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“Amazing!”
Review of Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
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$50.00*
and up
Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand...
Ranked #6 of 1,119 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 September 7, 2013

Well worth a visit - fascinating place! We were lucky and didn't have to queue but I imagine it wouldn't be quite so pleasant if there were lots of people in there.

Thank Liz C
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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9,818 - 9,822 of 26,094 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2013

An attraction completely different to any other. 336 marble columns in Corinthian and Doric styles, in 12 rows, create an unreal atmosphere in the dark. The low lights and the soft music help the visitor to feel the mystery and the plots of the Byzantine times. 100.000 tonnes of water were extremely important for the city's needs. Fortunately the place is totally restored and a lot of fish has returned to the water. The two Medusa heads, used as plinths, are excellent sculptures and a chance for beautiful photos. But you must be a little bit patient as everyone is looking for the same thing. At a corner, if you wish, you may try some Ottoman clothes and head coverings and pose for a photographer who is ready for the shooting.If you go without group, you must pay the entrance fees in Turkish Lira. No credit cards are accepted.If you don't have the local currency, there are people who exchange money right at the entrance.

Thank Mina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

beautiful roman architecture and engineering. not a long thing to do, in and out in 30 minutes or so. One thing to note is that it's a hub of local salespeople trying to get you to come to their store. Can detract as they can be persistent. Lines move quickly

Thank bordeauxbound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

It is truly amazing the work that went into building this underground cistern. It was built in the 7th Century. Very atomospheric.

Thank Colin058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 6, 2013

Cool place to get away from August sun but really amazing history and wonderful restoration. Fun photos available too.

Thank SCPS67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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