbul


In Hungarian language, it is called Isztambul.

Ortaköy, Istanbul


The Latvian name of Istanbul is Stambula.

Istanbul, Turkey

Megali Polis

Meaning “Big city”, Megali Polis is one of the several names given to Istanbul in Romaic.

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Nova Roma

Nova Roma is a temporary name given to Istanbul in 330 A.D. when the Roman Emperor Constantine I made it the capital city of the Roman Empire.

Pierre Loti, Istanbul


Stambulas is the name of Istanbul in Lithuanian.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul


Frequent visitors of Istanbul, the Japanese people call Istanbul Istanbuuru.

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Istanbul

Stimbol, Vizant, Eskomboli

There are numerous names given to Istanbul in Armenian language since Armenians are one of the largest ethnic minorities living in Istanbul. Stimbol, Vizant and Eskomboli are just three of these names.

Istanbul, Turkey


In Assyrian language, Istanbul is called Yankovice.

Haydarpaşa Train Station, Istanbul


The Arabic name of Istanbul is El-mahsura.

Istanbul during Ottoman Times


The name of Istanbul is Vizantion in Greek.

Prince Islands, Istanbul


Meaning “The threshold of the state”, Asitane is the Farsi name of Istanbul.

Çırağan Palace, Istanbul


In Polish, Istanbul is called Kanatorya.

A Waterfront Mansion by the Bosphorus

Eis Tin Poli

Eis Tin Poli means “Towards the city” in ancient Greek. It was the name given to Istanbul at the time.

Istanbul, Turkey


Estambul is the Spanish name of Istanbul.

Istanbul, Turkey


Another name of Istanbul, Tsarigrad means “The city of the Czar” in Serbian language.

Rumeli Fortress, Istanbul


Istanbul is called Grandorya in African language.

Istanbul, Turkey

Antoninya, Alma Roma

They are the Latin names of Istanbul.

Rumeli Fortress, Istanbul


The Icelandic name of Istanbul is Tyrkjagardur.

Istanbul from the Air


Istanbul is called Aliyana in Czech language.

Istanbul, Turkey


Just like Tsarigrad in Serbian language, Carigrad also means “The city of the Czar” in Slovenian.

Maiden Tower, Istanbul

Mahrusa-i Konstantiniyye

Mahrusa-i Konstantiniyye is one of the many names given to Istanbul during the Seljuq Empire.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Augusta Antonina

Another temporary name, Augusta Antonina was the name given to Istanbul by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in the 3rd century.

Istanbul, Turkey


Dersaadet, Deraliyye, Mahrusa-i Saltanat, Darü’s-saltanat-ı Aliyye, Asitane-i Aliyye, Darü’l-Hilafetü’l Aliye, Payitaht-ı Saltanat, Dergah-ı Mualla, Südde-i Saadet

These names are among the several ones given to Istanbul, the capital city of the Ottoman Empire between the years 1453 and 1923.

Tophane in Ottoman Times



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