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Best Hotel to Stay when Visiting the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

There’s no question that Istanbul is an amazing vacation destination - the only real questions are where to stay and what to do! Istanbul is a paradise for history buffs, and the city’s Historic Peninsula offers an amazing wealth of sights and sites including the Topkapı Palace, the Gülhane Park, the Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Another astonishing highlight of the historical area is a low-lying one: the underground Basilica Cistern. If you are planning a visit to Istanbul, consider staying at the Hotel Büyük Keban, conveniently located within easy walking distance of the Basilica Cistern and all of the wonders of central Istanbul.

Explore Istanbul’s Remarkable Cultural Heritage through its Ancient Monuments

As the world’s only city located on two continents, Istanbul is known as the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Its unique historical role has seen it serve as capital of four great empires - the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. This remarkable history, coupled with its importance to a variety of religious traditions, has underscored it one-of-a-kind cultural heritage.  Perhaps one of Istanbul’s most impressive sights for visitors is one that rests below eye level, an astonishing feat of engineering whose construction reflected the city’s growing dominance in the Early Roman Age. The Basilica Cistern, known in Turkish as the Yerebatan Sarnıcı (“sunken cistern”) or Yerebatan Sarayı (“sunken palace”), was built nearly fifteen centuries ago by Emperor Justinian to meet the water needs of the growing metropolis.

The Byzantine emperor originally had the structure built in the 6th century under the Stoa Basilica, which then stood above ground on the First Hill of Constantinople. A great Roman Catholic Basilica stood on the site during the Third and Fourth centuries and was a commercial, legal and artistic center, prior to its being turned into an underground cistern. According to ancient texts, the basilica was surrounded by opulent gardens as well as a colonnade, and faced the Hagia Sophia. The growing populace of ancient Constantinople had increasingly large needs for water, and Justinian had the cistern constructed to provide a water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople along with other buildings on the First Hill. The engineering marvel continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace even after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times.

Convenient and affordable hotel on Istanbul’s Historic Peninsula

The Hotel Büyük Keban is a completely renovated, affordable quality hotel serving travelers for over 40 years. Ideally located within walking distance of the Basilica Cistern and all the wonders of the Historic Peninsula, it is a great place to come home to after a lively day of explorations. Treat yourself to a good night’s sleep on the wonderfully comfortable mattresses in our well-appointed rooms, enjoy our fabulous huge breakfast buffet, and take advantage of our on-site spa facilities, complete with traditional Turkish bath, sauna, and jacuzzi. We offer a range of room sizes and styles to suit each visitor’s taste, from single budget rooms to family master suites and everything in between, including disabled-friendly rooms. We would love to show you what we have to offer - contact us today to book your stay with us in amazing Istanbul!

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