Below the streets of Istanbul, beside the famous mosque Aya Sophia, is an underground tank, called the Basilica Cistern or the Turkish name, “Yerebatan Sarnici” ├é┬ámeaning “Underground Palace”. It was constructed in the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Justinianus. The cistern is supported by 336, 9-meter tall marble columns. Istanbul used the cistern to store as much as 100,000 tones of water. They most likely used the Roman aqueduct, as well as newer constructed aqueducts to transport the water the 19 kilometers from the Belgrad forest to the cistern. In fact, the cistern is featured in the James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. When the movie was shot the cistern was not open to the public. However on September 9, 1987 after renovations, removal of 50,000 tons of mud and the construction of a wooden walkway for vistors to make their way through the cistern, it was…Continue Reading