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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 668 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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Fresno, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015 NEW

Its beautiful and its so romantic too, its like traveling in the time. I recommend to practice before you get there with your night function to get nice pictures.

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Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

This is much better than the 1001 Columns cistern. It has water still in it and fish swimming around. The columns are floor lit from the bottom, lighting up the beautiful ceiling. You must see it.

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Istanbul
Top Contributor
235 reviews 235 reviews
170 attraction reviews
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

Discovered by accident after the conquest of the city, this little gem was built by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. It's 150 metres southwest of Haghia Sophia, and best seen on a hot summers day as it provides a great escape from the summer heat. Can get crowded, and the one way system is a little tedious, but... More 

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Canada
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
44 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

Basilica Cistern is a great place to see, it is a little dark inside, however the columns are very nicely lit. The medusa column bases have amazing craftsmanship and are architecturally sound. Now the floors are a little slippery due to the leaks, but its still worth the visit. The Medusa bases display interesting and unique designs and craftsmanship, and... More 

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

Absolutely stunning. By far the most gorgeous, serene place we visited. Such a unique ambiance. We wished there was a classical concert on whilst we were there; that would have been fantastic. Well worth a visit. Note, however; the museum pass is not accepted here; you have to pay an entry fee of 20TL, per person, no matter what pass... More 

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Bucharest, Romania
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

I've already visited it 5 or 6 times. I never miss it when I return to Istanbul. The price of the ticket has gone up lately (doubled actually).

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Turkey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

it's wow.. worthy to visit it and make a wish there cause it might come true :) it's magical place just don't know how to describe it ..

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

This was our favorite part of the vacation. It is an amazing engineering feat. Great break on a hot day as well. Entrance fee 20 Turkish Lira and accepted only cash.

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Tbilisi, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

The genius of the architect, engineers and builders undeniable. Not worth a visit if you have claustrophobia.

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Calgary, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

astounding site, wonderfully mysterious place of water, light, architectural features of many kinds of columns and sculptural items to create a place of water storage that has lasted for centuries...

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