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Duration 1 Hour
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This massive arena, built-in Byzantine Era, has become one of the most visited attractions through its remarkable historical texture. This stadium of ancient Byzantine, today called Sultan Ahmet Meydanı, has welcomed various civilizations during the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods.
With its fruitful multicultural history, the Hippodrome gives you the chance to experience the past. That's why you should discover it at every step. Istanbul Tourist Pass guides will provide you with a well-organized guiding tour to support your trip to such an enchanting historical site. When visiting the Byzantine Hippodrome, the Istanbul Tourist Pass capable and well-informed guides will take you back in time!
The Byzantine Hippodrome has had a fruitful history throughout the centuries. With its delicate and sensational historical riches, the Hippodrome has become one of the most well-known attractions in Istanbul. Thanks to its mysterious multicultural background, most people from different cultures are excited to travel through time in the Hippodrome.
The Hippodrome takes place in the heart of Istanbul and welcomes its visitors accompanied by several architectural artifacts. The name of the hippodrome comes from Greek; hippo (horse) and dromos (path or way). This ancient site located in SultanAhmet Square was for chariot and horse races in the Byzantine era. However, this open-air circus also became a home to celebrations, gladiatorial games, torture stages for the inmates, and protests. Hippodromes were common structures in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras.
Once the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus conquered Constantinopolis, he built many featured structures. One of them was the Hippodrome, and this beautifully designed area became the most significant gathering point on many occasions. At first, the hippodrome was very small, but then Constantine the Great enlarged and renovated this arena. He also declared the city the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
The Hippodrome was the symbol of power for the Byzantine empire. Several featured objects were brought in to show the strength of the empire to the world. Luckily, two of these monuments have successfully survived throughout the years; the Serpent Column from Delfi and the Egyptian obelisk named Obelisk of Thutmosis III.
The Hippodrome was also important in the Ottoman era. In the Ottoman period, the hippodrome was not used for its intended purposes. It was mainly used as a square, and they named this historically enriched area "At Meydanı" (Horse Square).
During the Ottoman era, the hippodrome was also a gathering point for the civilians. The Ottoman sultans paid attention to the crowd gathering whenever it happened. The crowd could have signaled the disturbances or riots.
The Byzantine Hippodrome experienced a bit of destruction in the Ottoman period. The construction of the Blue Mosque and İbrahim Paşa Palace caused damage to the place.