Divan Yolu, Istanbul

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Divan Yolu Caddesi, Istanbul, Turkey

The Ancient Road to Rome

In summer Divan Yolu is crowded with taxis, trucks and trams, but in winter it seems like a normal street.

This was the ancient road from Constantinople to Rome, starting at theMilion, the remnant of a monumental arch, and running to the western imperial capital via the Balkans.

It’s still foreign visitors’ main street to the sights, leading from the ByzantineHippodrome past the Tombs of the Sultans (in that domed building on the right-hand side at the center of the photo).

In the distance, the smokestack-like tower is the Çemberlitaş, or “Hooped Column,” often called the Burnt Column. Once topped by a gilded statue of Constantine the Great, it was the centerpiece of the Forum of Constantine.

Divan Yolu—the Way to the Imperial Council (in Topkapı Palace)—continues westward past the Grand BazaarBeyazıt Square and Istanbul University, to Aksaray Square.

 

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