One of the magnificent historical buildings of Istanbul is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sophia. This large underground cistern, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinianus (527-565), was named as the "Basilica Palace" among the people because of the marble columns rising from the water. It is also known as the Basilica Cistern since there was a Basilica in the place where the cistern was.

The cistern is a giant building covering a rectangular area of ​​140 meters in length and 70 meters in width. Covering a total area of ​​9,800 square meters, this cistern has a water storage capacity of approximately 100,000 tons. This cistern, which is descended by a stone staircase with 52 steps, has 336 columns, each 9 meters high. These columns, erected at intervals of 4.80 meters, form 12 rows, each containing 28 columns. Most of the columns, mostly of which were found to be collected from older structures and carved from various types of marble, consist of a single piece and some of them consist of two pieces. The titles of these columns have different features in places. While 98 of them reflect the Corint style, some of them reflect the Doric style. The vast majority of the columns in the cistern are cylindrical, except for a few of them in angular or grooved form. Since 8 columns in front of the northeastern wall towards the middle of the cistern were exposed to the risk of breaking during a construction made in 1955-1960, each of them was frozen in a thick layer of concrete and therefore they lost their former features. The ceiling space of the cistern was transferred to the columns by means of arches. The walls of the cistern, which are made of brick, 4.80 meters thick and the floor with brick floors, are plastered with a thick layer of Horasan mortar and made waterproof.

Covering a large area in this area during the Byzantine period, the Basilica Cistern was used for a while after the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans in 1453 and water was given to the gardens of the sultans where the sultans lived.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

*

Phone
WhatsApp