Basilica Cistern

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  • Oct18

    Basilica Cistern

    October 18, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    4th stop of the Day - Incredible underground cisterns in the southwest part of the Hagia Sophia. Over 325 columns, delivered via aquaduct from reservoirs. Built in the 6th Century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, Approx 453’ x 212’, it holds up to 2,800,000 cu feet of water.Read more

  • Day4

    Turkey - Day 3 Tour

    July 30, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    So we are up and out and had brekky, went to our favourite coffee place. Heading off on another big walking tour to see mosques, museums, & bazaars with Barbados our guide.

    OK so we walked a lot today. We started with cheese lasagne at a cafe, then o to the Spice Bizaar where we sampled so many types of turkish delight which I live but have a new found appreciation for, so many flavours.

    We then climbed up to a Cafe out from the moved onto Suleymaniye Mosque and learned a lot about mosques and Muslim faith over the years. It was so peaceful here.

    From there we had a lunch special of baked beans, home cooked with chilli spice - yum.

    We then walked to the Old Book Bazaar and through the Istanbul University which used to be a palace to the Sultan.

    We then went to the Grand Bazaar where I believe you could buy anything 😁 This place has 66 alleys/streets under 40,000sqm cover 2,486 shops and is considered to be the first shopping mall 😁😁😁. The scene from James Bond SkyFall where James is racing a motor bike across roofs was filmed on this roof. It has 800,000 red roof tiles.

    We then went to the Cistern Basilica, amazing. This was built by Emperor Theodosius II in 428 - 443 AD, so cool underground, it currently hosts art work on small pedestals in the water. Beautiful.

    We then moved onto Hagia Sophia Mosque museum. So humbling. So it was originally built in 400 AD, was burned to the ground, it was rebuilt in 500 AD and again destroyed. It was finally rebuilt in 600 AD and was a Christian church until the Ottoman Empire took over Turkey and turned it into a Mosque.

    When Turkey became a Republic after removing the Sultan from power in October 1923, the new president changed this Mosque to Museum. The church mosaics and art work had been preserved by the outer works put up to covert it to a mosque.

    These have now been restored and you can see both the Church and Mosque features. This church/mosque has had emperors of the Roman and Ottoman empires crowned here. The massive wooden doors that you walk through are called the emperors gates are rumoured to be the wood from Noah's Ark.

    This place has so much history, it was quite humbling to take all this in. We are so young compared to the rest of the world in terms of history.

    Home now, twisted the ankle resting it up. Tomorrow we are heading to the beach for some relaxing before we fly out to Cappridocia tomorrow night.

    We had the best guide - Barbados- thank you for showing us Istanbul. You could live here 19 years and still not see all thete is to this beautiful historic city.
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  • Day4

    Blaue Moschee und Hagia Sophia

    September 14, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Heute ging es zur Sultan-Ahmed-Moschee (Blaue Moschee). Von außen finde ich die Moschee sehr interessant und auch das Konzept des Sultans zur Parkanlage. Er hat quasi einen Naherholungsort mit Hamam, Park, Freizeitmöglichkeiten und Moschee erschaffen. Von innen finde ich aber die Süleymaniye Moschee schöner.
    Nach einem Abstecher zur Cisterna Basilica (Versunkener Palast) ging es dann zur Hagia Sophia.
    Die Hagia Sophia ist, WOW!! Dieses Gefühl wenn man mitten unter der Kuppel dieser ehemals gigantischen Moschee steht und sich vorstellt wieviele Menschen hier wohl Freitags und zu Feiertagen gebetet haben.... wie diese Moschee erbaut wurde, ohne modernes Baugerät. Das muss man gesehen haben!
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  • Day5

    Turkey - Day 4 Tour

    July 31, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    So today with a sore ankle for me and sore stomach for Kirah we decided that the trip to the beach was too ambitious. So decided to take a 3 hour Bosphorus River Cruise which was great.

    Many sights to see and just again impressed both of us with how beautiful Istanbul and the lifestyle is

    Every night people including those with their small children are up and about with friends and family doing things in the city until well after midnight and everything is opened, laughing, dancing, eating.

    Such a different lifestyle to Australia.

    We also found our way back to the Spice Bazaar and did some shopping

    We flew out tonight to Cappridocia after a bit of a stuff around by our driver, but we are here and it's 12 pm and there's people out eating etc here as well.

    Looking forward to a chill day tomorrow and then more adventure.
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  • Day2

    On tour.....

    December 15, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Part 2: Stroll through "Karaköy"

    Um die Mittagszeit besteige ich die nächste Fähre in den Stadtteil "Beşiktaş", um von dort aus ungefähr 6 Km zurück zum "Marmara Guesthouse" ( meiner Unterkunft ) zu laufen.

    Das was ich unterwegs von "Beşiktaş" sehe, begeistert mich nicht, aber schon bald zeigt sich in der Ferne der "Galata Tower" - im nächsten Stadtteil "Karaköy"! Hier hat es mir schon letztes Jahr gut gefallen. Das Viertel ist "hipp" und kreativ, hat viele ( auch außergewöhnliche ) Geschäfte, Künstler-Galerien und hübsche Cafés - durch "Karaköy" zu bummeln macht Spaß! Für das lebendige Treiben rund um den "Galata-Tower" sollte man unbedingt gutes, rutschfestes Schuhwerk anhaben - die steilen Kopfsteinpflaster-Straßen sind selbst bei trockener Witterung rutschig! Der 1500 Jahre alte Turm ist ein beliebtes Ausflugsziel der Großstädter und bietet einen tollen Blick über den Bosporus bis hin zur Altstadt "Sultanahmet" mit seinen weltbekannten Bauwerken - vorausgesetzt man(n) bringt genügend Geduld für's Anstehen mit.

    Über die "Galata-Brücke" ist das dritte Stadtviertel für heute erreicht - "Eminönü"! Am Ausgangspunkt für die Fähre heute morgen, wimmelt es nur so von Menschen - Stau auf den Gehwegen! Noch ein kurzer Besuch des Bahnhofs "Sirkeci" - der liegt direkt auf meinem Heimweg und weckt Erinnerungen an den historischen Bahnhof von Porto. "Orient-Express" Atmosphäre kommt auf, denn die alte Station war tatsächlich der Endbahnhof von Selbigem, beherbergt heute ein Restaurant und dient immer wieder als Filmkulisse ( z.B in der ARD-Krimireihe "Mordkommission Istanbul" )!
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  • Day7


    May 16, 2015 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We have arrived at Istanbul! We got off of the boat at about 9am and we didn't have to be back on deck until 6pm. Because I am coming back here during the Ultimate European tour I decided not to do the guided tour because it is included in my other tour but instead walk around with Ben, Lee, Nick, Jessica and Arwel.
    First off we caught the tram to the Grand Bizarre, I bought myself a new pair of pants and a beautiful scarf. There was quite a few people in there at the time but I think it could get a lot busier. After we left we sat down at at café to use the wi-fi and ordered what I would describe as a white coffee with cinnamon on top, it was so yummy - I just have to find out the name of it.
    While walking around I bought a bag of chestnuts, they weren't very nice but at least I tried it!
    For lunch we managed to find a little café walking down a side street, the café had a really laid back feel to it. There was art work and graffiti across from it and they were playing Bob Marley ? oh and the food was pretty good as well.
    Last thing we did before heading back to this ship was the Spice Market, it was crazy full! I couldn't wait to get out of there haha. On the walk back to the ship we came across the random rainbow stairs haha.
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  • Day32

    Basilica Cistern

    July 11, 2016 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    This morning we went for a nice walk to the Basilica Cistern this was a recommendation from one of the people went met on the cruise. I am glad we went as it is an incredible structure.

    The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). The cistern was built in the 6th century.

    The subterranean cistern was called Basilica because it was located under a large public square on the First Hill of Constantinople, the Stoa Basilica. At this location, and prior to constructing the cistern, a great Basilica stood in its place, built between the 3rd and 4th centuries during the Early Roman Age as a commercial, legal and artistic centre. The basilica was reconstructed by Illus after a fire in 476.

    Ancient texts indicated that the basilica contained gardens, surrounded by a colonnade and facing the Hagia Sophia. According to ancient historians, Emperor Constantine built a structure that was later rebuilt and enlarged by Emperor Justinian after the Nika riots of 532, which devastated the city.

    Historical texts claim that 7,000 slaves were involved in the construction of the cistern.

    The enlarged cistern provided a water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill, and continued to provide water to the Topkapı Palace after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times.

    The cathedral size cistern is an underground chamber approximately 138 metres by 65 metres about 9,800 square metres in area capable of holding 80,000 cubic metres of water.

    The ceiling is supported by a forest of 336 marble columns, each 9 metres high, arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns each spaced 5 metres apart. The tops of the columns are mainly Ionic and Corinthian styles, with the exception of a few Doric style with no engravings. One of the columns is engraved with raised pictures of a Hen's Eye, slanted braches, and tears. This column resembles the columns of the Triumphal Arch of Theodosius I from the 4th century. Ancient texts suggest that the tears on the column pay tribute to the hundreds of slaves who died during the construction of the Basilica Cistern.The majority of the columns in the cistern appear to have been recycled from the ruins of older buildings likely brought to Constantinople from various parts of the empire, together with those that were used in the construction of Hagia Sophia. They are carved and engraved out of various types of marble and granite.

    Fifty-two stone steps descend into the entrance of the cistern. The cistern is surrounded by a firebrick wall with a thickness of 4 metres and coated with a waterproofing mortar. The Basilica Cistern's water came from the Eğrikapı Water Distribution Centre in the Belgrade Forest, which lies 19 km north of the city.The cistern has the capacity to store 100,000 tons of water. It is virtually empty today with only a few feet of water lining the bottom.

    The weight of the cistern lies on the columns by means of the cross-shaped vaults and round arches of its roof.

    The Basilica Cistern has undergone several restorations since its foundation. The first of the repairs were carried out twice during the Ottoman State in the 18th century . The second major repair was completed during the 19th century (1876–1909). Cracks to masonry and damaged columns were repaired in 1968, with additional restoration in 1985 by the Istanbul Metropolitan Museum. During the 1985 restoration, 50,000 tons of mud was removed from the cisterns, and platforms built throughout to replace the boats once used to tour the cistern.

    The cistern opened to the public in its current condition on 9 September 1987.

    Located in the northwest corner of the cistern, the bases of two columns blocks are carved of Medusa. The origin of the two heads is unknown, it is thought that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from a building of the late Roman period. There is no written evidence that suggests they were used as column pedestals previously. Tradition has it that the blocks are oriented sideways and inverted in order to negate the power of the Gorgons Gaze.
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  • Day2

    Hagia Sophia

    May 18, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Anschließend stellen wir uns schon mal in die Warteschlange vor dem Eingang der Hagia Sophia, da wir das Glück haben, dass diese heute Abend aufgrund der „europäischen Nacht der Museen“ Nachts (19-22) geöffnet ist. (Das passiert nur genau einmal im Jahr) Nach 40-minütiger Wartezeit können wir die Hagia Sophia sogar kostenlos betreten.Read more

  • Day180

    Istanbul, versunkener Palast

    November 2, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Dann gehen wir in die Wasserzisterne, auch versunkenen Palast genannt. Leider ist die Hälfte abgesperrt und Baustelle. Wasser ist auch keins da. Das war damals anders.

    Danach gehen wir Essen. 2013 haben wir Gemüse in einem Tonkrügen zubereitet bekommen. Da sind wir dann auch diemal hin. Der Tonkrug wird am Tisch erst aufgeklopft. Sehr lecker.

    Zuletzt wollten wir noch in die Blaue Moschee, war aber schon zu, Abendgebet.

    Also genießen wir die Aussicht vom Stellplatz.
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Basilica Cistern

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