Byzantine Hippodrome, Istanbul

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  • Walled Obelisk, Istanbul, TR
    Walled Obelisk, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • Walled Obelisk, Istanbul, TR
    Walled Obelisk, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • Walled Obelisk, Istanbul, TR
    Walled Obelisk, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • AcornMan's Profile Photo

    Hippodrome

    by AcornMan Updated Apr 24, 2004

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    Obelisk at the Hippodrome

    One interesting place to walk around and take in the sites is the Hippodrome, located in Sultanahmet right next to the Blue Mosque. This is the central tourist location of the city, and from here you can get to nearly all the major attractions in the city by walking. There are also a ton of restaurants and hotels in this area.

    The problem with the central location of the Hippodrome and surrounding area is that it is absolutely saturated with the aforementioned pesky salespeople and would-be tour guides. After a day or two you'll figure out how to deal with them, but it can be quite overwhelming at first.

    This is the impressive Obelisk at the Hippodrome. Don't stop too long for your picture though, or the hawkers will never leave you alone!

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    Column of Constantine Porphyrogenetus

    by Hopkid Written Apr 20, 2008

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    So named because it reputedly had plates of bronze attached to all four sides (since pillaged during the Fourth Crusade), this column is known more for the emperor who had it restored in the 10th century A.D. Not much is known of its date of origin or what it commemorates.

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  • viajeras2's Profile Photo

    Byzantine Hippodrome

    by viajeras2 Updated Aug 22, 2007

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    With a capacity of 100,000 spectators, the Hippodrome was the scene for the political struggles and the uprisings in the capital city of the Empire. The construcction of the race tracks and the cavea started in the reign of Emperos Septimus Severus and were completed a hundred years lated under Constantine the Great. The stones from the structure were used in the construction of the Blue Mosque. the only thing that remains from the hippodrome are the three monumental columns and a fountain.

    Is important to know the granite obelisk was brought from the temple of Carnac on the river Nile by the Roman emperor Thedosius. The second one is the "Column of the Serpent", brought from the Temple of Apollo in Delphi and the last one is the a present from German Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Ottoman dinasty.

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  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo

    ...Twisted

    by TheLongTone Updated Dec 26, 2010

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    A very tricky bit of cast bronze....

    The Hippodrome is a thought-provoking monument to the millenia-old custom of looting

    At the Southern end is the Rough Column. Used to be covered in plates of gold. Naturally, they are long gone. Believed to be those crusaders in 1204.

    Next along is this, the 'Twisted column' which originally supported a sacrificial basin in Ephesus. Dates from the fifth century BC. Looted by Constantine himself. Originally the intertwined seerpent's bodies culminated in a bronze head: these went missing in 1700. (part of one is on display in the archeological museum.) As with it's companions. its base is considerably below present-day street level.

    And thirdly, a looted Egyptian obelisk. Most interesting for the Byzantine plinth upon which it is placed: one face of this shows the erection of the obelisk and is so one of the rare bits of firm evidence we have concerning Classica/medaeval technology.

    Incidentally, the archaeological museum should have Helen of Troy's headdress in it. But Schliemann nicked it and took it to Berlin, from whence it was looted in 1945. Probably lost forever.

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  • Sirvictor's Profile Photo

    The Serpentine or Snake Column

    by Sirvictor Updated May 16, 2006

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    The Serpentine Column
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    In Turkish "Yilanli Sutun" or "Burmali Sutun"
    On the minuature you can see the old design of the column with 3 snake heads. According to the Greek mythologie Apollon was the god of beauty, power and strenght. He killed a 3 headed snake called Piton which was the master of all evil. Originally the design was 8 meters high. On the top of the 3 heads were a cassel.

    Florists parading infront of Sultan.
    Kebab cooks parading infront of Sultan
    A miniature of Nakkas Osman. You can see the colum .

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  • manuelEB's Profile Photo

    Bizantine Hippodrome

    by manuelEB Updated Aug 17, 2003

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    Istanbul is a wonderful city, and the pictures only tell half of the story. I hope you are enjoying browsing through these Istanbul pages as much as I enjoyed my trip and as much as I am enjoying going through my memories to write the accompanying tips. Please, come back soon, you will find new information in your next visit.

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  • manuelEB's Profile Photo

    ...

    by manuelEB Updated Sep 22, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Istanbul is a wonderful city, and the pictures only tell half of the story. I hope you are enjoying browsing through these Istanbul pages as much as I enjoyed my trip and as much as I am enjoying going through my memories to write the accompanying tips. Please, come back soon, you will find new information in your next visit.

    You must be very active in learning a bit about other cultures and abandoning those false supremacy poses...You won't become better - too late for you- but perhaps in two or three generations your specie will be extinct.

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  • TomorrowsAngel's Profile Photo

    hippodrome

    by TomorrowsAngel Written Jul 2, 2003

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    base of turkish obelisk at hippodrome

    The place where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period.
    It is really just a big paved rectangle of concrete - I thought it would have a stadium or something kinda Roman looking.
    The egyptian monuments are quite cool, and it is really close to some cool restaurants and the Ayasofia which makes it worth a look.

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  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisk

    by mikelisaanna Written Mar 24, 2009

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    The Egyptian Obelisk in Istanbul
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    The Hippodrome in Istanbul features three ancient columns. The most famous of the them is the Egyptian Obelisk, which is exactly what its name suggests - an obelisk that was imported from Egypt. The obelisk was originally carved during the reign of Pharoah Thutmoses III in the 15th century, BC. The sides of the obelisk feature hieroglyphics related to Egyptian gods. It was moved from Egypt to its current location during the reign of the Roman emperor Theodosius, and is therefore sometimes called the "Obelisk of Theodosius" or "Column of Theodosius". The obelisk, which is about 20 meters tall, rests on four marble slabs that feature Greek and Latin inscriptions about the Roman royal family.

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Hippodrome

    by SirRichard Written Dec 15, 2002

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    The Hippodrome now...

    This long square (480 meters length and 117.5 meters wide), where long ago used to be the hippodrome, is by the Sultanhamet Mosque.
    It was build in 203 by the Emperor Septimus Severus and it was the center of the civil activities.
    The central obelisque was made in Egypt and brought here by Theodosius the Great in 390 A.C.

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  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    No Horseplay Here

    by mrclay2000 Updated Mar 12, 2003

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    German Fountain outside Sultanahmet

    The general layout of the ancient Hippodrome can still be appreciated from the three remaining monuments along the ancient spina of the arena. At one end is the least congruous monument in the area, the so-called German Fountain, a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm II in the 1890s.

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  • albaaust's Profile Photo

    Walk through Hippodrome

    by albaaust Written Feb 22, 2008

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    The Sultanahmet Square /Hippodrome is where chariot races were run and was the centre of Byzantine civic life. Only three monuments have survived: the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
    This is a nice area to walk through on the way to the Blue Mosque with its 18th century houses which have been restored from Ayasofya or the other way round.

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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    A Slice of History

    by al2401 Updated Sep 14, 2010

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    Egyptian Obelisk - Hippodrome - Istanbul
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    Now a part of Sultanahmet Square, the Hippodrome was once one of the largest tracks in the ancient world - second only to the Circus Maximus in Rome. It is now a landscaped park following the road from Sultanahmet Mosque to Hagia Sophia. Its construction started in 203 AD.

    The Hippodrome is now an open-air museum displaying relics of ancient and not so ancient times. The oldest is the Egyptian Obelisk from the 15th century BC and brought from Egypt by the then Emperor Theodosius I. I is made from pink granite and was originally 32.5 metres high. It was reduced to 20 metres for transportation and now sits on a marble plinth. The plinth was constructed in 389 AD and depicts scenes of the activities of the Hippodrome.

    The column of Constatntine dates from the 10th century and its 32 metre height was covered with decorated copper and brass. This was removed during the invasion of the 13th century and used to make coins.

    The latest structure in the Hippodrome is the Kaiser Wilhelm or German Fountain. It ws a gift from the Kaiser in 1898 as he was impressed by the hospitality he received upon his second visit to Turkey.

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  • Nobbe's Profile Photo

    The Hippodrome

    by Nobbe Written Jan 17, 2003

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    The Obelisk of Theodosius

    The Byzantine Hippodrome (in front of the Blue Mosque) is now a city park, but for almost 2000 years it was the heart of Constantinople's political and sporting life. In this park you will find an Egyptian Obelisk which dates back to 1500, B.C. This 19,5 meter monolith once stood in front of the Amon Ra Temple of Thutmosis III in Karnak. Shipped from Egypt to decorate the Hippodrome in 390 AD.

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  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    Column of Constantine Porphyrogenetus

    by mikelisaanna Written Mar 24, 2009

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    The Column of Porphyrogenetus

    The Column of Constantine Porphyrogenetus is a tall column made of stone blocks in Istanbul's Hippodrome. The column's sides were originally covered with bronze reliefs. However, those were removed by invading Crusaders during the 4th Crusade in the 1200s.

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