“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of a waking man.” – Pliny the Elder _ The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey. _ A beautiful ancient underground water storage facility built in the 6th century. Before 1985 this photo would not have been possible as this room was filled with 100,000 tons of water. Once the water was drained, and 50,000 tons of silt and mud removed, the amazing engineering feat could be appreciated in all its splendour. _ 336 marble columns, standing 9 meters tall, hold up the ceiling. The majority of these were “recycled” from older construction projects. However the Roman origins of 2 particularly mysterious stone-sculpted “Medusa heads” are unknown. These were placed on their side and upside down to negate the mythic Gorgons’ gaze. Smart thinking! _ I took this tour with @walksofturkey and also stayed at the beautiful @eresin_hotels_istanbul. I highly recommend you check them out next time you visit Istanbul, Turkey.