A visit to the Basilica Cistern was an unintended visit, but glad we decided to go at the last minute. The underground cistern is a short distance away from the Blue mosque and it was built in the 6th century. It used to store water for the city, but was forgotten and left unattended until the Ottomans conquered the city. The cistern was rediscovered in the 16th century and then used to water the gardens of Topkapi Palace.
There are 336 marble columns, compose of 12 rows of 28 columns each and it has the capacity of of holding 80,000 cubic metres of water.
The place is dimly lit, slightly eerie and very dramatic in a delightful way. The sounds of soft classical music and the constant water dripping sends shivers down our spines but trust me, it's still worth a visit.
Even though the walkway seems to be quite dark, I was glad to be able to take a few good shots under low light conditions. I discovered that some scenes from the James Bond movie 'From Russia with Love' were filmed here too.
It's also interesting to see fish swimming in the shallow water beneath the walkways. And at the end of the tour you can also throw a coin or two and make a wish .
Whilst walking along the walkways we came across the bases of two columns blocks carved with the face of Medusa. One has been placed upside down and the other in side way.
I bet most of you have heard legendary stories of the Gorgon Medusa. She had snakes on her head and everyone who looked at her would turned to stone. I guess the heads placed in this manner could have provided protection from her evil glare! There's more to the legend, or Greek mythology, but it seems like the stories of Medusa are often contradictory, so it's difficult to tell which myth is correct.
We spent around 30 minutes wandering around taking pictures. And it's a refreshing change from the usual tourist hotspots that we've visited but the only thing to beware of are the signs warning you about the slippery steps and they're not kidding!
That's My World