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“Another of the treats on display in Istanbul”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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$38.75*
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and...
Ranked #6 of 1,115 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

This cistern system offers a marvelous experience. As attested to by the large number of people who queue to see it. Don't be put off by the lines, just wait and be rewarded.

We have never seen anything like this and makes you appreciate the capabilities of people of that era. The Cistern system is so well preserved, easy to get around and understand.

Again one of the many things in Istanbul not to miss.

Thank prholst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"medusa heads"
in 1,217 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 204 reviews
"underground water"
in 145 reviews
"water supply"
in 139 reviews
"interesting place"
in 191 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 412 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 557 reviews
"audio guide"
in 319 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 205 reviews
"museum pass"
in 185 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 372 reviews
"old city"
in 138 reviews
"columns"
in 2,058 reviews
"inferno"
in 215 reviews
"carp"
in 185 reviews
"reservoir"
in 177 reviews
"eerie"
in 445 reviews
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11,429 - 11,433 of 26,083 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2012

This is a very interesting place to visit. Between the pillars, parts of which are pilfered from the Greeks, and the engineering plus the lights and the fish, it is well worth a visit.

Thank BuddyPR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Been twice to this underground reservoir that's been turned into an interesting tourist attraction. The lighting has a lot to do setting the mood. I liked the on-off lighting best and it gave the most spectacular photos. Amazing construction.

Thank Frantic_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Sorry, but I meant the Basilica Cistern - I didn't actually visit the Cisterna Sotteranea on this visit and my memory of it is too clouded to give a proper review.

Thank Ian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 29, 2012

The Basilica Cistern is one of the most interesting sights I've ever seen! Built by the Romans, it was a marvel of engineering and construction. I loved how all of the columns were different, and recycled from other old structures. Truly a unique experience!

Thank Laurie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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