Istanbul Travel Guide

Column of Constantine (Cemberlitas)

  • Column of Constantine in 1890

  • Column of Constantine in Byzantine Period.

The place that is now known as Çemberlitaş used to be called the Column of Constantine. The column was built in 330, and is one of the oldest monuments in Istanbul to observe.

The column is 50 meters high, and on top a statue of Apollo from Troje could be found, which symbolizes the emperor. The founder of the city, Constantine the Great, had the statue of Apollo, which was on top of a column in Rome, removed and taken to Istanbul.

The column has an angled shape and a big pedestal. It is thought that the emperor put holy objects that belonged to Jesus under the pedestal. Among these objects would be pieces of wood from Jesus’s cross, the nails that had been used to nail Him to the cross, and a crown made of iron wires.

Sculpture of Apollo

There are gilt sculpture of Apollo who is from God of polytheistic belief was on the top of sculpture in Byzantine Period. There is a globe with cross on the left hand of sculpture and spear on the right hand of sculpture. It was said that the sculpture belonged to famous sculptor Fidias from Ancient History. In the late period, an inscription was imposed to emphasize the sculpture’s Christianity symbol. These words were said in this inscription: Jesus, you are the creator of earth, I presented the power and rod of Rome with it for your town. You save it from all this attacks and dangers.