“We need to go see the Basilica Cistern,” said Scorch. Ever since she saw pictures of the cistern in a souvenir shop in the old city of Sultanahmet, she wanted to visit this place.
“What’s the big deal? It’s a giant tank for storing water,” said Orak.
“No! It’s more than that. Around 1,500 years ago, Emperor Justinian wanted to build a large underground tank to store water for his palace. More than 7,000 slaves worked to build this. Just before the Ottomans captured Constantinople which is now Istanbul, the cistern was closed. Everybody forgot about its existence. 100 years later, it was discovered again and the Ottomans used it to dump corpses,” read out Verum from her crystal ball.
“I am not going there. I am afraid,” said Felix.
“Wait, the story isn’t over yet. It has been restored at least three times after that and they closed it in 1985 to clean the place. They cleaned it for 2 years! You have nothing to be afraid of, Felix,” said Verum.
“I want to go there to see the 336 marble columns. From the pictures I saw, the place looks like magic! It is dark, has tall marble columns, has water on the ground, and two of the columns have an upside-down gigantic Medusa’s head! Nobody knows why the Greek Gorgon monster Medusa’s head is there. It could have been removed from one of the other buildings and placed here.
The Byzantine Empire was known to have preserved Roman relics and used them in their buildings rather than destroyed them,” said Scorch as Orak opened a portal to the Basilica Cistern.