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Basilica Cistern; Istanbul has been one of the most frequently besieged cities in the world, and therefore has needed a permanent supply of freshwater through the ages.
Aqueducts carried water to these reservoirs from great distances.
The largest and most ornate of these cisterns is Yerebatan Sarayı (Palace). Columns and capitals of earlier pagan temples were used in its construction, providing a very decorative appearance; thus it is often called “saray” which means “palace” in Turkish.
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