Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern or "Yerebatan sarayi" in Turkish is a huge cistern beneath Istanbul constructed in 532 by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.

The Basillica Citern is an ancient building that was used to store the water and supply it to the Emperor Palace. Located near to the Sultanahmet square and Hagia Sophia, the cistern is a very authentic and magnificent place. It’s also known as “The Sunken Palace” for its 336 subterranean glorious columns.  

Among the hundreds cisterns spread under Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern is the largest one. Underground by 52 steps from the surface, it covers 1000 square meters and can store up to 80,000 cubic meters of water.

Next to the tram line, you can find the stairs that take to the Basilica cistern.