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Cost: $5.68 USD (20.00 TRY)

Water Underground

Built by the unpaid labor of more than 7,000 slaves, the Basilica Cistern offers a calming place at which to cool off during a hot day of Turkish tourism.

Constructed with columns that were salvaged from ransacked temples, the cistern remains the largest underground water repository in Istanbul. The cistern itself lies beneath the Stoa Basilica, on the first of the seven fabled hills of Constantinople. At one point in time, the cistern was closed and forgotten. Fortunately, the cistern was rediscovered some years later and eventually reopened to the public in 1987 by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Utrip Tips

*Be sure to double check the hours before going, they change seasonally and the Basilica Cistern closes on religious holidays.

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