About Yerebatan Sarnıcı Istanbul – Basilica Cistern – Yerebatan Sarnıcı, also known as the Basilica Cistern, is a historic underground water reservoir located in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, Turkey. The cistern is one of the several ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city, providing water storage for Istanbul during various periods of its history.
Here are some key information about Yerebatan Sarnıcı Istanbul:
Construction: The Basilica Cistern was built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century. It was constructed to provide a stable water supply to the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings in the vicinity.
Design and Architecture: The cistern is an impressive example of Byzantine engineering. It has a capacity to hold 80,000 cubic meters of water and is supported by 336 marble columns, each 9 meters high.
The columns are arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns each.
Water Source: The cistern was fed by a system of aqueducts that brought water from the Belgrade Forest, around 19 kilometers northwest of Istanbul.
Historical Significance: Yerebatan Sarnıcı has witnessed various historical events over the centuries.
It served as a water reservoir during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods and played a crucial role in the city’s water supply system. Mystery of Medusa Heads: Two of the column bases in the cistern feature carved Medusa heads.
The origin of these heads is unclear, and their placement in the cistern has sparked various theories and legends.
Tourist Attraction: Today, Yerebatan Sarnıcı is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul. Visitors can explore the dimly lit, atmospheric space, walking along raised platforms that allow them to appreciate the scale of the cistern. The reflections on the water’s surface and the dim lighting add to the mystical ambiance.
Cultural Events: The cistern is occasionally used for cultural events, such as concerts and art exhibitions.
When visiting Istanbul, many tourists include Yerebatan Sarnıcı in their itinerary to witness this remarkable underground structure that stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and engineering prowess.
Basilica Cistern, which has been living with the people of Istanbul for 1500 years, was reopened to visitors after a restoration process of approximately 6 years. The Medusa heads, which have become the symbol of the Basilica Cistern, which had gone through serious restoration processes before, were also discovered during a restoration process! In the last restoration process, the cistern was made more earthquake resistant, and strengthening works were carried out in the worn areas. With the new walking path created, visitors had the chance to tour the cistern in much more detail!
Basilica Cistern, which is status of a museum, hosted various cultural and artistic activities before the restoration. This magnificent building, which fascinates visitors and art lovers with its wonderful atmosphere, was opened with an exhibition after its restoration. We are sure that those who see the Basilica Cistern, which is 52 steps below sea level, will not soon be impressed by its 336 columns, impressive Medusa heads, and what it has witnessed and will witness throughout history!
You can both have a holiday and discover thousands of years of history by choosing the historical places you want to see in Turkey before or after your blue cruise holiday plan.
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