The Basilica Cistern is one of the most magical places we have ever been to. If you don’t know what a cistern is, it is a reservoir for storing water. This particular cistern is no ordinary cistern, as it was made in the 6th century during the Byzantine era. It is one of the most popular attractions in the city and it is easy to see why; there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Back in those days it is easy to see that practicality wasn’t really the main focus of things. Nowadays if a reservoir is built, it is very industrial looking.
The Basilica Cistern, on the other hand, is full of things to marvel at. The columns are absolutely beautiful and feature great art. The reason they look so magical is that they have been affected by water and have a green sheen on them, like submerged items often do. The green shine gives them a mysterious otherworldly look. Don’t be worried though, the cistern is very well maintained and has been renovated often, so there are no safety issues. We wouldn’t recommend missing out on a visit here if you are in Istanbul.
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