Best Things to Do in Turkey: Basilica Cisterns Istanbul

Best Things to Do in Turkey: Basilica Cisterns Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul is the largest of hundreds of ancient cisterns that can be found beneath the city of Istanbul. It was built during the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. The artificial underground freshwater lakes are longer than the length of two football fields and hold up vaulted brick ceilings with pillars that were scavenged from Roman ruins. Visitors can rent rowboats and float through the masterpiece to explore the majestic architecture of the past and the cisterns unique attributes. Visitors can hear stories from the locals about whether the placement of Roman ruins such as a statue of Medusa’s head were specifically placed to show power or whether they were just randomly put together for the sake of construction.