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Explore the subterranean water reservoir, located 150 metres (490 ft) southwest of the Hagia Sophia. It was built in the 6th century, on the site of a 3rd-century basilica, to store fresh water for the palace and nearby buildings. People used to get water and even catch fish from the holes in their basements. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 the reservoir was used to water the plants in the gardens of Topkapi Palace. In 1963 Basilica Cistern was used for shooting scenes of the James Bond film 'From Russia with Love'.
Known as the Sunken Palace, the underground chamber has the capacity to store 100,000 tons of water. The ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns that appear to have been recycled from the ruins of older buildings. This well-preserved marvel of architecture is the largest of several hundred Byzantine cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul.
Photo: Sergey Dzyuba, Shutterstock
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November – February
Routing & Sample dates:
Milan – Istanbul SAW – Milan
Departure: Nov 3, 4, 12, 16, Jan 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20,
Return: Nov 16, 17, 22, 23, 25, 29, 29, Dec 1, Jan 20, 26, 28, 29, 31, Feb 1, 3,
One cabin bag.
Canceled or delayed flight within the last 3 years?
You may be entitled to be reimbursed up to €600 for flight cancellations. File you claim with AirHelp >>
5* DoubleTree By Hilton Istanbul – Piyalepasa features an indoor pool, jacuzzi and sauna and luxurious air conditioned rooms with stylish decoration, flat-screen TV and satellite channels, ensuite bathroom, minibar, desk and free wifi.
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Delayed or cancelled flight
Did you have a delayed or cancelled flight? Get up to €600 per passenger for flights from the last 3 years. File your claim >>
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