Basilica Cistern is the largest existing ancient cistern in Istanbul, Turkey.
Built by the Greeks during the sixth century, the cistern is an underground chamber capable of holding about eighty thousand cubic metres of water. Today, it is a major tourist attraction which is also known as the ‘SunkenPalace’.
The interiors of the underground cistern are breathtaking and consist of over three hundred columns decorated in the Doric style. Also, adding a unique touch to the building are the two Medusaheads which are located on the sideways, complimenting the pillars beautifully.
Visitors can also look forward to the classical music concerts which the cistern hosts. Apart from that, there is a little café, bookshops and jewellery outlets which complete the tourist value of the unusual place.
The Yerebatan Saray Sarnici is one of the grandest Byzantine cisterns located beneath Istanbul. The Yerebatan Saray Sarnici is one of the few remnants of the days when Istanbul was one of the most important places in business history. It... more is located at Sultanahmet Square, which is at the northeast of Hippodrome, near Divan Yolu and opposite the Ayasofya. Yerebatan Caddesi is the entrance and opposite this is the exit which is Ayasofya on Alemdar Caddesi. It is sometimes called the Sunken Palace because of its massive size. The Yerebatan Saray Sarnici covers almost two and a half acres of land. It has a capacity of about eighty thousand cubic meters, which translates into over twenty one million US gallons. It also has around three hundred and fifty columns made of pure marble. There are several walkways and beautiful lighting facilities which display all areas of the structure. The entire tour of the site takes about an hour and one can have snacks at the on site café as well.