Basilica Cistern Tours – Istanbul, Turkey

Basilica Cistern
(Yerebatan Sarayı) Yerebatan Sarnıcı

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Eminönü district, Turkey, Istanbul
Hours : every day from 09:00 am to 17:30 (5:30 pm)

About this place

Besides the usual name this basilica has two other names by which is often called. Sunken Palace and the Sunken Cistern. As you may conclude from the title this unusual tourist attraction once had one really important mission – it was used to provide water to the residents of Istanbul. Emperor Justinian ordered its construction in the 6th century. It is also remarkable for its size with capacity of 80,000 cubic meters but also for 336 large marble pillars that hold the entire construction. Of course, this isn´t the only cistern built in the Istanbul undergrounds but it is certainly most famous and most visited.

You might also ask yourself why it is called Basilica? Well, it is located right beneath the Stoa Basilica.

In the past, people used to lower their buckets to grab the water and bring it to their houses.

Due to the tourism development, a great lighting has been installed and numerous visitors come down to visit this underground monument.

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Re: Basilica Cistern

By Cindy Li,

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