Column of Constantine, Istanbul Overview

The Column of Constantine or Çemberlitaş is a 35m tall honorific column in Istanbul, Turkey that was built by the Roman emperor Constantine. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Istanbul’s oldest surviving monuments, it is set in the centre of what was formerly the Forum of Constantine. It is one of the only edifices here that is representative of Roman architecture.

The column is made of numerous porphyry (a semi-precious and imperial stone) blocks; it used to stand on a white marble pedestal that is no longer visible and used to support a bronze statue of Constantine followed by a cross, both of which were later removed. A visit to the column is a great way to learn about the history of Byzantine Istanbul. It also makes for an ideal photography spot. Around the structure are other attractions like the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia Museum etc. along with several restaurants.

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