Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Hippodrome originally was built by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 and a horse-racing track. But it was not only used for Chariot Races during the Byzantine Empire. They used to organize Court Ceremonies, Coronations and Parades also took place at the Hippodrome, too. But it got its final shape with order of Emperor Constantine the Great in 324.
The Hippodrom had U-Shaped Track was around 450 meters long and 130 meters wide, surrounded by a Stadium with a capacity of about 100.000 people. But it was damaged during Crusade in 12th century.
Constantine the Great ordered to bring the Serpents’ Column from Delphi for Hipppodrome and still stands in between the other monuments: the Obelisk of Theodosius and the Obelisk of Constantine.
It was erected in 479-478 B.C. after the Battle of Plataea, in which the Greeks had defeated the Persians. The Column was 18 feet high and had the shape of three snakes.
Obelisk of Theodosius
It is the oldest monument of Constantinople and the Hippodrome. The pink granite stone was erected by the Emperor Theodosius I in 390. The Obelisk is originally from Egypt and later shipped to Constantinople.
The Walled Obelisk
It has many names including “Walled Column” or “Constantine Obelisk” and located in the former Byzantine Hippodrome. The Walled Obelisk is built in 10th century and still standing.
The German Fountain (The Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain)
The German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Istanbul three times at different dates. After his second visit to Istanbul, he decided to built a fountain as a gift to city and to the Sultan. This German Fountain is dated 19 century and still runs, serving to visitors in Sultanahmet Area. It represents friendship of turkish with germans. The Fountain entirely made in Germany and shipped to Istanbul piece by piece to be assembled on Sultanahmet Square. It couldn’t be completed for the 25th anniversary of Abdulhamid II’s succession to the throne. Finally, it finished on the Kaiser’s Birthday, January 27, 1901.
It is open everyday and free of charge.