Miracles Of Istanbul | what a wonderful miracle you are


type Type
: Museum
type Entrance Fee
: 20.00 Turkish Lira
type Visiting Hours
: Summer Between 09:00 - 19:00 Hours / Winter Between 09:00 - 16:00 Hours
type Closed Days
: Open Every Day (Open Days & Hours may change by Official & Public Holidays)

The Basilica Cistern is one of the most mysterious and surprisingly romantic attractions to visit in Istanbul.

The Basilica Cistern is an underground cistern built in 532 AD by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to provide water to the Great Palace. It is also known as the "Sunken Palace," or "Yerebatan Sarayi" in Turkish, due to its magnificent marble columns rising out of the water. The water used to come from Belgrade Forest through 25-km aqueducts. The capacity of the cistern was 80 million liters of water. 

The Cistern amazes all of its visitors with its 336 marble pillars spread in 12 rows of 28 columns.

The Cistern, which was forgotten for centuries, was discovered by Peter Gyllius in 1545. He was surprised to see people getting water with buckets from some well holes and even catching fish. He explored the area and found a house with access to the Basilica Cistern. 

After the restorations, it was opened to the public as a museum in 1987. Today, it is decorated with lights, and classical music plays softly in the background. 

After the world famous writer Dan Brown's recent book "Inferno" was published, Basilica Cistern visited by more than 2.2 million people in 2014.

A fun fact: The Cistern was used for the film, From Russia With Love (1963), in which James Bond rows between its marble columns in a small boat.

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