Erected by order of the Emperor Constantine to celebrate the dedication of New Rome (Constantinople) as capital of the Roman Empire in 330, this column is one of the city's most ancient monuments. Located in a pigeon-packed plaza next to the Çemberlitaş tram stop, it once stood in the grand Forum of Constantine and was topped by a statue of the great emperor himself in the guise of Apollo.
The column was damaged by an earthquake in 416 and iron bands were secured around it to ensure that it remained upright (cemberlitaş means 'hooped stone'). The column lost its crowning statue of Constantine in 1106 and was damaged in the 1779 fire that ravaged the nearby Grand Bazaar. It has recently been restored.