A historic building, with each floor representing a different period, is now up for sale.

Located on Alayköşkü Street in Cagaloglu, Istanbul, this unique building showcases the historical layers of the city.

The lower level features Byzantine (Eastern Roman) columns, suggesting it might have been a cistern during that time. Above it lies a Roman arch, followed by an Ottoman stone wall. The top floors, made of burnt brick, date back to the early years of the Republic.

This house in Istanbul’s Fatih district is like a multi-layered cake, bearing the marks of three empires and one republic that ruled the city.

There is a theory that the Roman layer initially served as a bridge over a stream, with the building later erected on its supports.

The historic building in Cagaloglu, Istanbul, which bears traces of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, has been put up for sale in a semi-ruined state. This four-story building with 19 rooms, whose upper floors belong to the Republican period, is waiting for its buyer at a price of $1,750,000.

The four-story building in Cagaloglu catches the eye of everyone who sees it. It carries traces of the Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman, and Republic periods. A for-sale sign hangs on the building. Omer Çivan, who claims ownership of the building, stated that the selling price is $1,750,000. Çivan mentioned that they decided to sell the building, inherited from his family, following the death of his brother, with whom he was a partner. The building has an area of 152 square meters and four floors.

“Three Different Periods, All Overlapping”

Historian Mehmet Dilbaz, who assessed the building, said: “Istanbul is a city where various layers have accumulated on top of each other, much like the Roman Empire before the Byzantine Empire. The interesting thing resulting from earthquakes or the decay of buildings over time is what we see now. This building is unique because it has an approximately 1,800-year-old cistern from the Roman era beneath it. Later, as the city elevated and the height difference increased, a completely different building was constructed. However, this building was later buried during the Ottoman period, and in the Republican period, three different buildings were constructed: ‘Three different periods, three different states, all overlapped and emerged.'”

Numerous Similar Buildings

Dilbaz stated that there are many examples of such buildings in Istanbul and said: “You can see dozens of similar examples in different parts of the city, especially within the Fatih district. This shows how culturally diverse the city is.”

There Are 180 Cisterns

Dilbaz noted: “It is known that there are about 180 open and closed cisterns in Istanbul. The area we refer to as the Istanbul Walls has been water-scarce since the foundation of the first city. The reason so many cisterns were built in Istanbul is not because the city is constantly under siege. There are almost no water resources in this area due to geographical reasons. Due to the constant need for water, various waterways were built, and cisterns were constructed to collect water. The area where the building is located was a commercial center near the Grand Bazaar during the Roman and Byzantine times. A similar cistern was likely built to meet the needs of traders in this region. There are many small and large cisterns here. This is one of them, but it has been forgotten and preserved in layers.”

“Selling This Building is Actually Strange”

“Actually, this is a first-degree protected area. Selling this building is a strange thing. The building needs to be immediately taken under protection to evaluate the structures beneath it,” Dilbaz said, adding:

“The building above needs to be quickly demolished, and the cistern beneath it and the ruins of the Ottoman structure must be discovered. Right behind this building, there is also a bath used by Janissaries during the Ottoman era. This is a large complex that needs thorough evaluation. But if there are commercial and technical reasons, it needs to be purchased, and the state, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, should be involved.”

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