Sphendone Istanbul – The curved end of the Hippodrome

arts&culture
Art & culture

The "Sphendone" of the old Istanbul Hippodrome is the only part still visible today. When I first visited it I was mindblown by its grandiose structure...

Everyone knows or talks about the Hippodrome but no one is aware of the South curved end of it. This of course is the only part of the structure that is still visible nowadays. This structure proves the magnificence of the Hippodrome. It is called the Sphendone or sphendon and consists of twentyfive vaulted chambers and a corridor forming a half circle.

I once had a chance to visit the inside of the Sphendone and was mindblown by its grandiose structure. Unfortunately it's not open for visitors as the structure is not stable and safe for the public but you can still see the façade that was hidden behind houses a couple of years back.

As you can see from the photograph I recently took it's one end of the Hippodrome and gives a fabulous sense of a Byzantine arena which is supposed to have at least forty rows. We can say that this is the answer by Constantinople to the Coliseum in Rome. Even though you cannot visit it, please do walk further down the slope to get the feeling of this enormous structure and imagine yourself there in the old ages as I usually do.

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