The Basilica Cistern, also known as the Yerebatan Cistern, is one of the most fascinating historical sites in Istanbul, Turkey. Built-in the 6th century during the Byzantine Empire, this massive underground water reservoir was used to provide water to the city in times of drought and siege. Today, the cistern is a popular tourist attraction and a must-visit spot for history lovers and architecture enthusiasts. In this blog post, we will explore some fascinating facts about the Basilica Cistern, its history, and its significance.
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How To Reach:
Location - Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye
Best Time To Visit - The best time to visit the Basilica Cistern is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and autumn (September-November) when the weather is mild and the crowds are thinner. The cistern is open year-round, but during the peak season of summer (June-August), it can get very crowded and hot inside. It's best to avoid visiting during the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest, and instead, opt for early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and the heat.
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The Basilica Cistern is an ancient underground water storage system located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
The Basilica Cistern covers an area of approximately 9,800 square meters (105,000 square feet) and has a capacity of 80,000 cubic meters (2,800,000 cubic feet) of water.
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The cistern was built using columns and arches salvaged from other structures, including pagan temples and public buildings. It was constructed using a mixture of brick and stone, with a waterproofing layer of plaster on the walls and floor.
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As of 2021, the admission fee for the Basilica Cistern is 50 Turkish lira (approximately $5.50 USD) for adults.
As of 2021, the Basilica Cistern is open every day from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM.
Unfortunately, the Basilica Cistern is not fully accessible for people with disabilities due to the steep staircase leading down to the entrance. However, there is a wheelchair lift available upon request.
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Yes, Turkey has several lesser-known UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the archaeological site of Aphrodisias, the Hittite capital of Hattusa, and the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, each offering unique historical and cultural experiences.