The Basilica Cistern, also known as ‘Yerebatan Cistern’ or Sunken Cistern, is the largest of the several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath Istanbul, with a holding capacity of 80,000 m3

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Istanbul: Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

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On this 30-minute tour, visit the 4th-century Basilica Cistern and discover the mystery of Medusa he...

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Istanbul: Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia

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Explore Istanbul's most wondrous monuments including Saint Sophia and the Basilca Cistern on this af...

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Istanbul: Full-Day Private Tailor-Made Sightseeing Tour

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...Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern.

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Istanbul: 5-Day Guided Museum Pass

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Skip the line to get into the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahçe Palace, Blu...

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Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

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Istanbul Personalized Tour and Private Guide 1-3 Days

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...n palaces and Byzantine ruins, go to the Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern, or explore the Spice Market at your own pace.

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Istanbul: Guided Hagia Sophia, Topkapi, and Basilica Cistern

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Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Bosphorus Cruise

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Visit inside the Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Orient Express train station, a walk on...

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Two Great Empires of Istanbul Afternoon Tour

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... the city’s 2 great empires. Visit iconic sites, such as the Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, and underground Basilica Cistern.

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Classic Istanbul Full-Day Private Tour

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Istanbul: Half-Day Private Walking Tour

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...mosque of the Hagia Sophia, marvel at the blue tiles of the Blue Mosque, and go underground to see the Basilica Cistern.

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The Best of Istanbul: Private Full-Day Walking Tour

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...ce, marvel at the walls of the Blue Mosque, visit the Basilica Cistern, gaze at the Obelisk and end at the Grand Bazaar.

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Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern, also known as ‘Yerebatan Cistern’ or Sunken Cistern, is the largest of the several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath Istanbul, with a holding capacity of 80,000 m3.

The Basilica Cistern, also known as ‘Yerebatan Cistern’ or Sunken Cistern, is the largest of the several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath Istanbul, with a holding capacity of 80,000 m3. The symmetrical layout and artistic columns holding up vaulted ceilings (from where water occasionally drips) are lit aesthetically, making this underground reservoir one of the top attractions in the city.

Originally constructed below the Stoa Basilica in the 6th century, it held water delivered by a 20 km long aqueduct from the Eğrikapı Water Distribution Center near the Black Sea. The cavernous cistern has 336 marble columns with mostly Corinthian capitals. In the northwest corner of the cistern, the bases of two columns have blocks carved with the visage of Medusa, oriented sideways and inverted to negate the power of the mythical Gorgons' gaze.

Dark and intriguing, the cistern has featured in the James Bond movie ‘From Russia with Love’, Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’, and the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ video game. Take a tour around and discover the charms of this ancient reservoir.


Hours

Sun

9:00

18:30

Mon

9:00

18:30

Tue

9:00

18:30

Wed

9:00

18:30

Thu

9:00

18:30

Fri

9:00

18:30

Sat

9:00

18:30

About Basilica Cistern

 Alemdar Mh., Şeftali Sokak No:6, Fatih, Türkiye

 +90 212 522 12

 www.yerebatan.com

Basilica Cistern and Nearby Sights on Map

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a 6th century Orthodox patriarchal basilica that was later used as a mosque, and is today a museum

Gülhane Park

This park was royal hunting grounds in the past

Soğukçeşme Street

A car-free downhill cobbled street just behind Hagia Sophia, with renovated (or totally re-built) traditional wooden houses two- or three-storeys tall typical of Ottoman era, leaning against the outer wall of Topkapi Palace grounds/Gülhane Park

Valens Aqueduct

A double-storey Roman one built during the reign of Valens (r

Million

While this partially intact marble pillar dating back to 4th century AD may seem unremarkable, it was the starting point of any distance measured within the empire during the Byzantine era, so it may be nice to think that you are in the centre of where all the roads lead to (or, rather, start from)

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art

Carpets, rugs, calligraphy, pottery

Great Palace Mosaics Museum

Located in Arasta Bazaar, this museum hosts the pavement mosaics of the Byzantine-era Great Palace of Constantinople, which once occupied all the way from Sultanahmet Square, then the Hippodrome, to the coast of the Sea of Marmara

Hagia Irene

Hagia Irene, which you will notice to your left after entering the outer yard of Topkapi Palace, is one of few Byzantine-era cathedrals which was never converted to a mosque (though not used for religious purposes either during the Ottoman period), although access to the interior is not allowed unless you have a ticket to the classical music concerts sometimes taking place inside the building

The Museum of Archeology

A must see! One of the best, including a great collection of Sumerian tablets, pieces of the wall of Babylon and Roman marble statues