The cistern, also known as “the Maksem,” was revamped in 2008 and served as the Taksim Republic Art Gallery for years. It has been a favorite spot for visiting tourists for taking pictures.
Over the years, as the electrical system in the structure worn out, fire risks emerged. Finally, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality stepped in and launched renovation works for the cistern.
As part of the works, expected to be completed in early 2023, officials will demolish the structures later added to Maksem.
Maksem was used to store and distribute water. Construction of the structure began during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III. The project finished in 1731.
Water to Maksem was delivered from 25 kilometers distance via the Sultan Mahmut aqueduct as far as Maslak, Derbent, Ayazağa, Zincirlikuyu and Mecidiyeköy. The water was then collected in a tank in the Harbiye quarter from where it would reach Maksem in Taksim.
Hurriyet Daily News