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The name means "Cistern of 1,001 Columns" -- in spite of the actual presence of only 224. The cistern is thought to have been built by Philoxenus, a Roman senator and companion of Constantine the Great, as part of the Lavsus Palace. It is the oldest cistern in the city, and at 3,610 sq. m (38,858 sq. ft.), is the second-largest covered cistern (Yerebatan is the largest). The cistern was later used as a warehouse for the manufacture of silk yarn, but was then abandoned to the ignoble fate of garbage dump. As part of the process of recovery, 7,000 truckloads of detritus had to be removed. The current holders of the concession take advantage of the extremely atmospheric ambience as a background for a bar/restaurant, an amazing venue for weddings and other events, and a sometimes art gallery.