Σάββατο, 9 Ιουλίου 2016

Cistern of Aetius: A massive ‘slice’ of Roman engineering that is now a stadium in Istanbul


Cistern_Of_Aetius_Roman_field_1Painting of the Basilica Cistern by Robert Walsh.
Touted as the ‘Sunken Garden’ (Çukurbostan) during Ottoman times, and currently known as the Karagümrük stadyumu (or Karagümrük stadium), there is an expansive area in modern-day Istanbul that has a bit of exalted history attached to it. How so? Well, as it turns out, the soccer stadium is actually a spatial ‘development’ that aptly demonstrates the advanced degree of Roman engineering ability. To that end, the site was a full-fledged Eastern Roman (Byzantine) open-air cistern with impressive dimensions of 244 m (801 ft) length, 85 m (279 ft) width and 14 m (46 ft) depth. Better known as the Cistern Of Aetius, in its original state, this massive infrastructural construction could have easily encompassed around four American football fields – within its 224,000 sq ft area!