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“Upside down head of Medusa”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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$38.75*
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia...
Ranked #8 of 1,168 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 February 25, 2013

Interesting place and unusual tourist attraction within Sultanahmet district.
The roof is supported by 336 marble columns, mostly in Ionic or Corinthian styles, each measuring 9 meters in length. Spaced at four-meter intervals, they are arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns each.
On the far left hand of the cistern, you will find the upside down head of Medusa and the other tilted to the side.

1  Thank MsDiva2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"medusa heads"
in 1,251 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 200 reviews
"underground water"
in 146 reviews
"water supply"
in 138 reviews
"interesting place"
in 200 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 427 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 575 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 209 reviews
"audio guide"
in 315 reviews
"museum pass"
in 189 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 379 reviews
"old city"
in 140 reviews
"columns"
in 2,069 reviews
"engineering"
in 404 reviews
"inferno"
in 232 reviews
"photos"
in 784 reviews
"reservoir"
in 179 reviews
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11,204 - 11,208 of 26,881 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stopped here as part of a tour. It is really amazing. The beauty of the cistern, with its lighting, made it an incredible place to visit. Make sure you stop and see the Medusa heads on the stone pillars!

Thank Marigot1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

One of the great architectural and engineering feats of the Ottaman Period. Unbelievable. Not to be missed.

1  Thank Laurie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

Visited here on our first day in Istanbul and I think it was my favourite place! There were no queues and it was almost like a little known jewel in sultanahmet!! Although it was quite dark (it is an underground palace!!) it was very peaceful and I managed to get some nice photos here. The only downside was getting some icey cold drips of water on my head and down my neck!
Would recommend viewing to anyone

2  Thank savannahsunset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 25, 2013

Really interesting place, built centuries ago to store massive amounts of water (Istanbul has no river) under the city. The only negative is, that is all there is. It is a huge underground cavern, and there are no other breathtaking views.

1  Thank tjbudda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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