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The Cisterne ...
This cistern is thought to have been built
after the Nika revolt in 532 AD. It was known as the Basilica Cistern
during the Roman period, as there was a Stoa Basilica above the pre-existing
one at the time. After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it
was forgotten of and nobody knew that it existed. Re-discovered in 1545,
it was used to water the gardens of Topkapi Palace. Today it has a
rather eery and mystical ambiance. Clever spotlighting makes the water
shimmer with coloured dancing lights and the water ripples from an
occasional fish swishing its tail in exuberance.