Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Czargrad is another name for the city of Constantinople, which is modern day Istanbul in Turkey. It is Russian in origin, and was rarely used outside of that country, and as the zeitgeist which spawned the term has faded, it is now an archaic term. The name Czargrad has been Romanized for use with that alphabet, the name means something along the lines of "Place of the King".

The term became common vernacular in the principality of Muscovy, when they began to adopt Byzantine practices in the 15th century. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the burgeoning Russian Empire had begun to see itself as the last extension of the Roman Empire, and the force that would resurrect the lost leviathan. This belief was the supported by the Russian Orthodox Church and given at least an air of legitimacy by the marriage of Ivan III to the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor. The royals adopted the title Czar, and the use of the name Czargrad, made the lost city sound mysterious and royal. It was allegedly an objective of the Czars to recapture the city, but despite many southern advances and expansion by the empire, this was never realized.