About Istanbul At Meydani

Built by the Romans around 200AD, the Hippodrome was originally used as a stadium and meeting place for politicians, chariot-racing, boxing, wrestling, and other public events. For over a thousand years it was the center of Roman and Byzantine Constantinople; and over 400 of the Ottoman Empire.

Over 100,000 could watch the events unfolding in the 400-meter long and 120-meter wide arena. Built primarily for sporting events, not all that took place here were sporting; in 532, a chariot race ignited the bloodiest riot in the city—most of the city was burned and about 30,000 trapped in the Hippodrome were massacred by Justinian mercenaries.

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