Thursday, November 17, 2011

Basilica Cistern -- Istanbul

Over the last Turkish holiday, Terry actually DIDN'T WORK!  I know, it was shocking to me too!  We were going to try and head out of the city, like most do.   I made the suggestion that we do some touring around, just spending time walking in this fascinating place.  Terry really hasn't had the opportunity to just "be" in this city, so he agreed.

On Monday, we went to SultanAhmet.  This is the oldest part of the city.  Originally Byzantium, then Constantinople and finally Ottoman Istanbul.  It is suggested that this area was settled as early as the 6th millennium BC.  

Our first stop was the Basilica Cistern.  This is a very interesting site.  The cistern still actually holds water.  Huge fish swim under the walkways and make the water move and shimmer under the lighting.  Originally the cistern held 18 million gallons of water.  There are 336 pillars, 26 feet in height.  These seem to have been brought here from other structures that had either fallen or were dismantled.  In the far back area, are two carved pedestals of Medusa Heads.  One is upside down and the other on it's side.  
 Shooting in low light is difficult without a tripod.  In the cistern, I had the added obstacle of water dripping from the ceiling.  I changed the settings on my camera and braced it against the hand rail.  This is the best of quite a few shots.  I was trying to hold the camera still while shielding it from the droplets crashing onto my back.
 This is another view into the lighted darkness.  
This is one of the Medusa heads used as a pedestal for rear columns.  According to the placard in the cistern, the original location in which these carvings came from is unknown.  They are pretty sure they were scrapped from another location.

We had a great time together.  I loved showing Terry around.  He actually said that he wanted to go and see some more.  Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

1 comment:

  1. You get to photograph such intriguing places. Thanks for sharing!