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The Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Saray) was a big water tank built by Justinian the Great in 532.

A visit here is a cool and quiet break from the busy Istanbul streets.

Using, er, 'found materials,' the cistern was built with the ruins of classical buildings.

This large marble face is the base of a support column.

Another column base in Yerebatan Saray.

There are a number of other cisterns in the area, including a romantic restaurant called, strangely enough, the Cistern Restaurant (Taverna Restaurant Sarnic). The restaurant is at the north end of Sogukcesme Sokak (Street of the Cold Fountain).

Along Divan Yolu is the Çemberlitas (Cemberlitas) -- The Banded Stone or Burnt Column.

Hey, it's been around since the 330. It's bound to collect a few names.

The Obelisk of Theodosius.

The center of the Hippodrome has a number of monuments. The Hippodrome has been the location of more than its share of riots, revolutions, large scale slaughter, and that sort of thing.

Watch your back.

The Obelisk was carved in about 1500 BC, erected in Egypt, stolen by Emperor Theodosius in 390, and subsequently erected here.

The base of the Obelisk of Theodosius.

Theodosius had a base carved in his honor.

Detail on the base of the Obelisk of Theodosius.

The base hasn't weathered the past 1600 years very well, but the column itself looks pretty sharp.

A coarse stone obelisk in the Hippodrome, with the Blue Mosque in the background.

Not much is known about this monument, other than parts were looted during the Fourth Crusade.

Just off the Hippodrome in Istanbul is the Palace of Ibrahim Pasa, which now hosts the Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum (Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi).

Ibrahim Pasa was Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent's aide-de-camp, vizier, and eventually his serasker (commander-in-chief). Then, well, he was executed in 1536.

A great location for a palace though.

A few more pictures of Istanbul's monuments.


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