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"Yerebatan Saray" Basilica Cistern - Yerebatan Saray Tip by call_me_rhia

by call_me_rhia

The Yerebatan Saray is my second favourite sight in Istanbul: it's the old roman water reservoir. It's also well known as sunken basilica cistern because its interior looks like a church. Classical music is played, for more atmosphere.

It's built underground and has a tall ceiling, while inside, surrounded by water, there are 336 marble columns illuminated by a dim red light. If you have seen James Bond in "From Russia With Love" then you have seen the basilica: Biod is rowing a boat through its columns.

While you visit it, pay attention to the columns and spot the differences - and then head to the very end to see the medusa heads, you'll be charmed. And again, look for an unlit spot to see how it would have looked in roman times... eerie in a delightful way.

Address: sultanahmed
Directions: around the corner (and across the road) from Aya Sophia
Phone: +90 212 522 1259

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 23, 2005
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