Hippodrome

Istanbul old city tours – Sporting and social centre of two empires

In the square, in front of the Blue Mosque and on your Istanbul old city tours, one of the most famous areas in Byzantine Constantinople can be found, the Hippodrome. The ancient Hippodrome was originally a gathering place, sports area and the scene of chariot races. This is also the place that you have to visit in your private tours Istanbul.

The Hippodrome was the centre of Byzantium’s life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400.

The scene of countless political dramas during the long life of the city; the rival chariot teams of ‘Greens’ and ‘Blues’ had separate sectarian connections. Support for a team was akin to membership of a political party. And also a team victory had great effects on policy. A Byzantine emperor might lose his throne as the result of a post-match riot. You surely can’t see the Hippodrome if you don’t join Istanbul old city tours and local guide Istanbul. But you would definitely miss great and informative day local guide istanbul.

Though the Hippodrome might be the scene of their downfall, Byzantine emperors and Ottoman sultans outdid one another in beautifying it.

Unfortunately, many priceless statues carved by ancient masters have disappeared from their original homes here. Chief among the villains responsible for such thefts were the soldiers of the Fourth Crusade. They invaded Constantinople, a Christian ally city, in 1204. After sacking Aya Sofya, they tore all the bronze plates from the stone obelisk at the Hippodrome’s southern end in the mistaken belief that they were gold. The crusaders also stole the famous quadriga, or team of four horses cast in bronze, a copy of which now sits atop the main door of the Basilica di San Marco in Venice (the original is inside the basilica)istanbul old city tours.

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