Basilica Cistern was built in 542 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian. The splendor of the columns rising through the water is enchanting. Built on 9800 square meters, the cistern hosts many national events.
The cistern has 336 columns of 9 meters in height. The cistern, built to meet the water needs of Istanbul, has a water storage capacity of one hundred thousand tons. The cistern is so magnificent that it was called a palace by the people of the period. Under the two columns are the opposite heads of the ancient Greek monsters called Medusa.
Medusa means the underground monster. Medusa has the ability to turn those who look at him to stone, so the heads are turned upside down. The cistern was used for many years until the Ottoman Empire preferred flowing water instead of stagnant water. The Ottomans were shut down for use after establishing their own water facilities.
You go down the stairs to the cistern. We do not recommend it to those who fear to stay indoors. Drops of water dripping from above turn into currents in some places. The floor is wet so we do not recommend going with shoes that can slip. Inside, a cafe welcomes you.
You can sip your tea and listen to music while watching this magnificent piece. When you get hungry in the cistern, you can eat in the restaurants that cater to every budget in the surrounding area.
We strongly recommend this place, in our opinion this place should be at the top of your museum sightseeing list.
Basilica Cistern Entrance Fee 2020
Updated on: 25.04.2020
The Basilica Cistern accepts visitors every day.
Visiting Cistern; Between 10:00 in the morning and 18:00 in the evening.
Entrance fee ; €10.00 EUR
How to go to Basilica Cistern?
Address: Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1 / 3,34410 – Fatih / Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 522 1259
How to get there ?: The Basilica Cistern is right next to the Hagia Sophia Museum. Those who wish to reach can take the tram from Eminönü to reach the Cistern. You need to get off at Sultanahmet stop, Sarnic is located on Yerebatan Street.
If you want to reach Eminönü from the Anatolian side, it will be faster to go by ferry. Those who will pass from Taksim to Eminönü can take the bus if they want, but if you want to walk, watch the sea and fishermen, you can reach Eminönü in 20 minutes by foot.