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Friday 28 September 2007

Top Ten Sights in Istanbul – No. 8: Yerebatan Sarayi

The Byzantine Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) is an underground water cistern built in 532 A.D. The roof of the cistern is supported by 336 columns of more than 8 m high. You can walk through the Cistern by the planked path circling around the cavernous interior.

Some of the 336 columns holding up the roof.

Another part of the cistern with the supporting columns.

Symmetrically arranged columns of the cistern.

While walking through the Cistern, I can feel water dripping on my head from the porous ceiling, while the dripping sound of the water drops hitting the body of water on the floor of the Cistern synchronises with the classical music playing in the background.

One of the few columns with 'eyes' all round.

One of the two Medusa head bases used to support the columns, showing the evidence of plundering by the Byzantines from earlier monuments.

The water cistern is filled with life.

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Istanbul, here are the links:-

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