Türkiye Obelisks of Constantine & Theodosius

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Rostikslav Nepomnyaschiy

About this spot
The obelisks of Constantine and Theodosius in Istanbul are prominent landmarks that date back to ancient times and reflect the city's rich history as a crossroads of civilizations. Here's a brief overview of both:

1. **Obelisk of Theodosius (Dikilitaş)**
- **Origin**: Originally erected at the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt, during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III (1479-1425 BCE).
- **Relocation**: It was transported to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 390 AD by order of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.
- **Location**: Today, it stands in the Hippodrome, known as Sultanahmet Square.
- **Description**: Made of pink granite, it stands about 19.6 meters tall, although originally it was even taller. The obelisk rests on a marble base, which has reliefs depicting the Emperor Theodosius I, his family, and court officials, as well as scenes of the obelisk's re-erection in Constantinople.

2. **Walled Obelisk (Constantine Obelisk or Masonry Obelisk)**
- **Origin**: Unlike the Obelisk of Theodosius, this obelisk was constructed in situ in the 10th century AD, although it's sometimes erroneously attributed to Constantine Porphyrogenitus.
- **Location**: Also located in the Hippodrome of Constantinople.
- **Description**: Standing at roughly 32 meters, it's constructed of cut stone rather than being carved from a single monolithic structure. The Walled Obelisk was once ornamented with gilded bronze plaques depicting various victories and scenes, but these were pilfered during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

Both obelisks, located relatively close to each other in the ancient Hippodrome, serve as poignant reminders of Istanbul's layered history, from its days as Byzantium and later Constantinople, leading up to its contemporary identity.

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