The Yerebatim Sarayi (Basilica Cistern)
is a stunning piece of Byzantine architecture. It was built in 532
to bring fresh water to the ever-growing population of Byzantium.
The cistern has 336 columns each over 25 feet tall.
The Turks did not know of its existence
for almost 100 years after their conquest. They found out about it
because they caught people fishing in it from holes in their basements.
Today, the cisterns serve only as
a fabulous walk through history for tourists. There is an extensive
network of walkways that wind through the columns, two of which are mounted
on "Medusa" heads perhaps signifiying victory over pagan beliefs.