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In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire, the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. Istanbul city, which is located on two continents, has acquired a reputation for being a cultural and ethnic melting pot.
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a horse racing track that was the sporting and social center of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire and the largest city in Europe. In 203 the Emperor Septimius Severus rebuilt the city and expanded its walls, endowing it with a hippodrome, an arena for chariot races and other entertainment.
The Serpent Column (Yilanli Sutun) is an ancient column at the Hippodrome. It was erected in the 4th century AD (it is located in the middle of the panorama). It originally came from Greece and was relocated to Istanbul by Constantine I in 324.
The Obelisk of Theodosius (Dikilitas) was erected in 390 AD (in front of Serpent column in the panorama). It was brought from Egypt by the Roman emperor Theodsius I.
The Column of Constantine Porphyrogenetus (or The Walled Obelisk, Orme Dikilitas) is situated behind the Serpent Column in the panorama. Its construction date is unknown. Constantine VII had it repaired in the 10th Century.
The last, Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) was built between 1609-1616 by Sultan Ahmet I when Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire...