Istanbul is a world center of great importance in the past and present, embracing Asia on the one hand and Europe on the other. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus strait which connects Balck Sea to Marmara Sea , Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. With its historical peninsula, numerous scenic and historical sites, as well as newly established modern cultural centers and residential and entertainment districts , it is a magnificently unique city that has been the capital to many civilizations from past to present and still continues to be home to residents from all over the world.