Underground Cistern, Istanbul

Marguerite Foxon

Miranda, Australia

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This is one place I always visit when in Istanbul. It is awe inspiring, beautiful, and has a sacred sense about it. The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarayı – “Sunken Palace”), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, Turkey. This cistern was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and provided a water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings into modern times. This cathedral-sized cistern is an underground chamber approximately 143 metres (469 ft) by 65 metres (213 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 spaced 4.9 metres (16 ft) apart. The cistern is surrounded by a firebrick wall with a thickness of 4 metres (13 ft) and coated with a waterproofing mortar. The cistern’s water came from 19 kilometres (12 mi) north of the city via aqueducts built by the Emperor Justinian.

Nikon D90 27mm 1/4s f/4.0 ISO 3200 (low light!!) – camera balanced on a handrail (I have a very steady hand plus a Vibration Reduction lens)
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Artwork Comments

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