Palace, who went underground

November 26, 2011 15:41

Museum of the dungeon opened only in 1987, and now the tank is required to visit anyone who gets in Istanbul

This summer, Chinese scientists have proved that time travel is impossible. Sorry? Certainly. But antiquarian loopholes through which to enter the past. Travel to Istanbul there, opposite the beautiful church of Sofia, is nondescript one-story house. Do not be lazy, look there — and you are transported back 17 centuries ago …

Open secret time machine, what lies under the ground in the heart of Istanbul — simply reservoir, but what! It's a miracle called "palace, retired under the earth," and it is known as the Basilica Cistern, or Yerebatan cistern. It should go down there and you will find yourself in the IV. n. e. — In the Byzantine Empire, and should let several emperors. For it began to build this great reservoir of the Emperor Constantine the Great at the beginning of the IV., And finished in 532 under Justinian.

Istanbul — a city of contrasts. Fact. But the main thing — it is the capital of three empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. This city is known victory and defeat, he was able to fight, and most importantly — on the defensive.

Developed, well-thought-out system of water supply appeared in Constantinople, as Istanbul was known then, that for strategic reasons: so the city, bring him to move to a state of siege, was able to hold out as long as possible in their own food and water. Numerous reservoirs and aqueducts appeared in Constantinople was when he was the biggest city in the world, the center of Eastern Christianity.

Standing water — Unclean WATER

Historians estimate that only in the capital city of Byzantium was built seventy tanks, which totaled more than a million cubic meters. To date, found forty other location unknown. How so? The fact is that in 1453, the Byzantine Empire fell. Turks captured Constantinople, despised Reservoir, Muslim canons, standing water from the tanks to recognize the "unclean." And although the water was seen as a gift from Allah, and natural springs in the rocky soil of the fallen capital of the day the fire was not to find, the faithful could not use the water from the tank — either for drinking or for washing. Gradually all the amazing water system Byzantium collapsed. Reservoir is first simply abandoned, and then completely forgot about them. A hundred years later, some clever structures erected over the centuries, have become legendary.


Fortunately, there were, are and will be curious people. These belonged to a Dutch traveler P. Gillius. Being a big fan of the Byzantine Empire, in 1544, he arrived in Constantinople — to explore the legacy of a bygone era. He knew that somewhere near Saint Sophia has a huge reservoir: the surviving written sources just said that. But arriving at the site, did not find anything like a tank large enough to encompass a huge amount of water. The study of ancient maps also did not work. But then the Dutchman smiled case: in conversation with the locals, he learned of the lucky ones that manage to catch fish from the comfort of home. Simply omitted container (bucket or pot type) into the hole in the floor and lift up: and, with luck, will be not only to the edges of the water, but a few fishes. Check: it turned out — the truth! Fish, of course, not exactly teeming with lousy, but the water under the floor really was.

Then Gillius diligently went through all the house, for which the number of such miracles, and finally, in one of the courtyards discovered an abandoned entrance to the ground. Inquisitive Dutchman, as expected every decent traveler, picked up the torch and went down into the cave on the stone stairs. And there!


It is impossible to put into words the feelings that he experienced, finding Yerebatan cistern. He immediately called his discovery "palace, sunken into the ground." Indeed, this is the real royal palaces.

Imagine a forest of high towers, rising straight out of the water in which the huge carp swim lazily!

Gillius became the first researcher tank. On the boat, he walked all the reservoir by measuring the area, counted string. It became clear why the Basilica was built so long: just try and dig a pit size of 140 by 70 meters, and then set the 336 eight-meter columns in 12 rows every 4.8 m columns that serve only props, but decent for the tank: the builders decided do Roman heritage. Marble antique columns had been brought from all over the Byzantine Empire, dismantled for parts of the former pagan temples. Of style no one pursued all columns suit — Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, but it is something and adds additional value to the dungeon!


So, thanks again to Dutch researcher tank was found. But for years remained closed to the public: the Basilica of water used for watering gardens Topkapi — sultan's palace. Museum of the dungeon opened only in 1987, and now the tank is required to attend any one who gets to Istanbul.

Inverted head jellyfish in the far end of the cistern Yerebatan

This place is fascinating: seeing again, it is impossible to forget. Those who enter here, covers, without exaggeration, excitement, ecstasy, rapture — in the case of the Basilica of the most appropriate high-flown words. It should go down to the dungeon, and you will immediately be transported to another era, feel the taste of antiquity.

For no spotlights, illuminated columns wet or walkways, laid around the reservoir for the convenience of tourists, or classical music, raznosyaschayasya under the arches of the ancient building, or even a cafe where you can have a cup of Turkish coffee, not misleading: you — Byzantine and live in IV.! Or you — Indiana Jones and just opened an ancient temple, which was only known from the ancient manuscripts.
Such is the aura of the place, which, incidentally, were quick to appreciate and use the filmmakers: Konchalovsky filmed some scenes here for the "Odyssey." Visited here, not only upon the instructions of Her Majesty, and the James Bond movie "From Russia with Love."

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