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Notes on the Geography of Turkey (Istanbul): Secular Monuments: Photo 5

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Across the street from the cistern and Milion, there's a large open space fronting on the Blue Mosque. In Byzantine times it was a hippodrome or stadium to watch horse races. At its south end, there's a steep slope down to the Sea of Marmara. Walk down the slope, and you'll notice this cliff. At least that's what it seems to be, until you notice the curvature, the brick, and the arches. You could pass it ten times without realizing what it is, but the eleventh time it will dawn on you that it's the base of one end of the hippodrome. It has a name, of course: the Sphendoneh.

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