Europe

The Hippodrome


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A square elongated and some column is all that remains of the Hippodrome (Atmeydani), the center of public life for a thousand years of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire for 400. The paved road around the lawn follows the route of the track (480 m.) Where once chariots and horses gave the show and distract the crowds. Hippodrome, built by Septimius Severus and enlarged by Constantine to accommodate up to 100,000 spectators, in the Byzantine period were in fact disputed chariot races. Since, however, that the two competing teams representing the two political factions (Blue and Green), the victory of either usually ending up in fights and riots, often with serious consequences for the emperor of the day. Under the Ottomans, the stadium, as well as being used as a field for the game of CIRT (sport similar to pole), was a popular gathering place, and because of this the sultans controlled as there occurred, in order to suppress any readiness outbreaks of revolt. Unfortunately, there are few monuments that have withstood the time and especially, the plunder perpetrated by soldiers of the Fourth Crusade (1204). Works which adorned the Hippodrome remain on the spine, around which revolved the players with their horses: the magnificent obelisk of Theodosius granite dating from 1550 to. C., transported from Egypt to Constantinople in 390 AD, decorated with bas-reliefs depicting the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I engaged in various pastimes imperial, the Serpentine Column from the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, depicting three entwined serpents whose heads are, however, disappeared in 1700, the column of Constantine or walled obelisk, made ​​of blocks of rough stone, which has an unknown origin. Where: Sultanahmet district.

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