WITH THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR. 83
described it. Again the mysterious edifice was lost, and Janissaries attending travellers
as guides could give them no clue to discover it,—this singular and magnificent excavation appearing and disappearing to human sight, like some enchanted palace in Oriental
fiction. Finally, it was searched for by a Frank resident of Pera, and, after two years'
diligent inquiry, was at length discovered by him, under the foundation of a private
house, in a remote and obscure street. Part of a wall had fallen in, and discovered to
the astonished proprietor innumerable marble columns, of various orders of architecture,
rising out of a vast lake of water, and supporting a lofty arched roof, on which his house
stood. From that time, easy access has been afforded to it; every stranger visits it;
and there is no probability that the Turks, now so much more enlightened and inquisitive, will again suffer the memory of this noble work of Grecian art to perish among
As we have already mentioned this cistern with others, we refer to our former notice.
We will merely add, that the actual extent and beauty, though sufficiently great to excite
our admiration, are extravagantly exaggerated by the credulous Turks, who now begin
to regard it with awe and astonishment. Some places at a considerable distance have
fallen into other subterranean cavities, and they are asserted to be parts of this cistern
not yet explored. The number of columns is nearly the same as that of the Bin bir
Derek, and both excavations are supposed to be of the same extent. But the proprietor
of the house, through which is the only known access, tells of fearful perils encountered
by intrepid navigators, who attempted to explore this inland sea; of. lost adventurers,
who never returned to tell them; and, in the still unchanged spirit of a Turk, relates
as true all the figments of an Oriental imagination.
KIZ-KOULASL—LEANDER'S, OR THE MAIDEN'S TOWER.
ON THE BOSPHORUS.
Immediately opposite Scutari, and where the rushing current of the Bosphorus
meets that of the Golden Horn, is seen a tower rising out of the midst of the turbulent
estuary, and forming a striking and singular object, emerging with its white walls from
the dark-blue waters. It is a small, square, castellated structure, standing on an insulated rock, and surmounted by a lantern and spire. It is now used as a beacon for ships
entering the strait, and boats passing the estuary. It sometimes happens that sudden
gusts, like typhoons, come on, attended with a dense fog, so dark as at once to obscure
both sides of the Bosphorus. The passage is generally crowded with caiques, which
are thus left in the midst of peril without any guide to extricate them. In this blind
commotion, the pazar caique, or " great ferry boat," is an object of great dread, running
down and sinking the slight and fragile barks driven against it. The tower is a kind
of refuge to which they betake themselves. It was originally built by the emperor