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15/50.- Istanbul, Yerebatan Saray Sarnici (Basilica Cistern)

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We start our second day in Istanbul at another surviving landmark, Yerebatan Saray Sarnici- known as the Basilica Cistern, again in the Hippodrome area of the Sultanahmet Square. This is a feat of Roman architecture from its days of glory, 6th c. AD, when Emperor Justinian had built an aqueduct that brought the water from the Belgrade woods (some 19 Km outside the city).

The Basilica Cistern is not the only cistern of the old city, but it is probably the most beautiful and important one. With more than 300 marble columns, finished with Corinthian as well as Ionic and Doric capitals, it awaits to surprise the visitor with its Medusa heads on which two of the columns rest. Here I invite you to guess the reflection of the columns in the water under the flickering lights of the underground cistern.

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