Cisterna Bazilika/Basilica Cistern

English

Cisterna Bazilika ili Potopljena palata, kako je nazivaju Turci, je najveća od nekoliko stotina takvih podzemnih cisterni u Istanbulu. Napravljena je u  6. veku za vreme vladavine Cara Justinijana I. Svrha ove cisterne je bila da omogući pristup svežoj pijaćoj vodi, koja je sistemom akvadukta i cevi dopremana iz 19 kilometara udaljene Beogradske Šume (zašto ona nosi ime naše prestonice obavezno pročitajte ovde). Podzemna prostorija široka je 138, a dugačka 65 metara, i ukupne je površine 9.800 metara kvadratnih, što joj omogućava da drži 80.000 kubnih metara vode. Potporu ove strukture daje šuma od 336 mermernih stubova od kojih je svaki visok 9 metara. Raspoređeni su u 12 redova od po 28 stubova, a razmak između svakog je 4,9 metara. Stubovi su uglavnom jonskog i korintskog stila, dok je samo nekoliko stubova dorskog stila, bez gravura na sebi. Jedan stub je celom visinom izgraviran motivima Fatiminog oka, u obliku suze i veruje se da tako odaje počast stotinama robova koji su umrli gradeći ovu cisternu.

Današnji obilazak Potopljene palate omogućen je poslednjom restauracijom 1985. godine, kada su napravljene platforme po kojima se hoda. Do tada je on vršen u malim drvenim čamcima, a kako je ovo izgledalo možete videti u prilogu iz filma o Džejms Bondu “Iz Rusije s ljubavlju“, gde se Cisterna Bazilika prepoznaje kao jedna od najupečatljivijih scenografija u filmovima o dotičnom agentu.

 Stubovi Meduze

U severozapadnom ćošku cisterne, nalaze se dva stuba koja u svojoj osnovi imaju glave Meduze. Njihovo poreklo je nepoznato, mada se veruje da su u cisternu donete sa nekog od arheoloških nalazišta (kao i dobar deo materijala za ostale stubove i za gradnju Aja Sofije) iz kasnog Rimskog perioda. Jedna glava je položena na stranu a druga naopačke, što po tradiciji treba da poništi uticaj fatalnog pogleda Gorgoni (ćerki boga Forkija) Meduzu, Stenu i Eurijalu, od koga bi se čovek od užasa skamenio.

U ovoj veličanstvenoj prostoriji, kroz koju na sve strane odjekuju kapljice koje padaju u vodu, u kojoj plivaju ribice, odzvanja eho šapta turista koji su opčinjeni njenim izgledom. Zaista jedno mistično mesto koje će poput Aja Sofije, ostaviti snažan utisak, čak i kod onih ravnodušnih.

Cisterna Bazilika radi od 9 do 18:30, a u periodu od novembra do sredine aprila do 17:30 časova. Cena ulaznice je 20TL. Više informacija na sajtu ovde.

Cisterna Bazilika na mapi:

English

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern, or The Submerged Palace, as it is called by the Turks, is the largest one among hundreds of such underground cisterns in Istanbul. It was created in the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Justinian I. The purpose of this tank was to provide access to fresh drinking water which was brought from Belgrade Forest – some 19 kilometers away from the city – via a system of aqueducts and water pipes (be sure to read here why it carries the name of Serbia’s capital city). The wide underground room is 138 meters wide and 65 meters long, and covers a total area of 9,800 square meters, enabling it to hold 80,000 cubic meters of water. The support for this structure is provided by a forest of 336 marble columns, each 9 meters high. They are arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns, and the interval between each is 4.9 meters. Poles are mostly of the Ionian and Corinthian style, while only a few columns are made in Doric style, with no engravings on them. One pillar is completely engraved with motifs of The Eye of Fatima in the form of tears (or Crying Hen’s Eye), and it is believed that it pays tribute to the hundreds of slaves who died building this tank.

Nowadays, tours of the Submerged Palace have been made possible by the latest restoration conducted in 1985, when platforms on which to walk were made. Before that, tours were carried out in small wooden boats. What that was like you can see in the excerpt from the James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”, where the Basilica Cistern is recognized as one of the most striking settings in all the movies about the aforementioned agent.

 

The Pillars of Medusa

In the northwestern corner of the tank, there are two pillars, each with a head of Medusa as its foundation. Their origin is unknown, but it is believed they were taken from some archaeological site (as well as a good part of the materials used for the other columns and in the construction of Hagia Sophia) from the late Roman period. One head was laid on its side and the other turned upside down, which according to legends has a power to undo the influence of a dreadful look from the Gorgones (daughters of a god Phorcys) Medusa, Sthenno and Euryale, which could petrify a man.

In this magnificent room, in which you can hear drops falling into the water, where small fish swim, echo whispers of tourists enchanted by its appearance. Truly a mystical place, the Submerged Palace leaves a strong impression on visitors, just like Hagia Sophia, even in those who’d describe themselves as indifferent.

The Basilica Cistern is open to visitors from 9 am to 6:30 pm, but in the period from November to mid-April, until 5:30 pm. Ticket prices are 20TL. Please find more information on the website here.

Basilica Cistern on map:

 

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