About Me

My photo
I'm an Aussie who likes wandering all over the world but keeps coming back home to paradise and my family. If you are reading this on one of my travel blogs, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. If you are reading the Diabetes and weight loss blog - I hope it helps in your battle with the beast. Cheers, Alan

Monday, October 09, 2006

Istanbul - Basilica Cistern

This was unexpected. I was ignorant of the Roman Basilica Cistern, as are many visitors to Istanbul. We came across the entrance while wandering around the district and decided to have a look.

The Basilica Cistern was built in the 6th Century during the reign of Justinianus. It is 143m(470') long and 65m(215') wide, with 336 marble columns each 9m(30') high arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns. It is surrounded by a 4m(13') thick firebrick wall with a special mortar for insulation against water loss. The water was supplied from the Belgrade Woods, 19km distant, by aqueducts. Some repairs were made in 1968 and a full restoration was completed in 1985; wooden walkways over the water were provided for visitors and it was re-opened for public display in 1987.

The presence of this ancient cistern under the bustle and traffic of the roads of Sultanahment is astonishing. Just the fact that it has continued to exist over the 1500 years since the Romans built it, despite all of the conquerors and invasions during that time, despite natural disasters and the ravages of modern "progress", is a wonder in itself.

Unfortunately my photos don't do it justice as I was still learning some low-light techniques - but hopefully you will get a sense of the place.

The story of the heads of Medusa is on the text photo above; interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment