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[Istanbul]


SQUARES AND MONUMENTS      


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Istanbul’s most old squares and monuments are those that are located in the walls. The Sultan Ahmet Square which was named Hippodrome in the Byzantine era or Horse Square in the Ottoman era is one of the most important squares in Istanbul. Due to the fact that the squares are located near the Byzantine and Ottoman palaces; they have witnessed political, public and cultural events. The Nika revolt in the Justinianus period, eventuated here. Later on it was the location of several political acts. The Blue and Green named teams horse races took place here, the horse races that the noble palace men and public participated in carried half political public events characteristic. The square was also used as a public gathering area in the organization for Murat III’s sons, 40 days and 40 night’s circumcision feast.

Today important structures that surround the square’s middle axes, such as, the Sultanahmet Mosque and the Ibrahim Pasha Palace exists of certain monuments. Dikilitash, which is one of these monuments, was originally made by the Egyptians during the years 1000’s B.C. However, it is in its present location, after it was took down and brought to Istanbul and was placed on an embossed and in scripted marble pedestal in the year 390 A.C. which is a Byzantine work of art. The Snake Dome consists of three encircled snake figures. The head pieces of the snakes are not present in our day.

Furthermore the gold pot that was claimed to be found between the snake heads are said to be absent since the Byzantine era. The monument was actually put up in the city Delphi, in the memory of the victory that the Greek city worlds gained against the Persians, in the year 427 B.C. It was taken down in the 4th century and put up in its present location. Another monument that is located in the square, was given the name Braided Obelisk and is a Byzantine work piece. The monument that was constructed in the 10th century was originally covered with embossed bronze plaques. However, these plaques were plundered during the Latin Invasion and only mounting traces on the rocks are left behind.

Also the Chemberlitash Square which was known as the Constantine Forum in the Byzantine era is one of Istanbul’s important squares. There is a monument located in this square that was constructed in the Big Constantine era. The monument which is presently known as Chemberlitash, consisted of a statue of the Big Constantine, placed on a big porphyry dome. However the statue was ruined by a thunderbolt. Since the red colored porphyry stone was not heat resistant, it cracked in the conclusion of fire and later on was supported with metal rings. It’s present name comes from here.

Another important square that is located in Istanbul, and has a history that reaches into the early Byzantine era is the Beyazid Square. Here during the Byzantine era, there is the statue of the Theodosius Dome which resembles the Traian Dome located in Rome. The square presently is an area of active life with the entrance of the University of Istanbul and Beyazid Mosque.
The Goths Monument which consists of a column with a Corinth-style capital is in Gulhane Park which is located in a region that reaches to the Sarayburnu district in one of Istanbul’s green fields. Having an inscription expressing gratitude to a victory against the Goths, the monument probably remains from 4th century AD.

The monument that was put up for emperor Markianus in the year 452 is located in Fatih. The small sized monument consists of a victory wreath simple dome, placed on a pedestal and an eagle statue dome. The statue that was put up is not present.

Uskudar which is located on the entrance of the Asian side of the Bosphorus, is one of Istanbul’s most important districts of all periods. The Uskudar square which beholds the daytime crowd is beautified with the impressive appearance of the Uskudar Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, which is one of Architect Sinan’s Works. Also the Square Fountain that was ordered to be constructed by Ahmet III is one of the monuments that bring value to the square.

There are important squares in Istanbul are other regions too. Taksim Square which is accepted as the heart of Istanbul, located in the entrance of Istiklal street and is like a door that opens to social life. Even though part of it doesn’t exist (like Taksim Barrack) it represents a architectural appearance with buildings that have been constructed since the beginning of the century. The Taksim Republic Monument, which is one of the first monument statues of the Republic period, is Taksim’s most important part. It was constructed by Italian sculptor Pietri Canonica.
The area which Barboros Hayrettin Pasha mausoleum was constructed that is located in Beshiktash Istanbul was arranged as a square by city planner Henri Proust. The Barboros Monument, a shared work of Sculptor Ali Hadi Bara and Zuhtu Muridoglu was put up in Barboros Square. It was opened in the year 1943, as one of the most important monument statues in Istanbul.

One of Istanbul’s important monuments is the Ataturk Monument located in Sarayburnu Park; it was made by Sculptor Krippel in the year 1926. The importance of the monument is that it is the first monument statue that showed the Grand Leader Ataturk.