Monday, November 07, 2011

Istanbul: Ancient columns of the old Hippodrome

Obelisk of Tuthmosis III with the Blue Mosque in the background
The square named Sultanahmet Meydanı by the Blue Mosque used to be the Sporting circus in old Constantinople.  Here you find three fascinating columns from the Egyptian, Greek, and the Byzantic cultures. 
The Obelisque of Tuthmosis III
The top of the column with hieroglyphs
The oldest of the monument is the Obelisk of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, originally erected at the Temple of Karnak in Luxor. It rests on a marble base from 390, the year Emperor Theodosius the Great brought it from Egypt to Constantinople and raised it in the middle of the hippodrome. 
Emperor Theodosius marble base from 390 AD

Serpent Column
The Serpent Column, or what is left of it
The Serpent Column was brought from Delphi by Emperor Constantine. It is also known as the Tripod of Plataea and is 1000 years younger than the Egyptian Obelisk.

It was made cast to commemorate the victory of the Greeks over the Persians during the Persian Wars in the 5th century BC. It used to have three serpent heads holding up a Golden Bowl. The bowl was destroyed during the 4th Crusade, and the Serpent Heads disappeared in the 17th Century.
The Walled Obelisk
The Walled Obelisk is "only 1000 years old"
The Walled Obelisk was built Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in the 10 Century AD. It was erected on the other side of the Hippodfrome and was originally covered by gilded bronze plaques, removed during the looting of the 4th Crusade.

Vis Istanbul A-Z 2009 Updated January 6th 2010 i et større kart

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