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Basilica Cistern

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Neighborhood:
Sultanahmet
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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
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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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small and pretty

Without knowing its background, one may not be particularly impressed by the Roman cistern. But knowing its origin, one will be amazed. It was a small underground reservoir built... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 29, 2015
abuben
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English first
Level Contributor
155 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

Without knowing its background, one may not be particularly impressed by the Roman cistern. But knowing its origin, one will be amazed. It was a small underground reservoir built long time ago. Those solid columns make the cistern both beautiful and enduring, and colorful fish enjoy themselves and give life to this ancient site. The statures of medusa, a monster... More 

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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

I'm not sure why this place is so popular. If you are short on time I advise skipping the long queues and the entrance fee. There are other free places with more interesting stories.

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Johannesburg, South Africa
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14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

If you are going into the Sultanahmet district to see Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, this is in the immediate vicinity. It is worth the while to go down and take a look. We went in July which was incredibly hot outside, so the cool reprieve underground was most welcome. We were also fortunate enough not to have to stand... More 

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Malmo, Sweden
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45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

You might think that placed between Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque this place won't be worth visiting. Well you're wrong. It will take only 10-20 minutes to visit this place, but the view is amazing, so is the story of this place. Hundreds and hundreds years old, still in good shape is a breath taking proof of how grandiose ideas... More 

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Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

Was good to see that the original structures and history has been preserved. The lighting is not great but that adds to the mystique and aura of the visit.

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Christchurch, New Zealand
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6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

Def worth a visit, but make sure you use a tour as it's the best way to get past the crowds waiting to get in. Nice cool spot on a hot day too!! Check out the big carps in the water !!

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Kildare, Ireland
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67 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

Like everywhere in Istanbul, queues can be quite long but they move well. It is a beautiful, atmospheric place, and a lovely place to get out of the heat above! Watch your footing as the walkways are damp, and get the audio guide, which is really easy to use and adds a lot to the visit. It is even more... More 

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Jakarta
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

Amazing, mistic, historical. Even the ticket quite expensive about TL 20, but it's worth. Bring your fancy camera to get the best shots. Worth it also for kids to learn how was the Roman built their water system.

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Fresno, California
Level Contributor
158 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

This is an amazing engineering feat of the Romans -- one not to miss by history buffs. The scale and volume of this space boggles the imagination. I really enjoyed the little cafe at the end of the catwalks near the exit stairs. Stop and have a cup of Turkish tea like I did (or food) and appreciate this unique... More 

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Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW via mobile

Worth a visit, close to Hahia Sophia and Blue Mosque. Note the many different column styles, most were recycled from area Roman ruins when Cistern was built. Cost is now 20TL, about $7.

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Additional Information about Basilica Cistern

Address: Imran Oktem Cad. No:4 D:5 Sultanahmet, Fatih | Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone Number: +90-212 522 12 59
Location: Europe  >  Turkey  >  Istanbul>  > Sultanahmet

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Sultanahmet

Neighborhood Profile
Sultanahmet
With so many unmissable attractions within a mere stroll of each other – and all set around the site of an ancient Byzantine hippodrome – Sultanahmet is an overwhelmingly popular tourist destination, and a prime location for visitors to be wowed on a truly epic scale. Beyond the wonders of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and more, this relatively small area of Istanbul somehow manages to retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
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