THE ŞEREFİYE CISTERN: A PLACE WHERE HISTORY MEETS ART AND TECHNOLOGY
Mesmerizing the visitors with a history of 1600 years, the Şerefiye Cistern meets history with art and technology using 360° mapping system for the first time in Turkey.
Situated in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul as one of the earliest examples of the water structures of the city with a history of 1600 years, the Şerefiye Cistern does not offer an inscription but is believed to be built during the rule of Theodosius II (408-450) based on the architectural characteristics.
CISTERNS: THE SOURCE OF LIFE OF THE CITY
Istanbul always required structures to store water due to the lack of sufficient sources as well as high population and sieges. The city used exposed and enclosed water reservoirs through the centuries. In this sense, it is known that great structures such as the Şerefiye and Basilica cisterns provided water to the baths of the Great Palace, Nymphaeum and Zeuxippus.
Built on a 24m x 40m area with a ceiling up to 11 meters, the Şerefiyes Cistern has 45 sail vaults and 32 columns. All the Corinthian capitals bearing impost blocks were made of the Marmara Island marble brought specially for the cistern. The capitals are decorated with acanthus leaves. The inner walls of the structure were covered with watertight plaster while the corners are curved to ensure pressure resistance. The walls are around 2.5m thick.
THE HIDDEN HERITAGE OF 1600 YEARS
The cistern derives the name from Roman Emperor Theodosius II. Above the cistern rises the Arif Pasa Estate which is believed to be built in the late 18th or early 19th century and was used as the Istanbul Municipality building in 1912. Later on, the building served as the Municipal Services Building of Istanbul and then Eminonu Municipal Building between 1930 and 1984. In 2010, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality demolished the annexes to the Eminonu Municipal Building and revealed the recently-discovered Theodosius Cistern beneath without damage to the historical monument.
Compared to the Byzantine infrastructures in Istanbul, the Şerefiye Cistern draws attention with the original floor and well-preserved Corinthian capitals. The surrounding area has been transformed as an archaeological park after the concrete buildings were demolished and a landscape plan was implemented.
FIRST TIME IN THE WORLD: 360° PROJECTION MAPPING
The Şerefiye Cistern is the first Turkish museum and the oldest building of the world with the 360° projection mapping system. The cistern offers a new experience to interact with the 1600-years old monument, ensure three-dimensional space perception and trace the water culture of both the Şerefiye Cistern and Istanbul.
A NEW HISTORICAL SPACE EXPERIENCE
The second part of the show tracks the water routes of Istanbul: the reference to aqueducts and distribution lines is followed by an experience of the connections between aqueducts and cisterns through schematic waterway depictions.
BROUGHT TOGETHER BY WATER
Composed of five main parts, the 10-minute show invites visitors to witness the spatial characteristics of the Şerefiye Cistern with the 3D effects that respectively meets the walls, columns and the ceiling and enhances spatial perception and awareness.
THE MEMORY OF 1600 YEARS
The third part offers the collective memory and historical layers of Istanbul with a new interpretation and revives the periods of the Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire on the walls of the cistern. The interpretations are accompanied by icons and Turkish tile art.
VICTORY REFLECTED ON WATER
The final part of the special show demonstrates the story of the people who founded the new Republic following the Turkish War of Independence in the aftermath of the World War I. Consequently, the Theodosius Cistern returns back to its unique historical and architectural appearance.
The mapping shows of the Şerefiye Cistern are offered in cooperation with TUCE Investment.