Istanbul Travel Guide

The Serpentine Column

  • Serpentine column in 1880; it was placed here in the times of Constantine the Great.

Serpentine Column which is interpreted as Delphi Tripod is one of the relics from Hippodrome. In fact there are three snakes’ heads with open mouth and snakes raddled, their heads are shaped like tripod gold bowl.

When 31 United Greek cities defeated Persians in the war of Platea in 479 B.C., they won the bronze spoils and they melted them and they set this unique quality work. About it is 8 meters height and in fact it is erected in Delphi. But it was brought to Istanbul in 324 by Byzantine Emperor Constantine and it was erected the middle of Hippodrome.

 Fossati found a piece of maxilla of snake

In 17th century, snakes’ heads stood. Only 5.30 meter part of monument got through to nowadays. Monument is inside of the 6.50 meters in diameter and 3 meters deep hole in which side parts put up a wall.
Evliya Çelebi writes that this monument has the feature of preservation from animals such as snake, centipede and scorpion. According to rumour a janissary pull of one of the snakes’ head and after that day this kind of animals increase in Istanbul.
G. Fossati who repaired the Hagia Sophia found a piece of maxilla of this snake and it is exhibited in Istanbul Archeology Museum nowadays.

Useful Information for The Serpentine Column