The Hippodrome occupies a very prominent position throughout the history of Istanbul. For many centuries the very popular horse races were held here. To this day, the Turks refer to this as 'Horse Square' (At Meydani), although it no longer has anything to do with horses. Today the square is a popular meeting place for locals and destination for tourists.
The oval shape is still clearly recognizable. The square was a popular horse racing venue, though for centuries it was also the stage of fights, from the general public to fights between citizens and rulers. Today's park (with free Wi-Fi) seems far removed from those days, yet history is everywhere. The square features various unique sculptures and offers views of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.