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  Home > The City Guide > Monuments > Hippodrome




Hippodrome was built by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 A.D. The hippodrome was a stadium which served as a meeting place for the politicians, for chariot races, wrestling, boxing, and other athletic activities  that took place. The arena was over 400 meters long and 120 meters wide, In the fourth century the spectator capacity was increased to 100,000,


Egyptian Obelisk Hippodrome Istanbul Turkey

They organized the games in the hippodrome. Green took their seat to the left, the Blues to the right of the emperor's box. Women were not admitted. After the emperor had appeared in his box and greeted his people, the four gates beneath his box opened and from each raced a chariot drawn by four horses into the arena. The game lasted the whole day. The chariot track was covered with white sand which was brought from Egypt.  The winner was awarded a prize which consisted of a crown made of flowers, some presents, bonuses and money,


Obelisk of Theodosius (The Egyptian obelisk) 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 obelısk was 27 meters in height ,10 meters hıgher than it ıs today and weıghed 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.


Constantine Column was the landmark of the city because of its height of 32 meters. The column was erected in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. This monument was  completely covered with bronze plates.During the Latin invasion in 1204, these plaques were removed and melted to make coins,


German Fountain Istanbul Turkey

Serpentine Column was donated to the Delphi by the 31 Greek city states after the victory over the Persians in 479 B.C. This is one of the oldest monuments in Istanbul. The names of these 31 cities were written on this obelisk whichis  5.10 meters high.  Originally, the column was 8 meters high and the column was in the form of three serpents' heads with the gold cauldron supported on their heads. Only two of these heads have been found with one in the Istanbul Archeological Museum, the other one in the British Museum.


German Fountain was built in 1898 when Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Istanbul and donated a fountain which was put up in front of the Blue Mosque as a gift to the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamit.



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