Theme Week Turkey – Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

Wednesday, 4 May 2016 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Basilica Cistern © Taco325i/cc-by-sa-3.0

Basilica Cistern © Taco325i/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarayı – “Sunken Palace”) is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.

The name of this subterranean structure derives from a large public square on the First Hill of Constantinople, the Stoa Basilica, beneath which it was originally constructed. Before being converted to a cistern, a great Basilica stood in its place, built between the 3rd and 4th centuries during the Early Roman Age as a commercial, legal and artistic centre. The basilica was reconstructed by Illus after a fire in 476. Historical texts claim that 7,000 slaves were involved in the construction of the cistern. The enlarged cistern provided a water filtration system 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.

Basilica Cistern © Dpnuevo/cc-by-sa-3.0 Cistern Cafe © Hawkeye58/cc-by-sa-3.0 Head of Medusa as base of a column © Gun Powder Ma/cc-by-sa-3.0 Constantinople's Imperial District © Cplakidas Basilica Cistern © Taco325i/cc-by-sa-3.0
<
>
Head of Medusa as base of a column © Gun Powder Ma/cc-by-sa-3.0
This cathedral-size cistern is an underground chamber approximately 138 metres (453 ft) by 64.6 metres (212 ft) – about 9,800 square metres (105,000 sq ft) in area – capable of holding 80,000 cubic metres (2,800,000 cu ft) of water. The ceiling is supported by a forest of 336 marble columns, each 9 metres (30 ft) high, arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns each spaced 4.9 metres (16 ft) apart. The capitals of the columns are mainly Ionic and Corinthian styles, with the exception of a few Doric style with no engravings. One of the columns is engraved with raised pictures of a Hen’s Eye, slanted braches, and tears. This column resembles the columns of the Triumphal Arch of Theodosius I from the 4th century (AD 379–395), erected in the ‘Forum Tauri’ Square. Ancient texts suggest that the tears on the column pay tribute to the hundreds of slaves who died during the construction of the Basilica Cistern. The majority of the columns in the cistern appear to have been recycled from the ruins of older buildings, likely brought to Constantinople from various parts of the empire, together with those that were used in the construction of Hagia Sophia. They are carved and engraved out of various types of marble and granite.

The Basilica Cistern has undergone several restorations since its foundation. The first of the repairs were carried out twice during the Ottoman State in the 18th century during the reign of Ahmed III in 1723 by the architect Muhammad Agha of Kayseri. The second major repair was completed during the 19th century during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876–1909). Cracks to masonry and damaged columns were repaired in 1968, with additional restoration in 1985 by the Istanbul Metropolitan Museum. During the 1985 restoration, 50,000 tons of mud were removed from the cisterns, and platforms built throughout to replace the boats once used to tour the cistern. The cistern was opened to the public in its current condition on 9 September 1987. In May 1994, the cistern underwent additional cleaning.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Cisterna Basilica and Wikipedia Cisterna Basilica (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Theme Week Colombia - Cali

Theme Week Colombia - Cali

[caption id="attachment_235358" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Cali as seen from Christo Rey Hills © David Alejandro Rendon/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Santiago de Cali, or Cali, is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, and the most populous city in southwest Colombia, with 2,227,642 residents according to the 2018 census. The city spans 560.3 km² (216.3 sq mi) with 120.9 km² (46.7 sq mi) of urban area, making Cali the second-largest city in the country by area and the third most populous after Bogota an...

[ read more ]

Knutsford in North West England

Knutsford in North West England

[caption id="attachment_153111" align="aligncenter" width="590"] King Street © Maciej Preś/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Knutsford is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority area of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, in North West England with 13,000 inhabitants. It is about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Manchester and 11 miles (18 km) northwest of Macclesfield. Knutsford is situated on the Cheshire Plain, between the Peak District in the South Pennines to the east and the Clwydian R...

[ read more ]

Theme Week County Mayo

Theme Week County Mayo

[caption id="attachment_232156" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Burrishoole Bridge © MickReynolds/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]County Mayo (Irish: Contae Mhaigh Eo, meaning "Plain of the yew trees") is a county in Ireland. In the West of Ireland, in the province of Connacht, it is named after the village of Mayo, now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority. The population was 137,231 at the 2022 census. The boundaries of the county, which was formed in 1585, reflect the Mac William ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Corsica - Porto-Vecchio

Theme Week Corsica - Porto-Vecchio

[caption id="attachment_160201" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Nerijp[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Porto-Vecchio is a commune in the Corse-du-Sud department of France on the island of Corsica. It is the seat of the canton of Porto-Vecchio, which it shares with Sari-Solenzara, Conca and Lecci. Port-Vecchio is a medium-sized port city placed on a good harbor, the southernmost of the marshy and alluvial east side of Corsica. The inhabitants are called Porto-Vecchiais in French, and Portivechjacciu in Corsican.[gallery siz...

[ read more ]

Île Sainte-Marie off the east coast of Madagascar

Île Sainte-Marie off the east coast of Madagascar

[caption id="attachment_151041" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Beach of La Crique © M worm[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Île Sainte-Marie, known (more formally) as Nosy Boraha, is an island off the east coast of Madagascar. The main town is Ambodifotatra. The city covers an area of 222 km2, and has a population estimated at 16,000. The island is organized as The City of Île Sainte-Marie in Analanjirofo Region. The tourist destination is 60 km long and less than 10 km wide. Ile Sainte-Marie, or St. Mary's Island as it is...

[ read more ]

Mirabella V, the largest single-masted sailing yacht in the world

Mirabella V, the largest single-masted sailing yacht in the world

[caption id="attachment_153665" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © mirabellayachts.com[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]At an estimated cost of over US$ 50million, she is the largest single-masted yacht ever built and became a reality in May 2004. Mirabella V was launched in November of 2003 and her mast was stepped six weeks later. She proceeded to the Mediterranean in June and completed five weeks charter in her first season. Mirabella V is one of a fleet of super-yachts owned by former Chairman and CEO of the Avis car rental compan...

[ read more ]

Not only cheese: Appenzell

Not only cheese: Appenzell

[caption id="attachment_154194" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Aerial View © Hansueli Krapf[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Appenzell is the capital of the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden in Switzerland. Appenzell has no municipal government of its own; rather, the different parts of Appenzell belong to the districts Appenzell, Schwende and Rüte. Because of that, for firefighting, energy and water, the town Appenzell has a special-purpose municipality, the Feuerschaugemeinde. In 1071 the town was referred to as Abbacella. ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week French Riviera - Cannes

Theme Week French Riviera - Cannes

[caption id="attachment_151922" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Old Harbour - Fisher's Wharf © Guy Lebègue[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department. The city is also famous for its various luxury shops, restaurants, and hotels. The area around Cannes has developed into a high-tech cluster. The technopolis of Sophia Antipolis lies in the hills...

[ read more ]

The Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier

[caption id="attachment_6317" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Entrance to Santa Monica Pier © Jon Sullivan[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Santa Monica Pier is a large double-jointed pier located at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica and is a prominent, 100-year-old landmark. It's the endpoint of the legendary Route 66. The pier contains Pacific Park, a family amusement park with a large Ferris wheel. It also has a carousel from the 1920s, an aquarium, shops, entertainers, an arcade, a trapeze school, a pub, and...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Argentina - La Plata

Theme Week Argentina - La Plata

[caption id="attachment_163486" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Plaza Moreno and the Cathedral © Barcex/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]La Plata is the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires and of the partido La Plata. It has a population of 740,000 and its metropolitan area has 900,000 inhabitants. La Plata was planned and developed to serve as the provincial capital after the city of Buenos Aires was federalized in 1880. It was officially founded by Governor Dardo Rocha on 19 November 1882. Its construction is ...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Adonia in Split © Ivan T./cc-by-sa-3.0
The Adonia

MV Adonia is a cruise ship which is the sole vessel of the Fathom fleet, a new brand of Carnival...

© flickr.com - Peter Gronemann/cc-by-2.0
The Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates is a shopping mall in Dubai. Developed and owned by Majid al-Futtaim Properties, it opened in...

© 350z33/cc-by-sa-3.0
The USS Constellation

USS Constellation, constructed in 1854, is a sloop-of-war/corvette and the second United States Navy ship to carry the name. According...

Schließen