The Basilica Cistern is an ancient underground water reservoir located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was constructed in the 6th century during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to provide water to the city's inhabitants. The cistern is named after the Basilica that used to stand above it, which is believed to have been used for public gatherings and ceremonies.
The cistern covers an area of approximately 9,800 square meters and can hold up to 80,000 cubic meters of water. It is supported by 336 columns, most of which were salvaged from ruined buildings and are thought to have been brought from various parts of the Roman Empire. The cistern was forgotten for centuries and was rediscovered by chance in the 16th century when a Dutch traveler noticed locals retrieving water from a hole in their basement floor. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and one of the most unique and interesting sights in Istanbul.
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The restoration of the Basilica Cistern has been undertaken several times over the years. The most recent restoration work was completed in 1987.
The restoration of the Basilica Cistern was necessary to preserve the structural integrity and historical significance of the monument. Over the centuries, the cistern had been subject to damage from earthquakes, fires, and other natural disasters. The restoration work was undertaken to repair the damage and ensure the cistern's continued existence.
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The restoration of the Basilica Cistern was funded by the Turkish government, with assistance from UNESCO and other international organizations.
The restoration of the Basilica Cistern took several years to complete, with work beginning in 1985 and finishing in 1987.
The restoration work on the Basilica Cistern involved several techniques, including the repair of damaged columns and arches, the removal of accumulated sediment and debris from the cistern floor, and the installation of modern lighting and ventilation systems.
The Basilica Cistern remains open to visitors during the restoration work, with visitors able to see the restoration work in progress.
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It is possible that there may be future restoration work on the Basilica Cistern to ensure its continued preservation and longevity.
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