Million Stone in Istanbul
Istanbul Million Stone (Zero Stone) had been regarded as the center of the World in the ancient times.This stone, which is located on the right side of the road from Hagia Sophia to Beyazıt and is not exactly recognized correctly today, is also a source of the phrase “all roads arrive in Rome”.
Although there are some rumors that Istanbul was founded by the legendary founder of the city King Byzas during the foundation of the city; historians agree that Great Constantine made Constantinople the capital city as “the sign of the center of the World”.
Due to the fact that there was Milliarium Aureum in Ancient Rome, there had to be a Zero Stone in Istanbul. The distance to any part of the World was measured according to Million Stone. Besides some of them were named after this distance. For instance, the reason of why Rome Empire called Bakırköy as “Hebdomon” (“seven” in Greek) is that Bakırköy was 7 miles away from Million Stone.
Million Stone was actually Tetra pylon in shape when it was first made. It’s a domed structure with 4 columns. Unfortunately, it has been damaged in time. Especially, it is believed that it has been damaged in the 16th century. It is an object of curiosity what happened to the pillars that are on the ribs.
In the Ottoman Empire period, this stone was also considered as a paramount omen and preserved. It enabled visitors to figure out how far they went. Additionally, the maps were sold here.
What is the Legend of Million Stone?
It is not surprising that the Romans have another legend. One of the myths of the Million Stone is that according to the belief of the Romans, even a single enemy soldier could not pass beyond the Million Stone. Anyone who crosses the boundary would be killed there by an angel…
Probably this legend is based on mythology. It is mentioned above that the Million Monument was originally built as Tetra pylon. According to some historians, this building was actually a temple called “Tike”. “Tike” means fortune in Roman mythology. This temple had been built for the goddess of fortune. This goddess, who means “luck” in the ancient Greek language, also had affected the fates of the cities. However, neither in 1204 when the Catholic Latinas invaded Istanbul, nor the May of 1453, the soldiers of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror went beyond the Million Stone and did not find a legend nor Istanbul fell on both dates…