Obelisk’s adventure began in the 15th century BC. The ruler of Egypt at that time, Thutmosis III, had this monument erected after the victory in Asia. It is known that the structure was much greater than the current status. However, there is no exact information regarding why it was broken.
After the period of Pharaoh’s ended, Egyptian monuments started to decorate the Roman cities. Obelisk was brought to its current location in Istanbul, in 363 AD. Since this structure is very large, a special ship was built, and it was brought to Istanbul three years later. Because of the weight and length of the blocks, it couldn’t be erected until 390. It was Theodosius I, who was able to erect the artwork thirty years later. That’s why there are compliments to Theodosius on inscriptions in four sides of the Obelisk. There was a world icon at the end of the monument. The icon was spherical and made of bronze. The sphere separated from the stone by an earthquake in 865 and couldn’t be put into its place.
Obelisk was in the hippodrome of the city for centuries and didn’t lose its importance. During the Ottoman period, it aroused curiosity, especially by foreigners. Turks also have imposed various meanings on the stone. Evliya Celebi, who lived in the 17th century, described this structure as a protective talisman. In his famous Seyahatname (travel book), there is a belief that the stone protects from disasters.
Today, Obelisk is considered as the oldest historical artifact in Istanbul. It was made of Aswan granite and it is approximately 6 meters shorter than its previous length. It weighs 200 tons and apart from its stand, it is approximately 19 meters in height.