My Favorite Underground Site in Europe

Collumns of the Basilica Cistern
Collumns of the Basilica Cistern

My favorite underground site in Europe hands down is the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.  It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places that I have ever been to.  The Basilica Cistern is located just half a block away from the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and is completely underground.  The Basilica Cistern was originally a cistern used to hold rainwater under the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.  It is one of the largest cisterns underneath the city of Istanbul and I spent over an hour wandering around the different aisles and allowing myself to get lost in the sheer size of this underground cistern.  There is still water in the cistern and the thousands of ancient columns reflect eerily in the shallow water.

I love the Basilica Cistern!
I love the Basilica Cistern!
Columns Everywhere
Columns Everywhere

Towards the back there are two Medusa heads supporting columns but interestingly enough the Medusa heads are upside down, it is said that they were placed upside down in order to cancel out Medusa’s power during the Christian Age.  I would absolutely recommend a visit to the Basilica Cistern, it really is a remarkable place to be surrounded by thousands of ancient columns that have been holding up a cathedral like building underground since the sixth century CE.

The Head of Medusa
The Head of Medusa
Never Ending Columns
Never Ending Columns

Related Posts:

5 Reasons Why I Love Pompeii The Coliseum at Pompeii
5 Reasons Why I Love Pompeii
The Coliseum at Pompeii
A Glimpse of Istanbul. A Man at Prayer at the Blue Mosque
A Glimpse of Istanbul
A Man at Prayer at the Blue Mosque

6 thoughts on “My Favorite Underground Site in Europe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s