|THE OBELISK MARKED THE CENTER OF THE HIPPODROME:
The historic monolith, erected more than 1,500 years ago, is of rose
granite, 61 feet high, and came from the Temple of the Sun at
Heliopolis, Egypt, placed there by Thothmes III twenty centuries before
the Christian era. Greek and Latin inscriptions say the 199-ton stone
was raised on the Hippodrome in 32 days. In the lower right corner of
the picture is seen the headless Serpent's Column, an offering of Greek
devotion to Apollo after the Battle of Plataea, when the Persian hordes
had been forever hurled from Europe. Three serpents, twisted around each
other and standing on their tails, compose the column, now but 18 feet 9
inches high. In the background rises Sancta Sophia (Hagia Sophia).
(Photograph and caption date to 1922.) Click here to enlarge.