15 Mar Istanbul’s Historical Reflection: Basilica Cistern
We would like to invite you this week to a voyage fulfilled with indigo tones. Indigo in calm water, indigo in reflections. Let indigo embraces you with its lights of the darkness descending city.
Istanbul, which has hosted many cultures is one of the historical and natural beauties that have been preserved for centuries. What would you say about a dazzling ride in indigo tones on a pomegranate flower colored indigo sunset in 1500 years old Yerebatan Sarnici?
As Indigo Istanbul while designing our fabrics; we were also inspired by historical, dynamic and colorful texture of Istanbul who hosted lots of cultures for centuries…
When designing our Originals, Indigo Society, Shirting People collections; we adopted as a principle to be specific and unique as admirable historical texture of Istanbul.
Based on the historical glory of Istanbul; we aimed always to be distinctive in our denim fabrics while bringing together the indigo color saturation with the richness of washing and our customers.
FASCINATING ‘YEREBATAN CISTERN’
Basilica Cistern, which had its name from a basilica used to be in the place of the cistern, is one of the magnificent ancient buildings of İstanbul, located in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. It had been constructed by Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor (A.D.527-565). This big underground water reservoir is called as “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns.
The giant cistern a covers rectangular area of 140meters to 70meters is 140 m long, erected at 4.80 meters intervals from one another the columns are composed of 12 rows, each row with 28 columns. The Cistern accessed with 52-step staircase, shelters 336 columns, each of which is 9 meters high and they reflect the Corinthian and Dorian styles. Yerebatan Cistersn covers 9,800 sqm area in total and it has an estimated water storage capacity of 100,000 tons.
Two Medusa heads, from which monuments have been taken are unknown, are used as supports under the two columns at the northwest edge of the cistern, are the great work of art from the Roman period. There are some myths for the use of these Medusa heads as a support in Yerebatan Cistern.
Regarding to a ruomour, Medusa is one of the three Gorgonas that are female monsters in the underground world in Greek mythology. One of the three sisters, the snake-head Medusa, has the power of gorgonising the ones that happen to look at her. It is being told that putting Medusa Head in the cistern was used for protecting purposes of big structures and special venues.
In the other hand another legend tells that Medusa was a girl who boasted for her long hair, black eyes and beautiful body. Athena who was in love with Perseus the son of Zeus was jealous of Medusa. Thus, Athena converted Medusa’s hairs into snakes and this had given the power to MEdusa that anybody happened to look at Medusa was gorgonised. Thereafter, Perseus headed off Medusa and beat many enemies by using her power.
Therefore regarding to the myths, the head of Medusa was engraved in reverse or sideways in Byzantium times to the supports of the columns or to the handles of the swords, so that the onlookers would not be gorgonised.