While many go to the Ayasofya to take in its majesty, some go with the sole purpose of sticking their finger in the building’s “weeping column” in hopes that their prayer for healing or other such miracles might be heard.

Taken from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus it now stands in the northern corner of the museum. Made of white marble with a bronze belt that circles the lower part of the column, a hole toward the base and the water which drops out of it are associated with many legends, the most common of which being its healing properties. Interestingly the Basilica Cistern also has a weeping column, located not far from the twin Medusa heads. Covered in swirling eye-like designs, and slick with algae, custom as with its counterpart in the Ayasofya, you put your thumb into the hole and rotate to the right while making your plea. If your thumb comes out damp, then your prayer has been heard.

Tip: Both tend to draw a line, so if you see relatively few people cued up, you might want to stop by the column first before going on to explore.