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Obelisk of Theodosius

Obelisk of Theodosius

Obelisk of Theodosius

Obelisk of Theodosius (Binbirdirek, Istanbul) — Around 1490 BC the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III erected two obelisks before the Karnak temple in Luxor to commemorate the victories of his forces in Mesopotamia. The obelisks were made of rare pink granite. In the 4th century AD, an unknown Roman emperor who wanted to accomplish something impressive that would create excitement among his people had the colossal obelisk brought to Istanbul.

For years it was left lying in a corner of the Hippodrome. In 390, during the reign of Theodosius I, it was erected with great difficulty by Proclus, a city administrator. It is the oldest monument in the city and has always been considered magical. The obelisk rests on four bronze blocks on a Roman base decorated with reliefs. These depict the emperor, his children and other prominent personalities watching the races from the imperial box, as well as the spectators, musicians, dancers and chariot races. The obelisk measures 25.60 m including the base.