Şerefiye Cistern or Theodosius Cistern (Şerefiye Sarnıcı) is one of the many Byzantine Period cisterns located in the Historical Peninsula in the Fatih district of Istanbul. It is located south of the building block bordered by Divan Yolu Street, Piyer Loti Street, Boyacı Ahmet Street and Dostluk Yurdu Street.

Considering the historical topography of Constantinople during the Byzantine Period, the building is located south of the Ancient Mese road, southeast of the Forum of Constantine, and west of the Binbirdirek Cistern.

The structure was first documented by Forscheimer and Strzygowski in 1893. Kerim Altuğ examined the structure within the scope of his doctoral thesis in 2013.


Istanbul is located on a unfavourable peninsula in terms of water resources. Water needs are provided outside the city through transmission lines built since the Roman Period. Water brought from outside was stored in cisterns within the city. During the Theodosius Period (408-450), the city walls were expanded to the west, and the walls were constructed in 413.

Ancient written sources show that five cisterns were built in the city between 406 and 459. This great improvement in the city’s water storage capacity is associated with population growth and barbarian attacks on the city.

According to its construction technique, Şerefiye Cistern is dated to the 2nd quarter of the 5th century. It is thought that it was built during the Theodosian Period,so the name “Theodosius Cistern” was used.

The area is about 45 by 25 metres (148 by 82 ft), and the roof is supported by 32 marble columns about 9 metres (30 ft) high.

Like the Basilica Cistern and the Binbirdirek Cistern, it is again open to the public, having been under restoration for eight years as of April 2018.

An extraordinary laser show is included in the 30-minute excursion.

Address: Binbirdirek, Piyer Loti Cd. No:2/1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye.


Friday 10 AM–7 PM
Saturday 10 AM–7 PM
Sunday 10 AM–7 PM
Monday 10 AM–7 PM
Tuesday 10 AM–7 PM
Wednesday 10 AM–7 PM
Thursday 10 AM–7 PM

Phone: +90 212 568 60 80

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