Sarnıç Restaurant is located at the beginning of the mansions series on Soğukçeşme Street, where the historical Hagia Sophia houses are lined between Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia. It is a 1500-year-old structure with a high dome carried by 6 massive stone columns, which was a water cistern in the Roman period. The Cistern, which was used as an auto repair shop for a while, was restored by the Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey in the 1980s, restored to its former glory and turned into a Roman Tavern. The Cistern, which has been preserved intact in the historical peninsula, continues to exist as a restaurant today. Sarnıç Restaurant is a place that attracts attention in terms of reflecting the atmosphere of the Roman period with its medieval style.
Cisterns were the temporary water resources of Istanbul in the Roman Period. Drinking water brought by dams from various water sources outside the city walls was kept in cisterns, as they had storage feature. During the Roman period, these places mostly met the drinking water needs of the people of Istanbul. Cisterns were needed to collect fresh rainwater in cities built by the sea, since drinking water could be salty. For this reason, there are both underground ones and open-top pools. The cisterns are usually covered or built underground, as their constant exposure to the sun causes the water to deteriorate quickly. In the Ottoman Empire, cisterns were not used as according to the Islamic belief, stagnant water is not used. Traces of cisterns in social life were also seen in personal use. The best example of this is the small cisterns in the basements of old houses. In ancient times, rainwater taken from the roof was collected in small house cisterns.
Sarnıç Restaurant, having such a history, fascinates the visitors with its architectural and acoustic environment, and a unique experience is created with the original menu. Today, rather than storing water, Sarnıç Restaurant combines the art of cooking with an authentic ambiance and hosts many local and foreign visitors.