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An accommodation experience that suits you in the fascinating historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. Blu Ma'cel is the ideal Sultanahmet hotel for you.


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The Million Stone: The Beginning of Time

Istanbul is a unique city that bears traces from every era of history, serving as a melting pot for different civilizations. Sultanahmet Square, in particular, holds a special place in this historical tapestry. Amidst the many historical monuments in the square, perhaps the least known but most significant is the Million Stone.


As you wander through the cobblestone streets of Sultanahmet, the echoes of ancient empires can be felt at every corner. This district, which once served as the heart of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, is a testament to Istanbul's enduring allure. From majestic mosques to ancient churches, Sultanahmet is a treasure trove of stories waiting to be discovered. The Million Stone, acting as a silent sentinel, stands as a reminder of the city's deep-rooted history, beckoning visitors to delve deeper into the tales of a time long past.


A Brief Journey into History: What is the Million Stone?

The Million Stone was constructed during the Byzantine Empire and marked the starting point of the main road, called Mese, in Istanbul of that time. Essentially, this stone was recognized as the zero point from which all distances within the empire were measured.


Over the centuries, the significance of the Million Stone transcended its original utilitarian purpose. As trade routes flourished and Istanbul emerged as a nexus of the ancient world, the stone not only served as a geographical marker but also as a symbol of the city's centrality and importance. Pilgrims, merchants, and travelers of yore would often start their journeys from this very point, earning it a revered status in the annals of history. Today, while many remnants of Byzantine Constantinople have faded away, the Million Stone stands as a poignant reminder of a glorious past, a bridge between epochs, bearing silent witness to the ebb and flow of empires and the march of time.


Architecture and Significance

Some reliefs and inscriptions on the stone reflect the artistic richness and historical events of the Byzantine period. However, many of these details have either disappeared or been damaged over time. Today's Million Stone, when compared to its original state, appears quite modest. But its historical significance far surpasses its physical appearance.



Legends and Myths

While the Million Stone stands as a testament to historical facts, it is also surrounded by myths. One legend says that treasures from various conquered lands were buried underneath it, symbolizing the empire's vast wealth and power. Another myth suggests that anyone touching the stone at midnight can hear echoes from the past, murmuring stories of the ancient city.


Furthermore, there are tales of emperors and prominent figures swearing oaths and making proclamations by the stone, believing in its sacred aura and the divine protection it bestowed. Some whisper that the stone has a magnetic pull, drawing not only those who seek knowledge of the past but also those who are destined to change the future. There are even stories of wandering souls who, lost in the annals of time, seek the Million Stone as a beacon to guide them back to their rightful places in history.


Yet another myth speaks of a hidden inscription on the stone, only visible during certain celestial events, revealing prophecies and secrets of the Byzantine Empire. Whether these tales are steeped in truth or are mere products of vibrant imaginations, they add layers of intrigue to the already captivating presence of the Million Stone, making it not just a monument, but a living entity intertwined with the soul of Istanbul.


Visiting Recommendations

If you're planning a trip to Istanbul, don't miss this historic stone overshadowed by the grandeur of Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet Square. Stand beside the Million Stone for a moment, contemplate the swift passage of time, and immerse yourself in the depths of history. Here are some additional tips and features to enhance your visit:


  • Guided Tours: Consider joining a guided tour of Sultanahmet Square. Knowledgeable guides can provide deeper insights into the Million Stone's history, legends, and its place in the Byzantine era.

  • Photography: The stone's location offers a unique vantage point. Capture a shot with the backdrop of iconic landmarks, especially during sunset when the area bathes in a golden hue.

  • Local Cuisine: After your visit, indulge in some local Turkish delicacies at nearby cafes and eateries. Sultanahmet is renowned for its traditional dishes that are a treat to the senses.
  • Nearby Attractions: Besides the Million Stone, Sultanahmet boasts other significant sites like the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, and the Archaeological Museum. Plan your day to explore these treasures as well.

  • Night Stroll: Experience the square in the evening. As the crowds thin out, the ambiance becomes more serene, allowing for a peaceful reflection by the Million Stone.


How to Get There

The Million Stone is conveniently located in Sultanahmet Square. If you're in the city center, you can easily reach it by tram – simply get off at the Sultanahmet stop. The stone is within walking distance from major landmarks like Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Basilica Cistern. Additionally, if you're staying at or near the Blu Ma'Cel Hotel, you'll be pleased to know that the Million Stone is a mere 10-minute walk away.