Yerebatan in Istanbul
If you want to visit the most romantic, mysterious and amazing place in Istanbul, you will need to... descend underground. Then you get into the Yerebatan underground reservoir, which each year attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. We can understand them! Imagine a huge underground hall, reminiscent of a real marble forest because of hundreds of columns... Once it was a pagan temple where ancient sacrifices to the gods were made... After Byzantium became a separate empire with its capital, the building became a Christian temple. But over time it started going under the ground, and now, to solve the problem of water shortage, Yerebatan was turned into a reservoir (or "cistern" as they call it). The hall was filled to the top; they used water for a few centuries till... they have forgotten about Yerebatan. At the times of the Ottoman authorities, the officials drew attention to the fact that the locals were fishing... on the streets of the districts, right in the ditches. They started to dig... and reopened Yerebatan. Turks drained the hall and repaired those columns that have already been badly damaged. After this Yerebatan was filled with water again to be drained already in the time of the Turkish Republic. Today, the water is just on the floor (half a meter), although ancient carps still swim there... One can hear classical music that emphasizes the atmosphere of Yerebatan. In the corner of the hall there are two large marble heads of Medusa the Gorgon, brought to Yerebatan in the early Christian times. Underground church reservoir is considered one of the most amazing architectural gems of Istanbul.