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Basilica Cistern
Yerebatan Sarnici

590 Reviews
Liked by 38
Recommended sightseeing time: 1 hour
Address: Alemdar Mah. Yerebatan Cad. 34410 Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone: +90-212-5121570

What travelers say:

I've been to Istambul not long ago, and visiting The Cistern Basilica was on the top of my list. It is amazing how after more than 15 centuries ago, this place, first used as a temple, and later as a water reservoir, has survived the time. Definitely a must see.

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Additional Information


The Basilica Cistern is located next to the Hagia Sophia Museum and was built under the orders of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. It has a capacity of 80,000 cubic meters of water, served as an underground reservoir used by the Byzantine and Ottoman Palaces and is still in use today. The Basilica Cistern is now a famous tourist attraction due to its historic importance and architectural beauty. In the dim light of the Basilica Cistern, thick Corinthian stone pillars support massive brick vaults engraved with exquisite reliefs. Sometimes you can even find fish swimming about. Because of the unique air of mystery here, it has served as a filming site for both the James Bond installment, “Skyfall”, and Jackie Chan’s “Secret City”.
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