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…)


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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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…)

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…)

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…)



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…)

Reflections on the Great Palace Mosaic – Alena Ho

Sleeping underneath the soil of what is now the Arasta Baazar in Sultanahmet Square laid one of the largest and magnificent mosaic collections of late antiquity. After centuries of disuse, devastating fires and earthquakes, the Great Palace of the Byzantium emperors was all but buried and forgotten by the ever changing city. The mosaics – only discovered in this century – are pretty much most of what remain of a complex comprising of a peristyle and hall area within the Great Palace of the Byzantium emperors. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 20:17  Leave a Comment  
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Arha 318 BlogPost – Ayşe Melis Yılmaz

The trip we made was really exciting for me because I had not even thought once about the monuments that we visit while I was driving every single morning to Sultanahmet for my sister’s school last year. I wanted to write about more on The Palace of Lausus because It was surprising for me to learn about the Lausus’s palace which is in Adliye Sarayı’s back of garden. It also felt different to learn students did the cleaning that abandoned structure. That’s why I wanted to write about that archeological heritage which I guess none of us knew before this trip as a citizen of Istanbul. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 19:31  Leave a Comment  
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Field Trip 1 – Great Palace (Burak Tiftik)

Our first field trip was to Sultan Ahmet, where we observed several of the Byzantine ruins from the era when the empire was its height. Unfortunately most of the ruins were not actually present, therefore we also got a chance to improve our imaginations as well.
The Great Palace, constructed by Constantine and improved by Justinian was used until 1204, after the fourth crusade the financial cost of maintaining the palace was too great. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 19:18  Leave a Comment  
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The Hippodrome and its monuments (Narges Aminolsharei)

The Other Side of Byzantium
Late Antique and Byzantine Art

Field Trip 1 (24 October 2009)

The Hippodrome of Constantinople is located in the Marmara region of Turkey, in the city of Istanbul and in the Eminonu district. It is one of the city’s most famous historical buildings and an UNESCO landmark. It should be said that this was the largest hippodrome (stadium) of the Ancient world, even larger than Rome’s Circus Maximus- which the hippodrome was designed after. It should also be noted that history’s first “four-horse chariot races” were conducted in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Although the construction of the Hippodrome was began by Roman emperor Septimius Severus, it was enlarged by Constantine later on, when the Roman empire was moved to Constantine from Rome. (more…)