Walking through history line of Byzantine in Sultanahmet – Nükte Şahin

In our fieldtrip on Saturday, we had the chance to explore the hidden part of the Constaninople and the opportunity of observing how the past treated to present.

We began with the Lausos Palais which constructed by Lausos but destroyed in a fire in 475 A.D. Lausos was a man who has liked to preserve art that he collected the most beautiful statues like Zeus- the head of Gods- surrounded by goddesses. However, counting on the fact that Lausos was a son of a hotdog maker he was kind of initiated the beginning of social life in terms of marking shared past by placing the statues in the palace as a visual reminder.Unfortunately, today there is no sign in the park where remaining of the palace walls-hidden behind of public chairs-indicating that it was Lausos Palais in sometime of the history. After we saw the remainig archeological evidence from Antiochos Palais which has been destroyed by the time the palace of justice was constructed in the area. (more…)

The Significance of the Hippodrome – Touran Samii

The declaration of Constantinople as the capital of the Roman Empire in 330 BC was not only a political statement, but one that also announced the urban development of the city as one pertaining to Roman architecture and city planning. It was a city meant to illustrate the success of Constantine’s military and portray the lavishes and wealth of the newly expanded empire. Similar to the metropolis of many Mediterranean capitals, Constantinople featured forums or public meeting places, surrounded by imperial quarters and basilicas used for civil services or religious purposes. At its center, lay the imperial palace flanked by the pilgrimage-worthy St Sophia to the South of Agustaion square and the Hippodrome to its South-west (Cormack 38). Dispersed among these magnificent structures, were open squares decorated with an abundance of flora. (more…)

A Day in Sultanahmet – Mert Erten

Unlike other well-preserved cities like Rome, Istanbul reveals little of its ancient past as Constantinople. After the Licinius defeat the time of the old Rome started passsing while Roman Emperor Constantine I decided to rebuild a “new Rome” in the east also which he declared to be a new Roman capital. Constantinople, as a new Roman capital, preserved its Roman culture as well as its imperial idea. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 23:55  Leave a Comment  
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Residential Complexes around the Hippodrome by Flannery Donley

Residential complexes around the Hippodrome: the palace of Antiochos and its transformation into the church of St. Euphemia

The Palace of Antiochos was built northwest of the Hippodrome and was for and named after a Persian eunuch who worked in the Great Palace under Theodosius II. Antiochos worked in the Palace from 402-439 and so it is believed that this palace was erected sometime during his service and more specifically, there is archeological evidence as well as literary sources which suggest that the palace was built after 429. In the 6th century the palace was converted into a church and named after St. Euphemia because her bones were brought to this site as holy relics. Euphemia was a Christian martyr whom was persecuted and died for her faith in Chalcedon which is on the opposite side of Constantinople on the Bosphorus. (more…)

Hippodrome and Obelisk of Theodosius, Polat Utku Kayrak

This first field trip was a great experience for me although I am a Turkish citizen and used to go those areas when I was younger. Our field trip started just at the outside of Hagia Sophia and continued with an area near an open-air theatre that few people know about the importance of that particular area. After that, we also visited a place just behind the Palace of Justice and Mosaic Museum. Also when I’ve found myself in an underground tunnel with no light and proper reconstruction, I hardly believed myself that the city I live in has that kind of ancient, complicated and mystical structures. (more…)

The Hidden History of Istanbul – Andrea Hague

Our Late Antique & Byzantine art history class traveled to Sultanahmet two Saturdays ago to see for ourselves what remained of what we have read about and discussed in class. As we waited in front of the Hagia Sophia for everyone to arrive, Dr. Ricci repeated what we had learned in class, that we were standing had been the Augusteon, the forum where Justinian had placed his great equestrian statue. And yet, even as we were standing there staring up at the church that he had built, I did not feel that much more connected to that time period than when I had studied the diagrams in class. In place of the Augusteon there is still a plaza of sorts, but nothing remains of its Byzantine past. This disconnect that I experienced as I stood in what I knew had once been the Augusteon continued throughout the day. Even in the places where we were still able to see remnants of the city’s early history, it was difficult to put them into context. (more…)

Hippodrome and its monuments (Nil Hocaoglu)

In the Byzantine period, Chariot race is the only game that survived after the classical antiquity. In Byzantium there were three places that intended for this race. One of them was in St. Mamas and used until the ninth century. The other one was in the west and near the Sts. Apostles. The most important one was in the centre of the city which is next to the GreatPalace. It was founded by Septimus Severus and more than a century later it is completed by Constantine in 330. The hippodrome was about 400m long and its estimated capacity was 30.000 spectators. Supporters of the circus had their seats on the western side. During the break of a racing programme they were entertained by the dancers, mimes and singers. The kathisma which is an emperor box was in the east side of the hippodrome and it was accessible to the palace directly. The emperors watched the game with his family in there. The hippodrome was not only use for games but also it played an important role in the imperial ideology. (more…)

The Hippodrome and Its Monuments – Ayse Yucel

Constantinople is former capital of the Byzantine Empire, which was founded at A.D. 330 as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I. After Constantine I named the city with his own. Constantinople was the largest and most pompous European city of the middle Ages. Constantinople shared the glories and descents of the Byzantine Empire. The city witnessed tough wars so in 5th century Theodosius II started o built giant walls surrounding the city in order to protect it from the enemies coming from the sea. Constantine I finished the construction of the wall, which was one of a kind for that century. There are lots o important structures (beside the city wall) built in Constantinople, which gave the city its prominence. (more…)

Serhat Goncal – A fieldtrip in Sultanahmet

Living 22 years in İstanbul and being a native of Istanbul I have been only one time in Sultanahmet Meydanı but I have been several times in Sultanahmet to eat dinner in Sultahahmet Koftecisi without caring the historical meanings of Sultanahmet. That clearly show the consciousness of history of native of Istanbul. I think the reason of that is living in a developing country in which people are fighting with other different vital problems creating by our own political strategy and also I think that surrounding with a historical values in every part of our countries by different ancient civilizations. Both of the reasons decline our historical consciousness that make us unconscious about the history. (more…)

THE GREAT PALACE AND MOSAIC PERISTYLE – Romina Habib

THE GREAT PALACE AND MOSAIC PERISTYLE

The Great Palace of Byzantium was built by Constantine the Great, on the slopes of one of the ancient hills of Constantinople, after he made this city the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330. The palace was located between the ancient Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia church and Marmara Sea, just under today’s Arasta Bazaar and behind the Blue Mosque.
Constantine the Great built his residence on the east side of the hippodrome and connected with spiral staircase ascending to emperor’s box (kathisma) in the hippodrome. The connection between the palace and hippodrome was a common feature of all roman imperial palaces. (more…)