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The Milion

The Milion

The Milion It is located on the northwest corner of Sultanahmet Square opposite the Hagia Sophia mosque, near the entrance of the Basilica Cistern and next to the tramway. It is a monument from the Eastern Roman period in Istanbul.

 

It is the starting point of all Ancient Roman roads reaching the city of Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire and the zero point used in calculating the distance of other cities around the world to this city. It is believed to be the source of the saying "All roads lead to Rome". It serves the same function as the Milliarium Aureum, another monument in the city of Rome in Italy. It is thought to have been placed by Emperor Constantine I in the 4th century, like many magnificent monuments built during the rebuilding of Byzantium and gaining its capital identity.

 

When the Million Stone was first made, it consisted of a door facing four directions and a dome sitting on four pillars rising above the intersecting roads at this point. These structures, known as the Tetrapylon architectural name, were one of the important elements of Roman culture. There were many Byzantine sculptures and reliefs on the million monument and its dome, adding to the magnificence of this monument even more.

 

When it comes to Romans and Istanbul, there is no shortage of legends. According to the belief of the Romans, not a single enemy soldier could pass beyond the Million Stone. Anyone who crossed that limit would be killed there by an angel...

 

Actually, the basis of this legend is probably based on mythology. Namely: The Million Monument was originally built as a Tetrapylon. According to some historians, this structure was actually a temple. It is a temple built for the Goddess of Fortune, called Tike in Greek mythology and Fortuna in Roman mythology. This Goddess, which means "fortune" in the ancient Greek language, also directed the fate of cities. However, neither the Catholic Latins invaded Istanbul in 1204, nor the soldiers of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Khan in May 1453, when they passed beyond the Milion Stone, and Istanbul fell on both dates.

 

It is estimated that during the expansion of the aqueducts carrying water to Istanbul in the 16th century, the structure began to collapse and disappear.