Obelisk of Tuthmose III in the At Meydani or Hippodrome.

Obelisk of Tuthmose III in the At Meydani or Hippodrome.

‘At’ means horse in Turkish and ‘At Meydani’ or ‘horse square’ as the Hippodrome is known locally is the heart of Byzantine Istanbul. Built in AD 203 by emperor Septimius Severus for the purpose of charriot racing, the hippodrome became the centre of social life, much as it is today, during the winter months and the month of Ramadan. The four magnificent bronze horses atop the facade of the Cathedral of San Marcos in Venice, once adorned the grand vaulted gateway of this Hippodrome! The gate also had compartments, with mechanised starting gates for the participants of the chariot races!
The Obelisk was cut into three pieces before being transported here from the Luxor temple, Egypt