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Anemas Dungeon Istanbul

Anemas Dungeon Istanbul
The Anemas Dungeon is the only Byzantine prison that remains standing today and has unique architectural characteristics and many important historical records.  Constructed by Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in the early part of the 7th century AD, this was also part of Blachernae Palace , a huge complex of imperial accommodation and administrative buildings in Constantinople close to the Theodosius walls.  The Anemas Dungeon has 14 separate dungeons and each one has 2 basement floors below the ground level containing cells for the prisoners.
The prison once used a chute for the corpses of its captives that would be thrown down and out into the sea.
A descendant of an Arab Emir in Crete, Michael Anemas, was brought to the prison in the 12th century and because of his brave characteristics he won the respect of the Byzantine Emperor.  Anemas then became involved in a plot against Alexios II Comnenos and as punishment had his beard plucked out, was dressed in rags and paraded through the streets.  Luckily the Empress felt compassion for him and begged her husband not to take out his eyes and instead he was imprisoned in the dungeon that went on to take his name.

Restoration works to the complex were started in 2010.

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