The gorgeous newly reopened Serefiye Cistern is approx 100 years older than the Basilica Cistern that is now closed for repairs. Can you imagine constructing a 1,125 square-metre, nine metre-high ceiling held up by 32 marble columns 1600 years ago? It was one of a 250 km-long system that brought fresh water from the Belgrad Forest north of the city
You will be privy to seeing a real treasure only discovered in 2010. The last thing built on this site 'over' the cistern was a Municipality Building. It was demolished in 2010 and the Şerefiye Cistern undiscovered for 1600 years, was unearthed 'without damage' to the historical treasure.
All of the Corinthian decorations with impost blocks were made of Marmara Island marble and specific to the Cistern. The column tops are decorated with acanthus (bear’s-paw) leaves. The interior walls of the monument are covered with waterproof plaster while the corners are curved to withstand water pressure. The walls are about 2.5 meters thick.
FYI: There is an elevator for ease in descending.