One of the magnificent historical constructions of Istanbul is the Basilica Cistern, located near south-west of Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). This huge cistern, which was founded by Justinianus I, a Byzantine Empire (527-565), began to be called by the public ‘the Sinking Palace’ – and not without a reason, seeing the great number of marble columns arising out of the water.
The interior of Underground Cistern is excellent. It is 138 m, 452 ft long by 65m, 213 ft wide. There are 336 columns in the cistern in 12 rows. Most of the column capitals are either in Corinthian or Doric in style. At the far end of the Cistern, there are two heads of Medusa which are put upside down or side ways.