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Photographer's Note

Yerebatan Sarayi is one of the most stunning places of Istanbul. You can't miss it. absolutely! therefore I decided to post another shot of this place after the first picture I posted 2 days before.

This image is maybe sharper than the previous one...and it obviously belongs to one of my favourite themes: Reflection's eveywhere

MORE INFO:
The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: 'Yerebatan Sarayı' or 'Yerebatan Sarnıcı'), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that still lie beneath the city of Istanbul, former Constantinople, Turkey. The cistern, located in the historical peninsula of Istanbul next to the Hagia Sophia, was built during the reign of emperor Justinian I in the 6th century, the age of glory of Eastern Rome, also called the Byzantine Empire.

History
This underground structure was known as the Basilica Cistern as its was built underneath the Stoa Basilica, a large public square on the First Hill of Constantinople. According to ancient historians, Emperor Constantine had already constructed a structure, which was rebuilt and enlarged by Emperor Justinian after the Nika riots of 532. It provided water for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill, and continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times.

Measurements and data
The second Medusa head pillarThis cathedral-sized cistern is an underground chamber of 143 by 65 metres, capable of holding 80,000 cubic metres of water. The large space is broken up by a forest of 336 marble columns each 9 metres high. The columns are arranged in 12 rows each consisting of 28 columns. The capitals of the columns are mainly Ionic and Corinthian styles, with the exception of a few Doric style with no engravings.

The cistern is surrounded by a firebrick wall with a thickness of 4 meters and coated with a special mortar for waterproofing. The cistern's water was provided from the Belgrade Woodswhich lie 19 kilometers north of the cityvia aqueducts built by the Emperor Justinian.

The cracks and the columns were repaired in 1968. Having been restored in 1985 by the Istanbul Metropolitan Museum, the cistern was once again opened to the public on 9 September 1987. It is a popular tourist attraction.

Medusa column bases
The bases of two of the columns reuse earlier blocks carved with the head of a Medusa. They are located in the northwest corner of the cistern. The origin of the two heads is unknown, though it is rumoured that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from an antique building of the late Roman period. Another mystery is why one of the heads is upside down, while the other is tilted to one side. It is commonly accepted by scientists that they were placed that way deliberately.

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Additional Photos by Silvio Garda (Jeppo) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1804 W: 10 N: 1772] (17645)
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