Basilica cistern has become one of the spookiest place for me. If you see the pictures on google search, you will think like 'Oh wow nice.. yellowish inside'. In fact, it is dark. DARK. For me who have a bad sight, it is dark. Imagine you are having a candle light dinner (atau nyalain lilin sebiji pas mati lampu demi menerangi satu rumah gede).
I went there two times. First with HJ, second time with parents in law. Ticket was Lira 20.
First impression was 'wow... great... wow...' and then 'uhh why is so dark here?' then 'pakkkkkkk auh my feet hit something. I barely see anything' (Lebay sih). But it was like that. Did you watch Inferno? This place is on Inferno's scene. (I didn't watch Inferno actually, I knew it from HJ lol).
It is impressive inside. A water tank, uhmm yea let say water tank, underground water tank was built around 3rd and 4th century. It is located close to Ayasofya, around 5-10 mins walking. Especially the exit is really close to ayasofya entrance.
Why they build this cistern? Of course because they need water lol. Okay ya they smart enough and built reservoirs. Oh this Basilica Cistern isn't the only one, this one only the biggest one from hundred of cisterns. As the story goes... a lot to sacrifice to build this cistern (iya semacem candi pembangunan rel kereta api di Jawa kala itu lah ya... banyak korban).
First thing you will see inside this cistern is a photo booth 😛 They rent out the dresses of old Constantine and make photo for that. It cost around USD 10-20 I believe (I was converting the currency to IDR and have an idea it was around 200-300k). We just leave and continue the trip. Ah don't worry they accept credit card lol. It's modern tho (not in 3rd century anymore lol).
Now the path you gonna walk is little bit darker. Ah yeah the most bright spot was that photo booth. So here you might have limited visibility as I was (maklum mata empat). They have lights but not that bright (mungkin cuman 5 watt aja), so if you wan't to take photo here then you should bring a good camera, or camera with flashlight, or whatever you need to make it brighter. It was actually good spot to take photo.
This place still have water there, filled up maybe 30cm only. There are some fish as well.
Uh yeah lets keep walking...
Next you will see the pillar with the same pattern as you see here. They said this is the delineation of workers there who died during constructing this cistern. Their tears. And believe it or not, water is coming out from this pillar. That is why they said this is the tears of the workers, they cry. Uhmm... yea those story happen in almost every old places hehe.
Then... walk a bit further, you gonna see medusa. Eits! Don't worry. Only the statue. Not the real medusa. But hey to be honest first time came there I was thinking that medusa was alive and I have to be careful because they can turn me into the stone if I see the medusa right on their eyes 😂. Until I saw it with my own eyes that it was only statue, that turns 90 degree, 180 degree and I was thinking who did that, and for what. No idea. Well.. there is the story for that but you can google it 😝
They still restored some part of this cistern. The opposite part of entrance (which is exit part) is under renovation. It keeps on renovation work I think. At the exit way, you will find a survey about your experience there (cuman tombol doang pake emoji haha), and a flyer about Basilica cistern and written in several languages (couldn't find in Indonesian).
Personal feeling, this cistern give me ghost bump. I felt like there are a lot of kuntilanak hanging around there in each pillar up there 😂 first time was that spooky but second time it was ok.
Nanti lah saya update lagi kalo flyer nya ketemu. Flyernya masih fly somewhere ini. And didn't take too many photos inside.