Istanbul : Basilica Cistern

Uploaded 20 Jun 2019 — 7 favorites
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© Raje Esteban
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 20, 2019
TakenSeptember 21, 2013
MakeOlympus Imaging Corp.
Exposure1/13 sec at f/2
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length12 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

The largest of the previously forgotten subterranean cisterns of the Byzantine Empire.

Just like several hundred ancient cisterns beneath the city of Istanbul, it provided a water filtration system for the nearby 'Great Palace' and other buildings. This underground chamber measures approximately 140 by 65 meters and capable of holding 80,000 cubic meters of water. It was constructed using 336 columns as support to the ceiling.

It is also called Yerebatan Sarnici ("Cistern sinking into the ground").

It was however closed and forgotten after the relocation of the 'Great Palace'. It was re-discovered in 1545 by scholar Petrus Gyllius while he was studying Byzantine antiquities.

By that time it became a dumping ground for the city's garbage.

Only by 1985 was it cleaned and renovated by the authorities.

In 1987 it was opened to the public. It's now one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.

6 responses

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (20 Jun 2019):

    Beautiful existing light shot and an interesting narrative!

  • Tiia Vissak

    Tiia Vissak gave props (20 Jun 2019):

    a cool capture!

  • Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker   said (23 Jun 2019):

    Fantastic use of light and shadow. Well done.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (26 Jun 2019):

    It is mind-blowing! Thank you for the great essay. You and I and very few others provide descriptions. I appreciate it.

  • Fifo Castro

    Fifo Castro   gave props (20 Jul 2019):

    Outstanding capture Raje!


    R. SPENCER said (20 Jul 2019):

    Really cool ,
    Reminds me of the color scheme in pans labyrinth .
    The mix of fairytales and brutality of the really real world where
    In story books and fantasy is the only time we ever come back once
    The heart stops beating ..

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