© 2012 Kim

Istanbul, Turkey Day 4 – Basilica Cistern & Archeological Museum

Today, we were on our own. No tour guide to teach us. Just time on our own to explore. We decided that after a slower morning to head out to the Basilica Cistern and Archeological Museum.

The Basilica Cistern (Turks call it: Yerebatan Sarayi – meaning Sunken Palace) is a vast underground water cistern, where water was collected for the people of the Grand Palace to use. This cistern was built in 532AD under Byzantine Emperor Justinian. There are 336 columns that each measure 8-9 M high. Only about 2/3 of the original cistern can be viewed today. In the northwest corner of the cistern are 2 Medusa heads at the base of 2 pillars. Also seen in the cistern was a peacocked eye pillar. During our time in the Basilica Cistern, the power went out in a portion of the cistern. Making for complete silence except for the patter of water dripping from the ceiling. This allowed you to imagine what it was like in ancient times. It also gave time for some beautiful photos with only a portion of the cistern still illuminated.

After the Basilica Cistern was the Archeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzeleri). Some of the items in the museum date back to the 4th century BC. The Alexander Sarcophogus (tomb) is a marble tomb that has a scene carved into the marble depicting a victory over the Persians.  The Treaty of Kadesh for peace between Egyptians and Hittites in 1269BC can been seen here. May different styles of ceramic pottery are showcased through out the museum.

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  1. By The Cooper Family » 2012 Memories and Reminiscing on December 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    […] with guests who came to visit, including Kim’s parents and Sharon Schneider. We toured Istanbul and Ephesus, Turkey with the Christies, enjoyed the beaches and history of Tarragona, Spain as we […]

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