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Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern - Istanbul The Basilica Cistern is known also as Sunken Palace or Yerebatansarayi in Turkish. It was built by Justinian and its main purpose was to supply water to the Byzantine palace. It is located beneath Istanbul and is the most important one among many other cisterns; it was built in the Byzantine era, the size of this monument is almost 900 square kilometers, with a capacity of 800 cubic meters and it have 336 marble pillars that has Doric or Corinthian style.

If you see behind the Cistern you will see and upside-down Medusa that many important people and investigators were trying to find out its meaning, but the closest theory that they has was that the upside-down medusa was to protect water from evil spirits, but not very far from this Cistern there is other medusa head in the opposite direction, so what that it mean nobody really knows.

This fantastic monument was forgotten in time but it was rediscovered by Petrus Gyllius that visited Byzantium to find the monuments. Nowadays, the cistern is well care and it has walkways and environment lights, you can even find a café on the place.

If you want to visit the place, here are some directions:
  • It is located in Sultanahmed Square, northeast from the Hippodrome.
  • Across the street from Hagia Sophia.
You can visit it any day from 09:00 to 17:30, and you can spend form half an hour to an hour in the place. The entrance cost is around $ 7.00US.


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