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Today the Turks call the Hippodrome At Meydan, which means horse square. originally it was the Circus Maximus. With a length of 400m there was space for 100000 people. Septimus Severus started the construction in 203 and 120 years later Konstantin the Great enlarged it. This was the place not only for circus games, but also for parties, political demonstrations and even riots. In 1203 a big fire destroyed the city and the Hippodrome decayed. After the conquest of Konstantinopel by Sultan Mehmet Fatih in 1253 the remains of the Hippodrome were used as quarry to build mosques and palaces.
Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see the other names of Istanbul) is the largest city of Turkey and the third largest city in the world. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province.It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.