Basilica Cistern


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The purpose of the Basilica Cistern, which was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in 532, was to meet the water needs of the palace and the people living in the region.

The cistern, which was used for a while after Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul, met the water needs of Topkapı Palace this time.

During the Ottoman period, the facilities where the stagnant water was thought to be not clean were established and the cistern was never used again.

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern, which is 140 meters long and 70 meters wide, has a water holding capacity of 100 thousand tons.

To reach the cistern, which was built on an area of ​​9,800 square meters, a 52-step staircase is descended.

The titles of the 336 columns, most of them cylindrical, have different features. Some reflect the Corinthian style, while others reflect the Doric style.

The entrance fee to the Basilica Cistern, where MüzeKart is not valid, is 15 TL for adults, 5 TL for students, and 30 TL for foreign nationals. Museum Card is not valid at the entrance to the cistern.

The cistern is open to visitors between 09:00 and 17:30, 7 days a week, and can be visited between 12:00 and 13:00 on the first day of religious holidays.

Those who want to go to the Basilica Cistern, located in the Sultanahmet district in Fatih district, can take any bus that departs in the direction of Sultanahmet, or they can come to the Grand Bazaar by bus and reach the cistern by walking for 10-15 minutes.

You can easily reach the Basilica Cistern by taking any of the trams running on the Kabataş – Zeytinburnu line.

Basilica Cistern

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