A Window Into History | Basilica Cistern | Travelspective

Ancient engineering that was built to last

A collection of pillars has never looked so majestic as the ones upholding the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey. Upon entering the underground waterways, the reflection of bronze columns on the waters below creates a glow highlighting the beauty of the caverns. In the center, their origin shrouded in mystery, medusa heads adorn the bases of two pillars, the only like it in the entire cistern. Built around 532 AD out of reclaimed temple ruins, it is still the largest subterranean waterway in Turkey to date and standing atop the wooden platforms offers views of pale carp lazily patrolling the waters as their ancestors once had. In a world that modernizes the need to recycle, the Basilica Cistern is a reminder from people of the past that beauty can be recreated out of anything.