May 12, 2010 00:13 by haci

The column was erected to honor Constantine in 330 AD, when Istanbul was dedicated as the capital of the Roman Empire. It stood in the center of a large oval-shaped square on top of the second hill of Istanbul. This square, surrounded by colonnades, was called the Forum of Constantine. Çemberlitaş is also known as the Burnt Column. It was originally higher than it is today and was topped by a statue of Constantine dressed as the sun god. The porphyry blocks of the column were cracked by time and by fire, and have been reinforced with iron hoops.

The marble capital dates to the 12th century, and the stone masonry in the lower section to the 18th century. It is believed that a small chamber under the column housed sacred relics of early Christianity. The course of the avenue that passes by the column has not changed since the time of Constantine.