Cemberlitas Column (Constantine Column)
The column, known as Cemberlitas (column with rings) in Turkish, was brought to Constantinople from the Temple of Apollo by Constantinus I between 325-328 AD. There was a statue of Apollo on top which was replaced by a cross during Christianity. The column symbolizes also the end of Pagan tradition on the Byzantine lands. It was erected in the middle of an oval square known as Forum Constantini, located on the second hill of the city. The cross was removed after the Conquest of Constantinople during the Ottoman period. The 35 meter high column was damaged by big fires and weather conditions during the ages so Sultan Mustafa II re-enforced the column with iron rings. The marble capital is from the 12th century and the reinforcing pedestal from the 18th. Today the Metropolitan Municipality is carrying restoration works of Cemberlitas column.