Basilica Cistern, which is a popular destination for local and foreign tourists and visited by millions of people during the year, continues to fascinate its visitors with its close history of 1500 years.
Basilica Cistern Informations
The cistern, built to meet the water needs of the palace in the Byzantine period, still impresses with its eye-catching columns and the Medusa statue.
To day concerts held in the Basilica Cistern, which also hosts many art events today, open the doors of a magical world to the participants.
The cistern, built in 532, is the largest covered cistern in the city of Istanbul. The use of old pillars, especially in the construction, is still helping to maintain its ostentatious appearance. The special mortar plaster used for waterproofing is one of the most important features of the cistern. The cistern, where 7000 thousand slaves were operated during construction, was completed in 38 years. The tears on the pillars indicate a slave who died during the construction of the cistern. The fish, which is located in the cistern which is still enchanting its visitors with its perfect atmosphere and special historical texture, nowadays fish.
Legend of the Underground: Medusa
Medusa Head, one of the masterpieces of the Roman period, was taken from the structures and brought to the Basilica Cistern. According to one legend, Medusa is one of the three Gorgonas in Greek Mythology, the female monster of the underworld, and Medusa, the snake-head, has the power to turn the ministers to stone. According to the widespread belief of the period, Gorgon landscapes are used to protect large buildings and special places. This is why the Medusa head is brought to the Basilica Cistern. According to another rumor, Meduasa, a girl who boasts her black eyes, long hair and beautiful body, loves Perseus, the son of Zeus. Meanwhile, Athena, who loves Perseus, is also jealous of Medusa and therefore turns Medusa's hair to snake. Medusa, a snake-headed snake, who no longer boasted of its beauty, becomes a power charm in Byzantine as a gravure in sword holders or as a statue in columns. But, as in the Basilica Cistern, the ministers are portrayed as reverse to prevent the stone from being cut.
Basilica Cistern Entrance Fee and Opening Hours 2019
The entrance fee for the Basilica Cistern
10 TL for Turkish citizens
20 Turkish Lira for foreign visitors. Museum Card is not valid.
The Basilica Cistern is open hours
from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. Open to visit every day during the week.
How to get Basilica Cistern?
The Basilica Cistern is located Sultanahmet district, it very near to Hagia Sophia, just few steps walking distance.