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Add Basilica Cistern to Your Must-Visit List in Istanbul

Istanbul is known as one of the greatest cities for sightseeing and cultural inspiration. Filled with extraordinary monuments, you feel the deep layers of our history everywhere. Along with cafes, shopping, theatrical events, and so much more, tourists are hard-pressed to leave as there is so much to see and do.

A Sightseeing Wonder

One of the many wonders of the Old City is the Basilica Cistern. In Turkish, the monument is called either Yerebatan Sarnici, sunken cistern, or Yerebatan Sarayi, sunken palace. No matter what name you use, it is certainly a must-see when you visit Istanbul. A perfect example of Roman-era engineering brilliance, construction began in early Roman times as then-Emperor Justinian recognized the need to create a more viable water supply for the city. It has become one of the primary sightseeing wonders in this city, which was once the capital of the Byzantine, Ottoman, Roman, and Latin empires.

The site originally featured the Stoa Basilica, which stood aboveground on the First Hill of Constantinople. During 3rd and 4th centuries, a Roman Catholic Basilica replaced the Stoa, serving as an artistic, legal, and commercial center for local inhabitants.  Surrounded by exquisite gardens and a grand colonnade, the Basilica faced the magnificent Hagia Sophia, providing a breathtaking view. When the site was ultimately turned into an underground cistern, it became famous for providing a well-functioning water filtration system for the populace, including the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on First Hill. It also served to supply the Topkapi Palace even after the Ottoman conquest in 1453, and well onward into the future.

A Perfect Day of Taking It All In

Within easy reach of neighboring sites, you can start your day at the Basilica Cistern and continue on to the Hagia Sofia, The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Gülhane Park, and other spots. Have lunch at any one of the marvelous local restaurants, and a Turkish coffee at a street café where you can watch the world go by.

Your Home Away from Home

Within walking distance to all of the sites of the Old City, Hotel Büyük Keban is the ideal spot to park your suitcase while taking in the Basilica Cistern and other sites in the Old City. Providing the perfect home away from home after a long day of exploration, you can enjoy our beautifully renovated rooms, along with eight recently built deluxe rooms. Exquisitely appointed, you can select anything from a single budget room to a family master suite, including rooms appropriate for those with special needs.

Relax After a Long Day

We know that it’s hard work going from one breathtaking monument to another, and that is why we have so many amenities at the Büyük Keban Hotel. Renew yourself at our onsite Turkish bath, sauna, and Jacuzzi; relax in our comfortable lounge area; and in the morning, take your fill of our renowned breakfast buffet to fuel up for the day’s activities.

Contact Us

For more information on Istanbul’s famed sites and our well-known hospitality, contact us today!

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