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Quick Guide 14: Egyptian Obelisk in the Ancient Hippodrome in Constantinople

By Daniel Stein, 23/05/17
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The Ancient Hippodrome from the Roman period had many monuments in its central axis. One of these monuments was the Egyptian Obelisk which was brought from Egypt. It is carved in the granite and has Egyptian hieroglyphs (picture writings) on its four sides. The marble base on which the obelisk was erected show scenes from the Byzantine Empire, emperor watching either the erection of the Obelisk or chariot races. On one side he is preparing a wreath for the winner of the race.

The Hippodrome was destroyed and plundered in 1204 by the Crusaders.

During the Turkish period it lost its popularity, especially with the construction of the Blue Mosque. The ancient Hippodrome changed its name and became Atmeydanı (Horse Square), a place where Ottomans trained their horses.

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