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Theodosius Cistern (Serefiye Cistern)

Theodosius Cistern (Serefiye Cistern)

This 5th century underground cistern is the latest renovated cistern in İstanbul though it is one of the oldest water reservoirs of the city. It was built at the time of Theodosius II who ruled between 408-450 AD.


This 1600 year old cistern with her beautiful Roman columns was supplying water for the Great Palace. The height of the ceiling is 11 meters and the space is 24 meters to 40 meters. The beautiful Roman columns that are carved in Corinthian style were built with the marble that came from the island in the south of Sea of Marmara. The walls were covered with a special material that did not suck the water in. The thickness of the walls are 2.5 meters.


Following the renovation, the cistern was lit with impressive lighting today and every hour they have a 3D show that enables the audience to experience the venue in three dimensions and tells the story of ‘water’ in İstanbul during different ages. This is the oldest structure in the world that has a 360 degrees projection mapping system. The show lasts 10 minutes.


The cistern is also used as a space for classical Turkish, classical Western and baroque music concerts from time to time.

The cistern is open everyday from 9 am to 7 pm. First 3D show is at 9am and the last one is at 6pm.

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