Turkey

Turkey


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Across the street from Hagia Sofia, and underground, is the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Saray) or Sunken Palace Cistern because of its size (70 x 140 meters, or 2.4 acres), its capacity (over 21 million US gallons) and its 336 marble columns. Remember the scene in the old James Bond movie From Russia With Love when Bond is rowing in a small boat through a forest of marble columns? That scene was filmed in Yerebatan. It is an enormous water reservoir built in 532 by emperor Justinianus. It was built to provide the big palace with fresh drinking water. This great example of Byzantium architecture was kept hidden from most of the armies that conquered Istanbul (or Constantinople). It was discovered a century after the Osman occupation of the city. Some soldiers saw how civilians brought up buckets of water and even fished through holes in their cellar floors. We weren't able to get into this cistern or the Hagia Sofia. I recommend checking to see if they are open before scheduling a trip. Turkey is very rich in history.



Image

Across the street from Hagia Sofia, and underground, is the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Saray) or Sunken Palace Cistern because of its size (70 x 140 meters, or 2.4 acres), its capacity (over 21 million US gallons) and its 336 marble columns. Remember the scene in the old James Bond movie From Russia With Love when Bond is rowing in a small boat through a forest of marble columns? That scene was filmed in Yerebatan. It is an enormous water reservoir built in 532 by emperor Justinianus. It was built to provide the big palace with fresh drinking water. This great example of Byzantium architecture was kept hidden from most of the armies that conquered Istanbul (or Constantinople). It was discovered a century after the Osman occupation of the city. Some soldiers saw how civilians brought up buckets of water and even fished through holes in their cellar floors. We weren't able to get into this cistern or the Hagia Sofia. I recommend checking to see if they are open before scheduling a trip. Turkey is very rich in history.