Another beautiful day in Istanbul for a stroll. While walking along the Millet Caddesi, we came across an ancient looking column that looked like it was wearing bracelets. Called the column of Cemberlitas in Turkish, it was taken from the Temple of Apollo in Rome and placed here to honor Constantine I in 330 AD. This interesting looking column is alo known by several other names; the column of Constantine; the "Burnt Column" (because it burnt several times); and the "Column of Porphyry" (because it was made of porphyry stone). It eventually became known as "Cemberlitas" ( the wall with rings) because of the iron rings encircling the column, placed there during the sultanate of Sultan Mustafa II. Many consider this to be a talisman for the city of Istanbul. In actuality, this is 8 columns (each 3 meters in diameter and weighing 3 tons) placed one on top of the other and bonded by "iron bracelets". When a lightning strike damaged the column in 1081, Alexis I Comnenus had it repaired and placed a large cross on top of it. Like many artifacts found in this part of the world, the column comes with a legend. Some claim that there are some personal belongings of Jesus Christ brought from his supposed grave in Jerusalem, buried under the column.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.