Basilica Cistern – Istanbul

This attraction is not to be missed. It is very near to Hagia Sophia. Took me a while to figure out this place, as I initially went around this very place in search of a big Church. I went with the term ‘Basilica’ and it’s certainly not my fault. Right?. It was around 5:50 in the evening, no crowd as the place closes at 6 and I have my map in hand and I am standing at the exact point where the map directed me . I am scratching my head wondering “Where the hell did the church vanish?” Finally I go the other side of the building and to my surprise I realize “This ain’t no Church, the entrance looks like a little house.” I walk in and since I was the last man there with a messy hair and puzzled look, they let me in.

As we walk down the stairs, the place is totally dark and slippery (You gotta watch your step or you might reach the bottom very soon than expected). With the lights and the hundreds of columns, this place looks WOW.

There are 336 columns, each 9 meters high and 4.8 meters apart and they’re arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns each.  Most of these columns are made of one piece and as we walk along, we can see columns with various types of engravings on them.

To the corner of the cistern are two unusual Medusa column bases, one of the heads placed upside down, whereas the other is laid sideways. The origin of these heads are not know. Researchers believe that the heads were placed in their unusual positions deliberately.

Keep Travelling, Keep Learning







Medusa Column Sideways



Medusa Column Upside Down











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