Newly Restored Basilica Cistern Opens in Fatih

Newly Restored Basilica Cistern Opens in Fatih

Newly Restored Basilica Cistern Opens in Fatih

Istanbul is one of the richest cities in terms of historical buildings. It has seen many civilizations and cultures from the Roman Empire to the Turkish States. The Basilica Cistern, which is quite magnificent in terms of its cultural richness and architecture, started being restored in 2017 with a feverish work. The Basilica Cistern, inherited from the Byzantine Empire in the history of Istanbul, was opened to visitors after its restoration was completed in August 2022.

The Basilica Cistern, which opens its doors to many local and foreign tourists, can be visited with its splendor. The structure, which fascinates those who visit the cistern, gilds the lily of Istanbul.

History of Basilica Cistern

Because it was a basilica where the cistern was situated, the cistern, which is situated southwest of Hagia Sophia, earned the name "Basilica Cistern." The 140 meters long and 70 meters wide cistern was constructed by Justinianus, a Byzantine emperor. The columns of the cistern are typically cylindrical, with a few exceptions. Between 1955 and 1960, concrete was used to stabilize the cistern's central columns, which were at risk of collapsing. As a result, its original character has been lost.

This large cistern, which met the water needs of both the empire and the guests who came to the palace, is described as the only example of its kind in terms of architectural features. It has been attracting attention for years with its special engravings, grooved structure, and many other features. In addition, in terms of functionality, it was used by the Ottomans for a while after the Conquest of Istanbul in 1453. For a long time, the water needed for the gardens of Topkapı Palace was met from this cistern.

The cistern has undergone numerous restorations since it was built. It was renovated in 1725 by the architect Mehmet Ağa from Kayseri during the Ottoman Empire. Sultan II. The second repair was made during the reign of Abdülhamid. The cistern was cleared and opened to the public in 1987 by the Istanbul Municipality during the Republican period. In May 1994 it underwent another thorough cleaning and overhaul. Renovated in 2017, the Basilica Cistern has opened to visitors once again.

Basilica Cistern, which also includes the Medusa Head, which is thought to protect large structures, is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of Fatih. Do not leave Istanbul without visiting this place, which you can easily reach from the Grand Sirkeci Hotel.