Yerebatan Sarayi (Underground Cistern)

Location: İstanbul, Turkey

  1. Yerebatan Sarayi (Underground Cistern)

    Photo by Taco325i

    James Bond rowed through it in From Russia With Love, and now you have a chance to follow in his footsteps. The first thing you notice when you enter the Basilica Cistern, across the street from the Hagia Sophia, is the soothing, subterranean coolness that revives your body and mind battered with the summer heat. But this refreshing sensation is not the key attraction here. This tremendous engineering feat hidden underneath Istanbul streets consists of brick vaults supported on 336 marble columns spaced at four-meter intervals and could once hold 80.000 cubic meters of water, transported from the Belgrade Forest. You sure don't want to miss it.

    Address: Sultanahmet, Near St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

    Tel: +90-212 522 12 59


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  1. Margaret Nov 15, 2010 12:57 AM


    This is one of the most beautiful and memorable places I have ever visited. Do not miss a visit to this magical place. I have the opportunity to return to Istanbul and will definitely be returning here!

    The cistern was never meant to be a beautiful place, it was built for the utilitarian purpose of holding water for the city and palaces. The columns that were used were recycled from all over, and you will see many different types of columns here. The city has done a fabulous job of placing walkways and lighting to really show off this treasure. There are even two discarded stone Medusa heads down here. I saw many beautiful things in Turkey, but this is at the top of my list!

  2. 619 Jul 16, 2012 5:43 PM