The Yerebatan Cistern

This cistern, in the vicinity of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, is now a museum. It still contains a few inches of water and the fish swimming around testify to the quality of the water contained there. It is - or was - originally fed from the forests about 14 miles away.
The most magnificent of Istanbul's remaining cisterns this one was built by Justinian in the 6th century. It has barrel arches with typical Byzantine-style brick work. There are a total of 336 columns supporting the roof and the cistern has a potential capacity of some 80,000 cubic metres of water. In some places the level of the water as it often was can still be seen on the columns. The base (plinth) of one of the columns is evidently in secondary use since it shows an enormous carved head of a Medusa placed on its side.

If you remember the James Bond movie "From Russia with Love" you may recall one or two scenes which were shot here in this cistern.

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