Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia
Interesting Facts & Trivia
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25 - QUESTION: Which city is built on two continents, connects Asia and Europe, and is considered the end of the Silk Road?
Istanbul is located in Turkey, a country along the western end of the Silk Road. The city (formerly Constantinople), was not only a major point of trade for the network of overland and maritime Silk Routes, it was also a location where major civilizations of the world overlapped and intermingled for 8,500 years. Istanbul, as a bridge of two continents, has served as a melting pot of cultures and religions from the east, west, north and south (and is the reason why the city is often referred to as "the crossroad of civilizations"). Istanbul is located on the strategic Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara (and Aegean which flows into the Mediterranean). The Strait also separates Asian Turkey (historically known as Asia Minor) from European Turkey (or Thrace, Trakya) -- thus separating the two continents of Asia and Europe. Crossed by two large suspension bridges, the city also plays a unique international role since it connects the two continents by road. Many historic areas of Istanbul have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Istanbul was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010.
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