Rediscovery of the Cistern: 1545

What Petrus Gyllius might have seen with the fish living in the Cistern Basilica



Nevertheless, the Basilica Cistern had fallen into much decay. Having gone unrecognized for a century, it had become a dumping ground for garbage and even bodies. While this part in the lieu de memoire’s memory is exciting, due to its rediscovery, it would still take another two centuries until Ahmed III would repair the cistern; until that time the site would still sit in decay. However, the rediscovery marked the start of the new function of the cistern. While it would no longer truly be used as a clean source of water, it function would now allow locals and visitors to preserve and visit the past. In was, in a sense, the recognization of the site as a lieu de memoire, and as an important part in the city's evolution and palimpsest. Therefore, this was the start of the "unintentional monument" period for the site that Riegl describes. 


Korzhumbayeva, Aigerim. "Istanbul’s (Constantinople) 6th Century Basilica Cistern." Electrium Magazine. N.p., 20 July 2012. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

"YEREBATAN SARNICI." Basilica Cistern. Basilica Cistern, n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.