Istanbul

The Ancient Hippodrome, Located On Sultanahmet Square

The Hippodrome was once the sporting and social centre of ancient Constantinople. The former Hippodrome is now located between the Islamic museum and the Blue Mosque on Sultan Ahmet Square, which is also called the horse Place. Under Emperor Konstantin, the Hippodrome was used preferably as a horse racing track and offered some 100,000 spectators space.

The ancient racecourse was surrounded by noble bronze statues that showed horses and their famous car handlebars. Unfortunately, no single statue is preserved. Today, only a few elements of the former sports facility can be seen. Including the Egyptian obelisk of Theodos, the Serpent column.

The obelisk of Pink granite, originally in the Temple of Karnak, was brought to Emperor Theodosius I of Luxor.The obelisk is now only about 20 meters high, as it once crashed and broke. Today the obelisk stands on a marble pedestal, which bears Latin as well as Greek inscriptions and shows the events at the Byzantine imperial court.

The Hippodrome Today

The old Hippodrome, today’s Sultanahmet Square, is today, as in the old Times, a meeting point and center of social life. The square is close to the Blue Mosque and the Haiga Sophia. Locals as well as tourists meet here to arrange, chat or eat.

Monuments On The Hippodrome

To showcase the power and splendour of the City of the whole world;Emperor  Konstantin repeatedly brought works of art to to the city and restored it to the Hippodrome.The sacrificial altar of Plataea from the Temple of Apollo in Delphi symbolizes the victory of the Greeks over the Persians in the 5th century. The largest part was destroyed during the Fourth Crusade. Today remains are left in the form of a looped column.

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