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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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Interesting bit of history

Interesting to see this underground water storage facility built by the Romans. A different kind of visitor experience. Look out for the fish in the water and be prepared to queue... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 24, 2015
Elizalit
,
Christchurch, United Kingdom
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14,350 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
24 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

Interesting to see this underground water storage facility built by the Romans. A different kind of visitor experience. Look out for the fish in the water and be prepared to queue to see the Medusa Heads.

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Toowoomba, Australia
Top Contributor
220 reviews 220 reviews
125 attraction reviews
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

25 tl to enter, down the steps into half light and wow. The cistern is impressive but after 5 minutes it becomes all the same. The columns that hold the roof us came from Roman ruins and look good, there are a few replacement columns that don't look nearly as good. The walk ways can get wet from drips from... More 

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Plymouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

Its old, well preserved and a must see if you are visiting the sultan ahmet area. Essentially a water reservoir for the .It houses around 336 marble columns and a couple of medusa heads. Bear in mind that there are steps going down (52) and if you have a pram its a bit tricky, but do able.

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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
10 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

This city has lots of churches and mosques, and those are great to visit. Also, plenty of places to eat or shop. But if you want something really different try out this attraction. It really feels like stepping into another world, with the low lights and walking on the platforms above the water, seeing the fish living in this immense... More 

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Leamington Spa, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW via mobile

The cistern is a phenomenal place, built using columns from destroyed temples and lost for hundreds of years, it remains remarkably intact. I got some great photos despite the dark area (you have to pay extra to bring a tripod). The Medusa heads are stunningly creepy and a stroll around the cistern is oddly calming despite the mass of people.

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Geelong
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
6 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

We tacked this on to an all day walking tour and are very glad we did. You will not see anything like this anywhere else in the world.

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St. Petersburg, Russia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

Mostly beautiful and unusual place. My dream comes true :) very beautiful and amazing place. The price is 20 Turkish liras. I recommend to visit this place

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Wemmel
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
6 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

This is really something unique. Too many people like everywhere but really unique in architecture. Never seen the like before. Much more impressive than blue mosque.

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Mount Claremont
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

Well laid out for tourists with audio guides in multiple languages. Look out for the carving of Medusa and the curious fish in the remaining water.

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

I read about it in my guidebook, but was wondering how interesting it could be. I saw a small version in the basement of a carpet shop and the salesman recommended that my friend and I see the Basilica Cistern as it was a much larger version. He wasn't kidding, it's huge. I guess I really didn't know what to... More 

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