Egyptian Obelisk, Istanbul

17 Reviews

Hippodrome, Sultanahmet
  • Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR
    Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR
    Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR
    Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Askla's Profile Photo

    The Egyptian Obelisk.

    by Askla Written Oct 10, 2015

    The so called Egyptian Obelisk was originally commissioned by Pharaoe Thutmose III (1549 - 03 B.O.T). He erected it at Deir el Bahri opposite Thebe in Upper Egypt to commemorate one of his campaigns in Syria and his crossing of the Euphrates River. It was brought toConstantineopel in the 4th century. It could not be raised at once so it lay for some years on the seashore. It was emperor Theodosius the Great who finally erected it on its present site in the year 390.
    There are reliefs on the base. The second photo shows the emperor when he is crowning victors; the third photo shows him assisting in the erection of the obelisk; the fourth one shows him receiving homage from defeated enemies while the last photo shows

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo

    Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated May 20, 2013

    The Obelisk of Theodosius (Dikilitas) is the Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Tutmoses III re-erected at the Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in the 4th century AD.

    The marble pedestal had bas-reliefs dating to the time of the obelisk's re-erection in Constantinople. On one face Theodosius I is shown offering the crown of victory to the winner in the chariot races, framed between arches and Corinthian columns, with happy spectators, musicians and dancers assisting in the ceremony. In the bottom right of this scene is the water organ of Ctesibius and on the left another instrument.

    There are obvious traces of major damage to the pedestal and energetic restoration of it. Missing pieces have been replaced, at the pedestal's bottom corners, by cubes of porphyry resting on the bronze cubes already mentioned - the bronze and porphyry cubes are of identical form and dimensions. There is also a vertical gash up one of the obelisk's faces, which look like a canal from above. These repairs to the base may be linked to the cracking of the obelisk itself after its suffering a serious accident (perhaps an earthquake) at an unknown date in antiquity.

    Its next to the Sultanahmet Mosque and 5 mins walk to Hagia Sophia ....

    Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR Obelisk of Theodosius, Istanbul, TR
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    Dikilitas (Egyptian Obelisk)

    by pieter_jan_v Written Jun 15, 2011

    The Dikilitas (Egyptian Obelisk) a.k.a. Theodosius obelisk was erected in the 16th century B.C. by Pharaoh Thutmosis III in honor of the God of Sun Amon Ra in the city of Teb, Egypt in front of the temple of Luxor. The hieroglyphic pictograms tell stories of many battle victories of the Pharaoh.

    In 390 A.D it was brought to Istanbul by emperor Theodosius I for the decoration of the ancient Hippodrome or Meydani, constructed by emperor Septimus Severus at the start of third century.

    The 19 meter high obelisk is covered on all four sides with hieroglyphic pictograms and stands on a marble base with many friezes depicting the Emperor and his family. It has been discovered that the last five meters of the Obelisk is missing from the bottom, probably broken during the transportation.

    Dikilitas (Egyptian Obelisk) - Istanbul Hippodrome - Istanbul Hippodrome - Istanbul
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisk (Obelisk of Theodosius)

    by Ewingjr98 Written Apr 23, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Egyptian tower at the Hippodrome in historic Istanbul is the obelisk of Pharaoh Tutmoses III. It was constructed in Egypt of red granite from Aswan by Thutmose III to commemorate his wartime victory in 1450 BC. In 357AD the obelisk, along with another from the same location, was moved to Alexandria, Egypt to commemorate Roman Emperor Constantius II's 20th year as leader. In 390 Theodosius I had the obelisk moved to Constantinople and placed on a marble pedestal, where it remains to this day. The other obelisk in Alexandria is now in Rome.

    The obelisk was originally nearly 100 feet tall, but the bottom section was lost and only the top 60 feet remain.

    Was this review helpful?

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Obelisk of Thutmose III

    by mvtouring Written Oct 9, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Next thing you will notice at the hippodrome is the massive Eqiptian obelisk which was placed there by another emperor to adorn the Hippodrome - Theodosius the Great, - who in 390 brought the obelisk from Egypt and erected it inside the racing track. Carved from pink granite, it was originally erected at the Temple of Karnak in Luxor during the reign of Tuthmosis III in about 1490 BC. Theodosius had the obelisk cut into three pieces and brought to Constantinople. Only the top section survives, and it stands today where Theodosius placed it, on a marble pedestal. The obelisk has survived nearly 3,500 years in astonishingly good condition.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisk a.k.a Obelisk of Theodosius

    by Arkeolog Written Apr 1, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The most remarkable monument here is undoubtedly the Egyptian obelisk inscribed with hieroglyphs. This magnificent obelisk was originally erected before a temple at Karnak in 1450 B.C.E. Egyptian obelisks were transported to Rome, along with the monuments of other civilizations, as result of the Roman desire to demonstrate their power. Accordingly, Constantine I commanded that ancient monuments also be erected in the city for purposes of beautification. The obelisk is named after Emperor Theodosius the Great, who erected it in the center of the Hippodrome in 390 C.E. Bearing reliefs on all four faces, the bronze sphere at the top fell in the earthquake of 865 and was never restored. The inscription reveals that it was dedicated by Thutmose III an 18 generation descendant of the god Amon thanking him for the wealth, power, talent and sunlight that he showered on the earth. The obelisk stands on a base which also bears reliefs on four sides. The subject of the reliefs on the upper part of the base features Theodosius I at the Hippodrome while those in the lower section depict the actual erection of the obelisk, with the hauling and raising of the stone by the use of ropes. The two inscriptions one in Greek, the other in Latin, indicate that the erection of the obelisk occupied a total of 30 days. The obelisk, a witness over the centuries to various riots, wars, fires, and celebrations, was described as a charm protecting the safety of the city by the 17th-century Ottoman writer Evliya Çelebi.

    Egyptian Obelisk Egyptian Obelisk
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisk

    by mikelisaanna Written Mar 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    The Egyptian Obelisk in Istanbul The Egyptian Obelisk and its hieroglyphics The panels at the base of the Egyptian Obelisk
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    Obelisk of Thutmose III and Nika Revolt

    by nicolaitan Updated Mar 22, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The oldest monument in the Sultan Ahmet Square is the Obelisk of Thutmose III located centrally in the former spina directly in front of the imperial box (kathisma). The obelisk was about 2000 years old, created to honor a military victory at the Euphrates River in 1450BC by Thutmose III and placed at the great temple of Karnak. Emperor Constantinius III had two of the Karnak obelisks removed to Alexandria in 357 AD. The second is the Lateran Obelisk is the Circus Maximus of Rome. The obelisk bound for Constantinople took considerably longer to arrive, and in transit the lower ten meters were broken off and lost, leaving a twenty foot monument of pink granite. Theodosius I finally placed it in 390AD, set on a marble pedestal with reliefs and Greek and Roman inscriptions celebrating Theodosius and his family.

    The column itself has four sides with central inscriptions about Thutmose III. The four sides of the marble base have an assorment of reliefs----
    Image 2 - Theodosius and his family and retainers. Seated with him under the central portico are his two sons Arcadius and Honorius between whom the Roman Empire would be divided into East and West on his death.
    Image 5 - Theodosius receiving the ambassadors of the defeated barbarians.
    Image 3 - the upper level depicts the erection of the obelisk, which took over a month. On the lower level, a chariot race.

    THE NIKA REVOLT - the Hippodrome was the absolute center of Constantinople. Sport, culture, politics, business - the stadium was the epicenter of Byzantine life. The two major political factions sponsored the two competing teams for chariot races and sporting events and even were named after the colors worn by their charioteers. The Greens represented the less wealthy and more politically and religiously liberal, while the Blues represented the more conservative and wealthy faction. They ( men only ) occupied the two long axes of the stadium with the emperor in his private enclosure in between. Frequently, sports or political disagreements led to unrest, squabbles, and outright battles between the two sides. In 1532, during another typical melee, Emperor Justinian arrested and executed the ringleaders from both sides. The Blues and Greens united in the Nika Revolt ( Nika meaning victory, as in the modern day sports company ). Their revolt destroyed much of the Hippodrome, the Hagia Sophia Church, and other major buildings. Justinian prepared to run, but the Empress Theodora ordered her general Belisarius to use mercenaries to put down the revolt. 30000 men were trapped inside the stadium and methodically slaughtered to the last. Rebuilding by Justinian led to many of the sites we visit today.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Egyptian Oblisk (Column)

    by Martin_S. Written Dec 28, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Egyptian Oblisk is also known as the Obelisk of Theodosius. What I found on the internet was: Erected by Tutmosis III 1504-1450 B.C. before the temple of Karnak at Heliopolis. The Obelisk, brought to Istanbul by Emperor Theodosius I was made of pink granite and its height is 17 metres. Originally, the obelýsk was 27 meters in height ,10 meters hýgher than it ýs today and weýghed 800 tons.It is unknown when and how the lower part disappeared.
    The hieroglyphic inscription on the Obelisk describes the victory of the pharaoh and a sacrifice to the god of the sun Amon-Ra in which the pharaoh kneels at the foot of the god.
    The Obelisk was brought to Constantinopolis in 390 A.D. and stood over a rectangular stone base on four bronze feet. Its marble base in itself is six meters. There are inscriptions in Latin and Greek on it.
    As they say the base has "gone missing" and it sits today on a partial base that gives you the feeling that it may fall over at the slightest gust of wind.

    Egyptian Oblisk, Istanbul, Turkey
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • traveloturc's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisk

    by traveloturc Updated Nov 19, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Around 1490 BC the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III erected two obelisks before the Karnak temple in Luxor to commemorate the victories of his forces in Mesopotamia. The obelisks were made of rare pink granite. In the 4th century AD, an unknown Roman emperor who wanted to accomplish something impressive that would create excitement among his people had the colossal obelisk brought to Istanbul. For years it was left lying in a corner of the Hippodrome. In 390, during the reign of Theodosius I, it was erected with great difficulty by Proclus, a city administrator. It is the oldest monument in the city and has always been considered magical. The obelisk rests on four bronze blocks on a Roman base decorated with reliefs. These depict the emperor, his children and other prominent personalities watching the races from the imperial box, as well as the spectators, musicians, dancers and chariot races. The obelisk measures 25.60 m including the base.By the way this Obelisk is in better conditions comparing the obelisk of Place Concorde in Paris

    this is me !!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisk

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 6, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Egyptian Obelisk that one can find within the remains of the Hippodrome was built in 1500 BC and originally stood outside Luxor until Constantine brought it to this city. This beautiful carved monument was broken and is probably only one third of its original height. It stands on a base that was created in the 4th century AD, showing Theodosius I and his family in the kathisma watching events.

    Egyptian Obelisk Egyptian Obelisk Egyptian Obelisk Egyptian Obelisk
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • viddra's Profile Photo

    The Egyptian Obelisk

    by viddra Written Apr 12, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is Istanbul’s oldest monument.

    Pharaoh Tuthmose had it built in the 15th century BC for the memory of his victory. In 390 BC, Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I brought it from Amon Temple of Karnak and placed it here.

    The obelisk’s made from pink granite and weighs 300 tons. It was originally 32.5m high but today it’s 20m high. On each of its 4 sides, there are Egyptian Hieroglyphics telling about the Pharaoh’s bravery, and at the bottom, there’s a marble base with scenes from the activities that involved the Emperor.

    egyptian obelisk
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • kentishgirl's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisks in Turkey??!!

    by kentishgirl Written Jan 10, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    With all my notes and books back in the UK from my entire trip, the name of this place escapes me.
    All I can say though, is its right near the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia.

    Its a big leafy park area, we sat for awhile in the shade and ate some lunch.
    There are the amazing obelisks to look at, which all have information in English on them, and people watching is great here.

    There are water taps here where you can fill up your water bottles - oh and the kids fill up the bottled water that they sell from the taps here! Hahaha...

    C*

    Leafy Park - Istanbul
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    The Egyptian Obelisk

    by shrimp56 Updated Jan 23, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This obelisk dates from 1500 BCE -- Emperor Theodosius I bought it back from Luxor in BCE 390. It has survived many earthquakes, but had 40% of the bottom trimmed off for transporting to its present site.!The stone is pink granite.

    Egyptian obelisk in Istanbul
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • ania70pl's Profile Photo

    Egyptian Obelisk on the Hippodrome Square

    by ania70pl Written Oct 3, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This building was originally constructed by Pharaoh Tutmosis III(1549-1503 BC). It was 60 m high and weighed 800 tons. When shipped from Egypt to Constantinople, it was split into three and only the very top of it survived. It was erected to Constantinople during the reign of Theodosius I in 390. There is a marble base with sculptured reliefs representing the Emperor's watching of chariot races with his family. The obelisk is made of pink granit and it depicts Praraoh Tutmosis III with Sun God Amon Ra.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Istanbul

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

31 travelers online now

Comments

View all Istanbul hotels