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Hippodrome, Istanbul

3.1
#129 of 1,406 in Things to do in Istanbul
Explore the remnants of the original Hippodrome, a circus that was the sporting and social center of Constantinople. Named after the Greek words meaning "horse path," the area used to host horse and chariot racing, and is thought to have had a seating capacity of 100,000. It was also used to host elaborate celebrations for circumcision ceremonies of the sons of Sultan Ahmed III. The actual track now sits below the present square, which features preserved monuments such as the middle barrier of the race course, two obelisks, and the Serpentine Column. The area includes an octogonal domed fountain that was constructed by the German governor to commemorate Emperor Wilhelm's visit to the city in 1891. Explore the square, visit the nearby museums, and learn more about the history of the track. Note that the square is centrally located to the city's other attractions, making it easily accessible on foot. Plan to visit Hippodrome and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Istanbul attractions using our Istanbul trip planner.
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  • The old Hippodrome is now "Sultanahmet square" and this is where you will be dropped off the tram. The square is huge with so many local vendors selling chestnuts and corn. There are a lot of...  more »
  • All that one could see today void of the tracks and stands of the grand days where a total up to eight chariots would race here with up to 100K spectators donning the hippodrome. It was the centre.....  more »
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