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By: FZ AZ

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Thursday, 4-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
The Hippodrome, Istanbul

Kaiser Wilhelm II fountain
Obelisk of Theodosius
Obelisk of Theodosius
Obelisk of Theodosius
Obelisk of Theodosius
spiral bronze base
spiral bronze base
 
 
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
 
Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia)
 
Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia)
 
 
Istanbul's Byzantine Hippodrome was the heart of Constantinople's political and sporting life, and the scene of games and riots through 500 years of Ottoman history as well.

It's now a calm city park called the At Meydani (Horse Grounds) because of its function in Ottoman times. Facing one another across the park are the Blue Mosque and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.

Monuments decorating the Hippodrome include the 3500-year-old Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius, brought to Constantinople by Emperor Theodosius in 390 AD. You'll also see the spiral bronze base of a three-headed serpent sculpture brought from Delphi in Greece.

During a visit in 1901, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany erected an elaborate temple-like fountain as a gift to the sultan and his people.

Yerebatan Saray, the Sunken Palace Cistern, is beneath the little park at the northern end of the Hippodrome. Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) is across the street, Topkapi Palace is just beyond Ayasofya, and the Istanbul Archeological Museums are next to Topkapi.


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