Basilica Cistern


This large underground cistern, built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565), was popularly called “Yerebatan Sarayi (the sunken palace)” because of the marble columns that rise from the water which look like countless. Since a Basilica was previously located on the site of the cistern, it is also referred to as the Basilica Cistern. The Basilica Cistern, which covered a large area in the Byzantine period and met the water needs of the great palace where the emperors resided, and the other residents in the region, used by the Ottomans for a while after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the Gardens of Topkapi Palace where the Sultans lived was given water from it.