The Byzantine Hippodrome doesn't look very like I would expect a Hippodrome to be, because of the
trees. The traffic (mainly yellow taxis) drives around where the track should be.
The centre is a small park with monuments scattered through it. These monuments include
the 3500 year-old Egyptian obelisk. It was originally commissioned by the Pharaoh Thutmose III
(1549-1503 B.C.) who erected it in upper Egypt to commemorate one of his campaigns in Syria
and his crossing of the Euphrates river. It was erected on its present site by Theodosius
the Great in 390 A.C. and the marble stone at the bottom of it refers to Theodosius.
The second monument is the Serpent column. The three bronze serpents were the base of a
trophy that once stood at the temple of Apollo at Delphi. The column was probably brought
from Delphi by Constantine the Great.
The third monument is a roughly built pillar of stone 32 meters high dated around the 4th
century. It is known that the monument was originally cased in gilded bronze but in 1204,
during the Latin invasion the bronze was melted down.
Finally Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany donated the fountain as a gift to the Sultan when he visited
the park in 1901.