Istanbul > What to do >hippodrome

Hippodrome built in the roman empire period mostly used for the chariot races and sport activities. Later it was also used  by ottomans  to play a game called cirit ( an old traditional Turkish game played with in groups of people riding horses and throwing javelins to hit each other )

 Dimensions of the hippodrome  was  480 to 117 mt with the capacity of hundred thousand people.

The first structure can be seen around hippodrome in Istanbul is the German fountain  ( fountain was made to the memory of the visit by German Caiser to Istanbul in 1898. ) located at the northern  part of hippodrome.

There are 3 important monuments (Serpent Column, obelisk of thutmose, and walled obelisk )  available in the middle of the hippodrome square.

Dikilitas (obelisk of thutmose) was brought from Egypt and erected  during the reign of byzantine emperor Theodosius in 390.  Obelisk was three times bigger than the size which can be seen today nevertheless the obelisk was damaged and broken during the transportation  from Egypt to Istanbul.  A special base  was made to erect the obelisk properly.  Embossed figures over the base are  depicting the emperor watching the races . Hieroglyphs over the obelisk  are depicting the scene thutmose the pharaoh of Egypt  presenting  sacrifices to the God.

The Serpent Column was brought  from temple of Apoll at Delphi and erected during the byzantine period.  The column was made by the Greek colonies who beated the Persians in platea  war 479 A.D.  The copper captured by from Persian soldier had melted and used in sculpting the column with a shape of three coiled serpents  with three serpents heads at top.

Serpent heads were destroyed and stolen in 17th century though one of the head which found later in time is today exhibited in Archeology museum of Istanbul.

Walled obelisk which also known as the obelisk of Constantin is 32 mt height made by wall is located in the southern part of hippodrome .  It is told that the column was covered by bronze plates which was plundered during the crusades.

where is hippodrome ; How to go hippodrome square ;

You need to go to Kabatas district and take a tram from Kabatas to Sultan Ahmet and hippodrome square.  Minibuses , buses and shuttle taxis are available from Taksim , besiktas etc. to go Kabatas.

What to eat

However there are many restaurants and fast food places  around hippodrome  eating famous meatballs of Sultan Ahmet  koftecisi restaurant is a travel ritual of the Area.


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30 Mart Cuma, 2012
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hippodrom istanbul
hippodrom name is still used today for the horse races. it is very interesting to see structures and interests left from thousands years ago when the world and people change any second.