Photographer's Note

This photograph was taken in Yerebatan Saray Cistern at Sultanahmet-Istanbul...

Beneath Istanbul lie hundreds of gloomy Byzantine cisterns. They're left from the days when Istanbul was Constantinople.

The grandest of all is Yerebatan Saray Sarniçi, called the Basilica (or Sunken Palace) Cistern because of its size (70 x 140 meters, or 2.4 acres), its capacity (80,000 cubic meters—over 21 million US gallons) and its 336 marble columns.

Remember the scene in the old James Bond movie From Russia With Love when Bond is rowing in a small boat through a forest of marble columns? That scene was filmed in Yerebatan.

Walkways and atmospheric lighting were installed during the 1990s so you can see all its curious corners. There's even a little cafe for drinks and snacks.

Yerebatan is in Sultanahmet Square, at the northeastern end of the Hippodrome, just off Divan Yolu, and across the street from Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). The entrance (see the photo to the right) is on Yerebatan Caddesi; the exit is opposite Ayasofya on Alemdar Caddesi.

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Additional Photos by Salim Fikirkoca (sufi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1705 W: 165 N: 1512] (9588)
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