When it’s hot in Istanbul, Turkey there aren’t too many places to go to. The Yerebatan Sarnıcı or Basilica Cistern is one of those. Located close to the Ayasofya and the Blue Mosque the sunken palace offers a good refreshment. It dates back to the year 532 and the pillars of the cistern are today illuminated in different colours reflecting on the water.
The stones used to build the cistern have been brought here from different places and you should look out for special artwork. Highlights are the two heads of Medusa integrated into the pillars (upside down). Yerebatan Sarnıcı was a scene for different movies like From Russia with Love or The International. While I was in Istanbul I was reading Inferno by Dan Brown – not yet knowing that this book would end in Istanbul and that the cistern has a special role in it.
Yerebatan Sarnıcı, Basilica Cistern
Alemdar Mh.,Yerebatan Cd. 1/3