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24/09/2014 Wednesday
ISTANBUL

Rumelihisarı

Rumelihisarı is a fortress located which is situated at the narrowest point with 698 meters of the Bosphorus strait, just opposite of the Anadoluhisarı on the Anatolian side. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II-The Conqueror to prevent aid from the Black Sea reaching Constantinople during the siege of the city.

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Sultan Ahmet Square

THE BASILICA CISTERN

The Basilica Cistern The largest and most magnificent covered cistern in the city is entered through a small building to the west of the Hagia Sophia Square. The ceiling of this forest of columns is made of brick and is cross-vaulted. The name of the cistern comes from a basilica that was once located nearby.

It was built during the reign of Justinian I (527-565) to supply water to the palaces in the vicinity. Its 336 columns are arranged in 12 rows of 28 each. The cistern measures 140 by 70 meters. The columns are topped with capitals, some of them plain, but most in Corinthian style. The water level in the cistern changed from season to season. The water was distributed through the pipes at different levels in the eastern wall.

The ground was cleared during the major restoration in 1987, and when over one meter of mud was removed, the original brick pavement and two marble Medusa heads at the base of two of the columns were revealed. The walkway that was constructed at that time enables visitors to walk around the cistern.






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