Basilica Cistern (Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34410 Fatih/İstanbul) — One of the magnificent ancient buildings of İstanbul is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. Constructed for Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor (527-565), this big underground water reservoir is called as “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns. As there used to be a basilica in the place of the cistern, it is also called Basilica Cistern.
This mysterious venue is an integral part of the Istanbul itineraries and has been visited -among others- by the US former President Bill Clinton, Wim Kok the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Lamberto Dini, Former Minister of foreign Affairs of Italy, Göran Persson, Former Prime Minister of Sweden and Thomas Klestil, Former prime Minister of Austria until today. Currently operated by Kültür A.Ş. (Culture Co.), one of the affiliates of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the Basilica Cistern functions as a museum and is the home for many national and international events
Admission: 20 TL (foreign adult), 10 TL (local adult), 5 TL (student) . Hours: 9:00 am – 6:30 pm (daily).