Exploring the Hidden Depths of the Theodosius Cistern

Under the busy streets of Istanbul lies a hidden marvel of old engineering: the Theodosius Cistern. Known locally as Şerefiye Sarnıcı, this underground water storage was built in the 5th century by Emperor Theodosius II of the Byzantine Empire. It is smaller than some other cisterns, covering about 1,125 square meters, but it shows impressive engineering and has a rich history.

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What to See Inside the Theodosius Cistern?


32 Majestic Columns

The Theodosius Cistern is held up by 32 marble columns, each about 9 meters tall. These columns are both strong and beautiful, with detailed carvings that add to the cistern’s charm.

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Contemporary Art Installations

Today, the Theodosius Cistern is also a place for art. Artists from Turkey and around the world display their work here, blending old and new styles.


Unique Sculptures

The Theodosius Cistern features interesting sculptures. These include carved column heads that were believed to protect against evil. They capture the interest of all visitors.

Stunning Reflections

The still water in the cistern creates amazing reflections of the columns and ceilings. The light and shadow on the water make the place feel magical and mysterious.

Ghostly Legends

The Theodosius Cistern has ghost stories that add to its appeal. Tales about the carved heads make the visit even more intriguing, even though they are not proven.

FAQs about what to see in Theodosius Cistern

The Theodosius Cistern is an old underground water storage in Istanbul, built in the 5th century by Emperor Theodosius II. It is important for its history and design.

There are 32 marble columns in the Theodosius Cistern, each about 9 meters tall. They are special because of their detailed carvings.

Yes, the cistern shows modern art by different artists, blending new art with the old structure.

The unique sculptures, like carved heads, are believed to protect against evil. They are interesting because of their historical and mythical meanings.

The Theodosius Cistern is a great place to visit because it has a mix of old architecture, fascinating legends, and beautiful reflections in the water, making it an interesting spot in Istanbul.