The city that was the capital of the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Latin and the Ottoman Empire had to be one of the biggest and wealthiest cities that the world had ever seen in the medieval ages. Constantinople has called as Istanbul by the Turks after they conquered the region and city. It was understandably Europe's largest and wealthiest cities.
Constantinople in the Ottoman Empire
They city that was as old as history itself was obviously to become the epicenter of all trade and political activities and with under each Empire, the city only developed and grew! All of the Empires that had made Constantinople their capital wanted to develop the city as per their whims and fancies and therefore the city underwent a lot of construction and reconstruction.
It remained the capital of Ottoman Empire from 1453-1922 till Ottoman officially ceased to exist and new Turkey was formed. Even today, Istanbul remains the capital city and the hub of all central Europe activities. It is an important trade center as well as it is important from the point of view of learning the medieval history of Europe. However, Constantinople is itself older than the Roman Empire that recognized it as its capital.
Constantinople was named after the Roman emperor Constantine who founded it but some historians suggest that it may be even older after some artifacts older than the first Roman Empire were discovered in the region. When this capital city fell around to the Turks of the Ottoman Empire, the period is known as the fall of Constantinople.
When the Turks captured the city, it was not exactly a teeming city but had a healthy population of around 50,000 people. The Ottoman Empire further expanded the city through its outer periphery to make space for development and even placement of the population in and around the city.
The city saw a new high after its fall to the Ottoman Empire as art and culture rapidly developed in the city. It had carried its genes of a highly cultured and important place and aptly became the main center of further development of arts and science. Architecture under Suleyman also saw a new high and understandably, modern day Istanbul was the humdrum of all activities. The wonderful Suleyman Mosque is a fine example of what Ottoman developed that city into. It was truly an 'international city' back then and perhaps Europe's first and only till other new cities came into existence!