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…)


doğa ortaköylü

In the fieldtrip on Saturday we learned that we walked through some places in Sultanahmet without knowing that there were important places in the Byzantium time. First of all, I remember the place that we stood which was Lausos palace in 5th century. It is located in a park west of the Hippodrome, the ruins of the hall of the Palace of Antiochus and limestone blocks are still can be seen. Lausos had been collected beautiful statutes for there, he put statue of Zeus and goddesses. Later on fire destroyed the palace. There are walls remained from those times, which are burned. Many people see those walls but they don’t noticed because there is no information about that place. (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…)

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 Hippodrome and it’s monuments – Ayşe Aslıhan Ağralı

The construction of the Hippodrome was started by the emperor Septimus Severus in 196. Also Constantine the Great the was the one who enlarged the construction. It was modeled on Circus Maximus in Rome. The Hippodrome was used for horse racing tracks, theater performances and athletic activities. The inauguration of the place was in the year 330. It has been rebuilt several times, and today only the columns which placed in the middle are survived. The Hippodrome had a Kathisma for the emperor to watch the event, the kathisma was also connected with the great palace. (more…)

Blog Post on the Hippodrome, David Bergstein

Our field trip began at the Augustaion Square, directly outside the Hagia Sophia. In Byzantium the Augusteon served a similar function as it does today: a public forum, a meeting space and a center of commercial activity. After the Nika Riot the square was re-built by Justinian (along with the Hagia Sophia), and until the iconoclast period it was full of statues. During the Byzantine era the Augustaion square was surrounded by the Palace of the Patriarchate, the main Gate of the Great Palace, the Senate, Palace of Magnaura (the diplomatic palace), the bath of Zeuxipphos, the Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern. The centrality of the square makes it easy to imagine that the Augustaion must have been full of activity. (more…)

Field Trip 1 – Ozlem Bilgic

The Hippodrome was started built during the reign of Septimius Severus and then finishes by the Constantine the Great. Today there are not much left from this building. However, the Hippodrome was very important building meaning of power of the emperors but it lasted until 1204 because at that time fourth crusade was burning all over the city. Nevertheless we can still see some monuments which are still standing on their original places; the most important is the Obelisk. First of all, it symbolizes the emperor’s power because the obelisk was coming from Egypt and it was very hard to bring huge monument from faraway. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 20:25  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Lesley Dudden “A Day in Sultanahmet”

When walking through modern day Sultanahmet under the shadows of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque it is easy to walk through the Hippodrome area without stopping to marvel at the history behind the rectangular avenue looping around the perplexing monuments positioned along the center walkway. The Hippodrome of Constantinople would have been the center gathering point of the city. The area has witnessed sporting entertainment, such as chariot races, along with imperial proclamations, and civil unrest (more…)