Yerebatan Sarayı translates as "Sunken Palace." It's Istanbul's largest underground cistern -- a remnant of the Romans ... More
Yerebatan Sarayı (Yerebatan Basilica Cistern)
Yerebatan Sarayı translates as "Sunken Palace." It's Istanbul's largest underground cistern -- a remnant of the Romans -- and the only one renovated and opened for public viewing. Today Yerebatan Sarayı is a major tourist attraction and offers a cool respite from Istanbul's searing summer heat. Pulsing lights, water dripping from the ceiling and eerie music played over strategically placed speakers add an air of mystery to the place. Note the two large Medusa heads supporting columns on the north side of the cistern. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the whole cistern. A small entrance fee applies. Fun fact: James Bond canoed his way through the cistern in a scene from From Russia With Love!
Reviews for Yerebatan Sarayı (Yerebatan Basilica Cistern): 8
By A Yahoo Contributor, 6/20/06
Wow it is AMAZING! So magical inside. Very old and beautiful. A huge place! The water dripping from the cieling above and the dim lights make it very romantic. There are also little fish swimming in the water. The colomns are huge and there are lots of them. Also a good place for Greek Mythology! Its a must see perhaps with some one special. Romantic place I think!
It was a hauntingly beautiful experience. There are colored lights on some of the columns so you can see the extent of the cictern. It is HUGE! The arches can go as far as the light allows. They were very quietly playing classical music in the background but you could still hear the dripping and see the water under your feet rippling. Some of the columns there were taken from use at other places so you can find medusa carved blocks under some columns and one that looks like tears dropps were carved on it. There were some sculptures set in and above the water when we were there that lent to the atmosphere. I was glad that I took a sweater with me because it was cool and damp in the cicterns. I found it well worth seeing and would go back