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“A nice retreat”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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$42.00*
and up
Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia...
Ranked #7 of 1,159 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 July 14, 2013

After seeing the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi palace and the Blue Mosque, this was a nice cool place to see something different and intriguing.

Its not everyday you get to sink below a modern city and spend some time looking at something interesting and fascinating like the cistern. It was cool and beautiful down there and a must to do as the entrance is 50meters from the Hagia entrance.

1  Thank FKBnSMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"medusa heads"
in 1,270 reviews
"fish swimming"
in 201 reviews
"water reservoir"
in 147 reviews
"water supply"
in 144 reviews
"interesting place"
in 199 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 438 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 583 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 209 reviews
"audio guide"
in 317 reviews
"museum pass"
in 194 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 386 reviews
"old city"
in 143 reviews
"columns"
in 2,088 reviews
"underground"
in 1,678 reviews
"inferno"
in 239 reviews
"eerie"
in 450 reviews
"engineering"
in 417 reviews
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10,932 - 10,936 of 28,045 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2013

It is nice, and cool underground, but not massively impressive. Medusas head is cool, and so is the amount of columns

Thank Raymond K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We paid to get in twice we found this so amazing. The addition of the cool temp and reed flute music made it mystical and powerful. Don't forget to look in the water for the large carp and catfish.

1  Thank PucksterColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This is the first place I went to in Istanbul. The queue wasn't too bad, even in the afternoon. You have to look for this small hut like place as everything is underground! You just can't believe what you see in front of your eyes! The columns are amazing and oh it is so cool in temperature when it was so hot outside! And the fish! You definitely have to go!

2  Thank Seung-Jin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 13, 2013

Water was (and is) an important issue for Istanbul and its predecessors. The Eastern Rome brought its water from near the Black Sea and stored it in this astonishing cistern which was constructed using massive Grecian pillars from previous occupants of the region. It is cool and airy and lots of fish swim in the waters depths. Towards the end are two massive heads of Medusa, one upside-down and one on its side. Why they are as they are, and where they came from, is a matter of dispute. Well worth the 10 lira.

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

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