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Basilica Cistern

Address: Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone Number: +90-212 522 12 59
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Ranked #8 of 670 Attractions in Istanbul
Type: Ancient Ruins, Sights & Landmarks
Fee: Yes
Owner description: The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient...
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Attraction details
Type: Ancient Ruins, Sights & Landmarks
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

Dont leave Istanbul without visiting this place, especially if you are a mystery buff! Visited this place along with Dan Brown's recent book 'Inferno' and was so good to see the places he was writing about in the novel

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Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

Very interesting but quite a small place. Can clear the place in a very short time actually. What make it fun is the photo taking session. They will dress you up in traditional costumes and take your photos for a fee of course. One of the places you should go since you are in Istanbul.

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Broadview, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

I was impressed as to how these underground water system's worked and how they supplied water to various parts of the region and still have the ability to function today; there was a fresh smell about the Cistern and a dead quiet. I would like to know if something like this exist in America.

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Columbus, Ohio
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
31 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

I love to travel and have never seen anything like the Basilica Cistern. It is really very beautiful, and well worth a visit. The entrance is very inconspicuous, and you might miss it if you aren't really looking for it. Definitely do the audio guide, as you learn a lot more by doing it. It's crowded in the busier season,... More 

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Christchurch, New Zealand
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
31 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

So beautiful and amazing to think how clever the people of the time were. We arrived at a time when there were no queues, couldn't believe our luck, this place is so worth a visit even if there is a queue.

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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

Historic heritage in a very good condition. Only if they had more informations on their guides about the history and life, it was a little crowded. Definetly advise to visit

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Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
26 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

This is underground and it is a bit dark inside.There are only a few light bulbs providing light but it was meant to be like that. It adds to the mystery and ambiance of the place. However, that's all you will see inside and it's a bit expensive for what I saw inside.

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Rhode Island
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16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015 NEW

I'm tempted to say this is a wonderful experience that is off the beaten path but, unfortunately, nothing in Istanbul can truly be off the beaten path because of the crowds. The Basilica Cistern is unique and not what I picture when I envision Istanbul. Istanbul is full of beautiful mosques, street vendors, markets, cats, more cats, and an amazing... More 

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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015 NEW

Must see, this underground architecture, my friends loved it, it is so peaceful inside and full of surprises

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dubai
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015 NEW

It's amazing that you can experience so many genuinely interesting historical sites in such close proximity. The cisterns are incredible. Its such an amazing thing to discover this quiet underground spectacle knowing how much life and activity is happening above ground.

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