Thursday, July 5, 2012

Istanbul: Basilica Cistern

First apologies for not posting our Istanbul adventures faster. As one of my uncles aptly observed, "Work is getting in the way of your blog". He's absolutely right. As we're leaving for our next vacation (2 weeks in Italy) next week, Brian and I have both been swamped with work to finish before we leave ... and the blog has been one of the casualties (the other is laundry) Anyway, back to the Istanbul adventures!

One of the most interesting sights we saw on our trip was the Basilica Cisterns. These were an underground water storage facility for the city, Constantinople (before it was called Istanbul) built during the 6th century. Now, it's a place the tourists flock in the midday of summer to escape the heat.

While the place was crowded, it's big enough that you still feel the serenity of the place. The lighting and piped in pan flute music is a bit much at times, but it was still a really cool place to visit and we were able to capture some really nice photos.

These Medusa heads origin are unknown. There are two of them in the Cisterns and the highlight of the 'tour'.

In other fun facts, I found out from Wikipedia that the Cisterns have been used in 2 movies: 1963 James Bond - From Russia with Love and 2009, The International. Apparently, it's also one of the "shoot em up" locations in the video game Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

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