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Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

4.4
#3 of 6,371 in Things to do in Turkey
Must see · Ruin · Architectural Building
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Explore the largest of hundreds of ancient cisterns located below the city at Basilica Cistern. This fascinating chamber of the underground water systems, commissioned in 532 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, is remarkable for its practical and artistic value. After a complete renovation in the 1980s, the cistern became one of the most popular tourist sites in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district. Walk along the wooden platforms beneath the dark, vaulted ceilings of this cathedral-sized cistern and see its famous Medusa-head pillar and Hen's Eye column. Put Basilica Cistern at the forefront of your travel plans using our Istanbul holiday planning website.
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Basilica Cistern reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
31,290 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • As usual amazing ambiance, attention to details, well trained personnel, first class food even better than Michelin style 
    As usual amazing ambiance, attention to details, well trained personnel, first class food even better than Michelin style  more »
  • Advertised as closed everywhere you go but when we passed by on our way to the Blue Mosque recently it was open with queues outside. Tours are every hour, after getting our tickets we were lead down....  more
    Advertised as closed everywhere you go but when we passed by on our way to the Blue Mosque recently it was open with queues outside. Tours are every hour, after getting our tickets we were lead down....  more »
Google
  • The place is a nice engineering work. However, it is without a guide or audio explanation, and without additional value it does not worth the money (120 TL). You will just enter, see a 5 minutes video with light effect on the walls and columns, listen at audio effects and music. This can be the same with video online. Unfortunately I feel no additional value was provided. The place has history, people are interested in knowing something. If I would like to be impressed I would've go to magic tricks show. 4 stars to the place itself, 1 star for the added value.
  • It's not that bad to see this building underground but it's not amazing for me .lots of columns ,low light

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