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Address: Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone Number: +90-212 522 12 59
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description: The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns...
The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns beneath the city that provided a water filtration system for the buildings nearby. This underground chamber measures approximately 138 meters (453 ft) by 64.6 meters (212 ft) and is capable of holding 80,000 cubic meters (2,800,000 cu ft) of water. The ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns.
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Perfect engineering

I really can't imagine how they constructed this! The Romans were certainly genius in building the Basilica Cistern underneath Istanbul. It was really good for photos too!

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 19, 2015
Adam W
,
Sydney, Australia
Istanbul Sightseeing Pass|Includes entry to 4 iconic attractions
Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
Hagia Sophia Museu...
Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace
Bosphorus Strait
Bosphorus Strait
Golden Horn
Golden Horn
Sultanahmet District
Sultanahmet Distri...
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13,580 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015 NEW

I really can't imagine how they constructed this! The Romans were certainly genius in building the Basilica Cistern underneath Istanbul. It was really good for photos too!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Los Angeles, Calif. USA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

This site sits right in the center of the tourist center of Sultanamet. Between the two largest mosques of the tourist area. Unless you were looking for it you would miss it, minus the lines during the season. It's a beautiful underground masterpiece. Don't miss it.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW via mobile

Hauntingly beautiful. A few steps from the Ayasofya. Well worth A half hour leisurely visit. Don't miss the Medusa columns.

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Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

This was our favorite site we visited! Definetly worth going to as it was beautiful. There was also very helpful information on the history to know what different parts were.

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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW via mobile

What a wonderful place!! It's very lovely cool place to visit. The Basilica Cistern is definitely worth seeing! It's a must. It's a special place.

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Bucharest, Romania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

Although not included in Top 10 tourist attractions of Istanbul, we found it truly astonishing! It dates back to the Roman times and it was very well preserved. Don't miss it!!!

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Jupiter, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

This is a must-see in Istanbul. Interesting history around it, and central to Dan Brown's book. Look for the Medusa heads!

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belgrade
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

Definitely worth seeing!Amazing place,you won't spend here hours and hours,around 30 minutes is more then enough,but it's really interesting to visit and understand how it all worked.I am still amazed with background story and the fact that this place was built in 6th century.It is believed that more then 7000 slaves worked on this underground storage system. Be sure not... More 

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Oak Lawn, IL
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

The cistern is located near many of the other historic/religious sites in the Sultanahmet neighborhood. It is cheap and worth a quick visit. A number of school field trip groups were there at the same time I was, so it was a little chaotic, but I still enjoyed the experience.

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Margaret River, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

A fantastic attraction spoilt by the excessive numbers of visitors and low lighting. With many primary school visits, the noise levels are extreme. But then, this is Spring and a busy tourist time...

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