ŞEREFİYE CISTERN OPENED AFTER 8-YEAR RESTORATIONBuilt between 428-443, in the era of Byzantine emperor Theodosius II, the Şerefiye (Theodosius) Cistern was opened with a ceremony after an eight-year restoration work undertaken by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
Arif Pasha Mansion, built in 1910, and the old building of Eminönü Municipality built in the 1950's were located on the Şerefiye Cistern, which has an history of more than 1500 years. The restoration work of the cistern had started with the demolition of the old municipal building in 2010.
Istanbul could easily be labeled as a "water civilization" not only because it has the Bosphorus, but also due to the structures built in the Roman-Byzantium period, such as public baths, fountains, aqueducts and cisterns, whose number increased in the Ottoman era. The Şerefiye Cistern, which is among the three biggest reservoirs of Istanbul together with the Basilica Cistern (opened to visitors in 1987) and the Cistern of Philoxenos (used as museum since 2002), is one of the historical structures that gives Istanbul such an identity.
Talking in the ceremony for the re-opening of the cistern after eight years, the Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin pointed out this notion too: "The Şerefiye Cistern is one of the best works that shows how on this land the water civilization was established before and during the Byzantine Empire, and how the Ottomans preserved this legacy, enriching it architecturally and technically with a sense of continuation."
Also talking in the opening ceremony, Mayor of Istanbul Mevlüt Uysal stated that with the Şerefiye Cistern, another historical site is being presented to the benefit of Istanbulites and visitors. He said, "There have been other cisterns we have been visiting. After the Basilica Cistern and the Cistern of Philoxenos, now we have the Şerefiye Cistern". The mayor told that the greatness of the civilization that Istanbul carries, becomes more clear when one takes into consideration all the historical sites in Istanbul: "Istanbul was the capital of three civilizations. The cisterns, indeed, are the witness, proof, and indicator of this fact."
Located on the Pierre Loti Ave., the Şerefiye Cistern could be visited everyday between 10:00-19:00.