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Underground Cistern (Basilica Cistern)

Underground Cistern (Basilica Cistern)

Also known as the “Basilica Cistern” the underground cistern was a water storage built during the reign of East Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian between 532-537AD.


It is the largest cistern in the city. – 140m (459 feet) long and 70m (229 feet) wide – 336 columns (12 row, 18 columns per row) – approximately 100 thousand tonnes of water capacity.


Since 1987 Underground Cistern is a museum. Some scenes of the James Bond movie “From Russia with Love was filmed here.


Medusa statue heads, which were used as bases for two different columns, are the most popular attractions of the museum.

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