Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Cistern) was constructed in the time of emperor Justinian, in the 6st century. It was constructed for the water supply of the very center of Constantinople: The Great Palace, Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene Church, Hippodrome and other buildings around. It is 70m wide and 140m long underground hall, covering 9800m2 of space. Cross vaults rest on 336 columns, (28 rows width 12 columns in each), made of marble or granite with Doric and Corinthian capitals. Approximate height of columns is 8m. Basilica Cistern was able to hold 80000m3 of water. From the time of construction till the late Ottoman period the Basilica Cistern remain in purpose, now it is a museum.
© Stevan Kordić