Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The sunken palace or Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

This underground water reserve is about 9.800 square metres big. Visitors walk on wooden platforms above the water level between 336 marble columns lit by orange lights. Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Empire constructed this water storage containing 100.000 tons of water.

The column Kristel touches is called the pillar of tears. A little bit further we see the Medusa heads which date from the Roman Empire. The cistern was built during the 6th century. Medusa had the power to turn people into stone but at her defeat she looked into a mirror and she herself was rock hard. She finds her last resting place in the sunken palace. It was not easy to take pictures in this dark underground basilica but we gave it a try.

Deze ondergrondse water reserve is 9.800 vierkante meter groot. Bezoekers wandelen op houten platforms boven het water en tussen de 336 marmeren zuilen die door een oranje schemering verlicht zijn. Keizer Justinian van het Byzantijnse rijk heeft dit paleis met een watercapaciteit van 100.000 ton laten bouwen. 

De zuil die Kristel aanraakt wordt de zuil der tranen genoemd. Iets verder zien we de Medusa hoofden daterende uit het Romeinse Rijk. De cisterne werd gebouwd in de 6de eeuw. Medusa had de macht mensen in steen te veranderen. Bij haar nederlaag heeft ze in een spiegel gekeken en transformeerde zelf in harde rots. Ze vindt haar laatste rustplaats hier in dit verzonken paleis. Het was geen makkelijk opdracht foto's te nemen in de donkere ondergrondse basiliek maar een deden een poging.. 
 
Basilica Cistern Istanbul

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

Previous Istanbul article: Looking at handicrafts in a relaxed way at El Sanatlari Carşisi, Istanbul

Previous Palace article: Palace Noordeinde and King Willem I, The Hague

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13 comments:

  1. Héél speciaal, Filip ! Je (moeilijk te nemen !) foto's zijn echt knap !
    Lie(f)s.

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  2. I have been down there too, it is a fantastic experience.

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  3. Don't cry Kristel! I like the underground photos, Filip.

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  4. I'm yet to visit Istanbul but it's high on my list.

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  5. Nice place, beautiful tulips there.

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  6. This seems like a quite creepy place to me. I guess the Pillar Of Tears always stays wet...but your column pictures are really stunning! Is that water they are in? They are water reflections?

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  7. het lijkt wel een andere wereld Filip...

    knap en interessant logje

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  8. That indeed looks like a wonderful and mysterious place that I'd love to visit. So glad you let us travel with you!

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  9. Wonderful impressions of this special place and the inside. Great !

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  10. amazing interior, also I like tulips, their simplicity and beauty :)

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  11. Love that reddish interior a lot! Very well captured! Christa

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  12. Filip: I must say I really enjoyed my visit to the cistern. I did spend a lot of time trying to capture the fish that abound in the water. These captures do bring back memories of the visit.

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  13. This is quite an interesting place, and incredible to think that this is an underground water supply. You did a great job capturing the mystery of this place

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