Skip to main content


Showing posts with the label Deeper Beneath

Basilica Cistern - the Sunken Palace of Istanbul

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi ) The Basilica Cistern or the Sunken Palace, has been around since the 6th century when it was constructed as a reservoir for the palace of Constantinople and the surrounding neighborhood. It takes its name from the Stoa Basilica which once stood on the very same site. There are 336 marble columns standing 30 ft. high supporting the ceiling. Many of these columns were recycled from the ruins of other buildings. The vaulted ceiling and rounded arches remind one of the great cathedrals of Europe but the Cistern predates these cathedrals. It has been restored multiple times through the years and earthquake-proofed in 2017. The Cistern was reopened to the public in July 2022. This is the bottom of the cistern with just enough water to reflect the columns and artworks scattered throughout. Visitors walk on raised walkways. Here’s a Corinthian column decorated with acanthus leaves. Peacock Eye or Column of Tears This column may be a tribute to the slaves wh