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Byzantine Hippodrome in Istanbul
The Roman Emperor Septimus was built the hippodrome on 203 Adi and Constantine the Great enlarged and adorned it with beautiful works which were brought from different places of the Roman Empire when he chose Byzantium as his new capital.
There is not much left from the original building except the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine and Constantine Columns, according to the excavations carried out, the hippodrome was 117 m / 384 ft wide and 480 m / 1575 ft long with a capacity of 100,000 spectators.
Hippodrome was used for races and also for public meetings.
Chariots drawn by either 2 or 4 horses raced here representing one of the four political groups. Each group was represented by a color. Later on these four colors were united in two colors; the Blues and the Greens. The Blues were the upper and middle classes, orthodox in religion and conservative in politics. The Greens were the lower class and radical both in religion and politics. One of these political divisions ended with a revolt which caused the death of 30,000 people. This revolt was named after people's cries of "Nika" which meant "win" and this Nika Revolt took place in 531 AD.