Photographer's Note

The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, Turkey. The cistern, located South West of the Hagia Sophia, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.

This cathedral-sized cistern is an underground chamber of 143 metres by 65 metres, capable of holding 80,000 cubic metres of water, and covering an area of 9,800 square metres. The large space is broken up by a forest of 336 marble columns each 9 metres high. The columns are arranged in 12 rows each consisting of 28 columns, spaced 4.9 metres apart. The capitals of the columns are mainly Ionic and Corinthian styles, with the exception of a few Doric style with no engravings.

The cistern is surrounded by a firebrick wall with a thickness of 4 metres and coated with a special mortar for waterproofing. The cistern's water was provided from the Belgrade Woods, which lie 19 kilometres north of the city via aqueducts built by the Emperor Justinian.

Unfortunately no tripods are allowed in the very dimly lit Cistern, but with some steady hands you are still able to capture the unique beauty of this place.

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Additional Photos by Julian Kaesler (Julian_K) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 145 W: 21 N: 198] (1055)
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