The Basilica Sistern

Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern (Turkish; Yerebatan Sarnıcı also, known as Sunken Cistern, Sunken Palace, and Underground Cistern), which attracts me with its mystical air, is one of the most special places in Istanbul with its extraordinary structure. While visiting the cistern, which is one of the oldest and magnificent structures that have survived from the Byzantine era, you can improve your historical knowledge and find peace in its quiet atmosphere.

The Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern Museum-Turkey museums-Istanbul museums
Basilica Cistern’s columns

The Basilica Cistern covers a total area of ​​9,800 square meters. The cistern, which has a water storage capacity of nearly 100,000 tons, can be descended from a stone ladder with 52 steps. The interior of the building supported by 336 columns, each 9 meters high and 4.80 meters apart.

Most of these columns added to the structure in 28 rows, including the Medusa Heads( a character from Greek Mythology), which were the subject of legends, were collected from the structures considered to be old at that time.

the Basilica Cistern medusa-The medusa column in Basilica Cistern-Turkey tours
The Medusa column

Due to the event that adds variety to the building in terms of architecture, you can easily notice the column heads with Corint and Dor style while visiting the building.

Built-in 532 by the Byzantine Emperor Justinianus, the cistern was used to meet the water needs of the Grand Palace.

During the construction process, water provided to the giant structure, where 7,000 slaves were employed, through 2 arches that extend to the Eğrikapı Water Taksim Center in Belgrad Forests, 19 kilometers from the city. 971, built by Emperor Valens from the arches, was 116 meters long, built by order of Emperor Justinian.

The Basilica cistern columns-Cistern of byzantine-turkey travel for historica buildings

The Basilica Cistern Location

How to get there?

It is located center of Sultanahmet district, you can walk to the Cistern and the other sights such as Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace.

Basilica Cistern Opening Hours And Fees

Visiting Hours: 09:00 – 17:30

Entrance Fee: $4

The Basilica Cistern Entrance-Basilica cistern gate-The Basilica Cistern Museum
The basilica Cistern Entrance

For more information about Basilica Cistern, you can visit here

Nearby the Basilica Cistern

One of the common unique examples of Byzantine structure, the Turkish cistern is located in Sultanahmet Square. There are the Hagia Sophia Museum on one side and the Blue Mosque on the other.


If you want to go to Turkey, you can hire a travel agency for an Istanbul tour or go to Turkey tour on your own.

When you go to Istanbul, you can stay in a hotel. You have many options in hotels in Istanbul. You can search on the internet and choose a hotel in Istanbul for you.

Also, Turkish cuisine has absolutely the best foods in all kitchens. Turkish foods are so delicious. There are too many kinds of tasty traditional Turkish foods and you can’t taste all of them.


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