Christian Constantinople, on the north side of the Golden Horn, comprises Galata, Pera, and Top-hana. Galata is pre-eminently the merchant quarter, founded by a colony of Genoese merchants in 1216. The Tower of Galata, a Genoese erection, serves the same purpose as the Seraskier's Tower on the opposite side in giving alarms of fires. A tunnelled railway drags passengers up the steep ascent to Pera. Pera is the aristocratic quarter; here are all the embassies and consulates. The steep and badly paved Grande Rue is lined with fair if expensive shops, and boasts a rude opera-house, many cafes and restaurants, besides most of the principal hotels, and probably the worst morals in Europe. Turks preponderate at Top-hana, which is so named from its cannon-foundry; the magnificent palace of Dolmabagche is on the brink of the Bosphorus. Other suburbs are Kasira Pasha, on the Golden Horn, the seat of the admiralty; Haskoi, and the picturesque village of Eyyub. Along the European shore of the Bosphorus are the summer-resorts of Therapia and Biyukdere. The Asiatic shore is also lined with settlements from Scutari (q.v.) to Candili. The new palace of Yildiz Koshki stands at the top of the hill of Beshik-tash, beyond Peru. The population of Constantinople is estimated at about 1,250,000, of whom half are Mohammedans. The trade, chiefly in the hands of Europeans, is increasing, but much below what it might be if properly developed. The local manufactures are insignificant. The burden of vessels entering and clearing the port exceeds 15,000,000 tons. The first through express train from Paris (via Belgrade and Adrian-ople) reached Stambol in 1888. - In 330 a.d., impressed by its magnificent site, Constantine the Great abandoned the old capital of the Roman Empire on the Tiber, and founded in the place of Byzantium a new metropolis on the Bosphorus, which he called Constantinople. Its walls and public buildings were enlarged and beautified by Justinian in 527-565. Since then it has undergone many sieges by Sassanians, Persians, Avars, Saracens (six times), Russians (in 9th to 11th century), Latins, and Turks; and of its twenty-six sieges and eight captures, that of the Latins under Baldwin and Dandolo in 1204 was by far the most disastrous, barbarous, and spoliating. In comparison, the Turkish sieges were humane and chivalrous: the first took place in 1356; Murad II. made the attempt again in 1422; and Mohammed II. carried the city in 1453. The great church Councils of Constantinople were held in 381 and 553 a.d.

See books by De Amicis (trans. 1878), Mordt-mann, F. Marion Crawford (1895), Grosvenor (1895), and W. H. Hutton (1900); and on its past history by Brodribb and Besant (1878), Van Millingen (1899), and Pears (1903).