The Walled Obelisk has many names including, “Walled Column” and “Constantine Obelisk”. Located in the former Byzantine Hippodrome, what is now a beautiful park was once where fierce chariot races were held. After the Ottomans conquered the city in 1453, the importance of the Hippodrome wavered yet this column built around the 10th century survived. I happened to stroll through the (now) Sultanahmet Park around sunrise, making my way to the metro stop of the same name a few weeks ago.
Sultanahmet Park, also known as “At Meydani” (in English “Horse Square”), is ground zero for tourism in Istanbul, Turkey. The park is right next to the Blue (Sultan Ahmet) Mosque and Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) with the underground Byzantine Cistern on the northern edge. Within the park itself and across from the Walled Obelisk is the Obelisk of Theodosius (over 3,000 years old) and the Serpent Tower. Of course my favorite feature of At Meydani is a much more modern addition – the free wi-fi available throughout the park.
Seeing pictures like this sometimes makes me wish I had chosen to teach in Turkey instead of Korea.
Thank you for the compliment! Hopefully you’ll make it there eventually 🙂
Ohhh Istanbul. I’d love to go back!
I can’t get enough of that city…
amazing.. but it looks like its gonna topple at any minute! LOL.. kinda like the leaning tower of Pisa.. only thing it doesn’t. Awesome.Reminds me of the cartoon Asterix and Obelix;)
It’s hard to believe it’s been around so long – although it was originally plated with gold. The gold never seems to make it!
Plated with gold! I didn’t know that!
Ah, yes. The lure of free wifi is now rivaling the other attractions. Sign of the times, for sure!
I’m waiting for the day someone blankets the world with free wi-fi. My life will then be complete 😛
Ahh… I miss Istanbul! Last year I was there during Ramadhan, like now. They had night bazaar every night during the month, which I visited frequently, in the hippodrome. Loved to see the column and the other two (there are three, if I’m not mistaken?) in the middle of bazaar madness. I guess a few weeks ago when you were there, this year Ramadhan bazaar hasn’t started yet?
(Thanks so much for the link!!)
No, I missed them unfortunately and wasn’t in Istanbul long this time…and you’re right, there are 3 columns (Serpent Column plus the two obelisks).
Great photo of the Cistern btw, my pleasure to link to it.
You know I have been dying to visit Istanbul for the longest time.. I think its one of those fascinating places especially with the history of Rome.. how long were you there for anil?
This was a short trip, just a few days although I’ve been there many times before. My favorite city in the world.