who or what am I
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From my foundation in the 4th century to the early 13th century I was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe. I was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman times and home to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
Famed for my massive and complex defences I proved invulnerable for nearly nine hundred years, despite numerous occupation attempts. Eventually in 1204 I was taken by the Crusader armies of the Fourth Crusade.
I was liberated in 1261 by the Emperor Michael the 8th of Palaiologos. This resulted in my second term as the Capital of the Byzantine Empire. I was rebuilt intentionally on seven hills as well as juxtaposed between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara.
I was the gateway between Europe and Asia and two seas, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Famed for my architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, the Imperial Palace, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome and the Golden Gate of the Land Walls.
I have gone by many names over the years including Megalopolis, Miklaguard and Basileuousa the Queen of Cities, but built by Constantine the Great in 330AD, I still remain in the region of Thrace in Turkey, however you know me know as Istanbul. Who Am I ?