29-01-2022 - History

History of the Ottoman Empire

When you visit Istanbul, you will find tens of traces from the glamorous Ottoman Empire. Having ruled the city for over 600 years, Ottoman architecture and arts had a great impact on Istanbul's city soul. During your Istanbul trip, you will find Hagia Sophia, Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace and other iconic landmarks in Istanbul that were built during the Ottoman era. Now, let’s learn more about the history of Ottoman-era with a quick summary!

For over 600 years, the Ottoman Empire ruled over a substantial portion of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It was established in 1299 and disbanded in 1923, when it was replaced by the Turkey Republic. The Ottoman Empire's Ascendancy In 1299, Osman I, a chief of Turkish tribes in Anatolia, founded the Ottoman Empire. Osman I extended his empire, bringing many of Anatolia's autonomous states under his control. Over the people he conquered, Osman formed a formal government and permitted religious freedom.

Istanbul in Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire began to spread for the next 150 years. The Byzantine Dynasty was the most powerful empire in the land at the time (Eastern Roman Empire). Mehmet II the Conqueror led the Ottoman Empire to conquer Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire's capital, in 1453. He renamed Constantinople Istanbul and made it the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire will become one of the world's biggest and most powerful empires for the next few centuries.

As the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople a vast number of scholars and artists fled to Italy. This aided in the rise of the European Renaissance. It also prompted European nations to seek out new trading routes to the East, beginning the Age of Exploration.

Suleiman The Magnificent

During the reign ofSuleiman the Glorious, the Ottoman Empire achieved its height. From 1520 to 1566, he ruled. During this period, the empire rose to include a large portion of Eastern Europe, including Greece and Hungary.

Suleiman the Magnificent was regarded as all Muslims' earthly king. The Ottomans named him "The Lawgiver." 

In the late 1600s, the Ottoman Empire started to fall apart. It started expanding and started to struggle economically with India and Europe. Internal bureaucracy and weak administration contributed to the empire's gradual collapse until 1923, when it was dissolved and Turkey declared a republic.

In the Ottoman Empire, religion was very significant. While the Ottomans were Muslims, they did not compel their captured peoples to convert. They made it possible for Christians and Jews to pray without fear of being persecuted. This stopped the defeated people from revolting and permitted them to reign for too long. Among Ottoman’s most iconic religious buildings, we can findHagia Sophia Mosque and Chora Church. When you travel to Istanbul you will find many more churches and mosques, reflecting the city’s cosmopolitan texture.

Ottoman Sultans

The Sultanwas the name given to the ruler of the Ottoman Empire. The eldest son inherited the title of Sultan. When a new Sultan came to power, he would imprison both of his brothers. He will have his brothers executed until he had a son of his own to inherit the throne.

The Sultan and his many wives resided in Istanbul's Topkapi Palace. Fun fact since he was afraid of being killed, the Sultan would move to a new place in the palace at night!

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