Nakilbent Sarnıçı

Nakilbent Cistern

Useful Information

Location: In the cellar of the carpet store Nakkaş.
(41.0041, 28.9751)
Open: Open hours of the carpet store Nakkaş.
All year daily 10-18:30.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCistern
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Nakkaş, Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Nakilbent Sok. No:13, Fatih, Istanbul, 34122, Tel: +90-212-516-5222, Fax: +90-212-516-5223. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


6th century cistern constructed.
1989 store founded by Cengiz Karas and Cengiz Korkmaz with the name Galeri Cengiz.
2004 shop moved to Nakilbent Sokak and renamed Nakkaş Halı.


Nakilbent Sarnıçı (Nakilbent Cistern) is the cistern below the Turkish carpet shop. Sounds a bit like a bad joke, but actually the Byzantine cistern is located in the cellar of the shop. If you want to visit the cistern, just ask a salesperson in the shop. They will show you the staircase. There are exhibitions of local artists and even concerts underground.

And its actually quite impressive, the cistern renovation was financed by the shop owners. They even changed the building design and orientation to protect the cistern. The shop was built on a huge steel frame which spans across the top of the cistern. They have a detailed description and video on their website. Still the visit is free, but obviously they would be happy to sell a high quality carpet.

The cistern was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian (527-565). It was probably the water supply for the Great Palace of Constantinople. If not from the beginning then probably after the palace was expanded at the end of the 7th century during the reign of Justinian II. During the Ottoman era seven columns were reinforced with bricks.