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The Basilica Cistern
Top 3 in Can't Miss Attractions

583 Reviews
Historical Site
Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Recommended Sightseeing Time: 1 hour
Address: Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34410 Fatih / Istanbul
Phone: +90-212-5121570

What people are saying:

This is the famous mysterious and romantic underwater world. There are many tourists who come here to visit. The scale of the underground is unexpectedly grand, but the building is very delicate and magnificent, and the stone carvings are very beautiful.

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Trip Moments


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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