Istanbul travel guide


Istanbul Travel Guide

Sunken Palace

The Basilica Cistern, also known as the sunken palace, is one of the major tourist attractions in Istanbul and the largest of a large number of ancient cisterns located beneath of Istanbul. This amazing and ancient building is located 150 m of the Hagia Sophia, the most important Turkish monument, on Sarayburnu. It is believed that the Sunken Palace was built by order of the emperor Justinian around 542, in the site of an ancient Roman temple called Sinking Palace,it was built in order to supply the water requirement of the Hagia Sophia and the palace.

The Cistern Basilica Although for long time, this palace was forgotten, it was rediscovered by Petrus Gyllius, a French natural scientist, topographer and translator, who came to Constantinople searching Byzantine monuments. This building covers an area of approximately 9.8000 m2 and it is capable to housing 80,000 cubic meters of water. The ceiling is supported by several Ionic and Corinthian marble columns of approximately 9 meters.

Currently, the Sunken Palace attracts visitors from around the world every day, which are amazed by the beauty of this building. The main attractions are definitely the two Medusa column bases, which according to historians, were brought from an ancient Roman building. Over time, the Sunken Palace has suffered many restorations in which tons of mud, which deteriorated the temple, was removed. In the 1990s, during one of its restorations, atmospheric lighting was installed adding beauty to this palace. The Sunken Palace is a place that one cannot fail to visit in Istanbul.

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