Basilica Cistern Tours

Basilica Cistern was built around 527-565 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I on the First Hill of İstnabul to meet the city’s water needs. It has been known that there was a great Basilica there between the 3rd and 4th centuries that in Early Roman era it was the commercial, legal and artistic center.


Inside the Cistern, there are 336 columns are rising to 9m high and "Medusa column bases" with "The Peacock-eyed column", are the most favorite tourist sides. There is no information about where was the Medusa column bases came from but according to a myth Medusa is protecting the cistern. The Peacock-eyed column, on the other hand, is a wishing place today but in history, it was settled as a monument to remember the seven thousand slaves who died while working on its construction. Basilica Cistern was a forgotten site during the Ottoman period since it was rediscovered by Dutch traveler P. Gyllius.


It is a favored location for popular culture that 1963 James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”, “The International (2009)”, Assassin's Creed: Revelations (2011), Brotherhood of Tears' (2013), and Dan Brown’s novel "Inferno" and adaptation movie (2016) all have scenes here.

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