Cemberlitas Hooped Column Istanbul
HistoryEmperor Constantine declared Byzantium the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 330, renamed it Constantinople and in commemoration erected the 35m high porphyry column at the centre of the Forum. He commissioned a statue to be built at the top depicting him as Apollo, the sun god, which rather went against his new found Christianity. It was said that he buried at the base of the column several relics including parts of the True Cross, an axe Noah used in building the Ark and remains of the seven loaves from the ‘loaves and fishes miracle’ all of which have remained undisturbed.
Design of Hooped ColumnThe porphyry column is not just the largest but the only one to have survived; after an earthquake in 416 iron bands were
The cross was removed after Turks seized Constantinople in 1453 and after a fire in 1779 that swept through the neighbourhood the column was the only thing left standing.
When the column was restored, paid for by Sultan Abdülhamid, a stone plinth was made to cover the lower west layer of porphyry, and in the 1970s the iron hoops were replaced to stop further damage to the marble and this is what visitors see today.