Sunday, January 08, 2012

Pammakaristos Church - Istanbul

The victorious Christ - one of the magnificent golden mosaics that has withstood the centuries
Pammakaristos Church in Istanbul is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. Hidden behind the rather gray facade is an 850 year old art treasure.

Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos - exterior
December 23rd 2009 we decided to take a ferry from central Istanbul up the Golden Horn to Balat, the area that once was the home of the majority of the city’s Jewish population.

There we visited the ancient Ahrida Synagogue, and St. Stephens Church. Then we looked for the Pammakaristos Church. It was not easy to find, but our quest were worthwhile.  

Pammakaristos Church, or the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos (Greek: Θεοτόκος ἡ Παμμακάριστος, "All-Blessed Mother of God") was built in the 12th century.

Byzantine masonry
It was used as a Christian house of worship until it was converted into Fethiye Mosque (Turkish: Fethiye Camii, "mosque of the conquest") in after the Muslims occupied the city.

Today the Pammakaristos Church is a museum and one of the most famous Byzantine churches in Istanbul, Turkey.

The exterior og the Pammakaristos Church is not very impressive, but rather grey and small. You expect the same to go on when you enter. The fact is, however, that the Pammakaristos church is highly ornate, packed with fantastic gilded mosaics. The small and narrow rooms are highlighted by this wonderful works of art, that even today glitter in the subtle lighting. 

The mosaics of the Pammakaristos Church
Central dome of the parekklesion with Christ Pantocrator with the prophets of the Old Testament
Christ Pantocrator (detail)
Mosaic of Saint Anthony
St. Gregor the Illuminator (top)
Mosaics of the magnificent Pammakaristos Church
Other sights of Istanbul, Turkey 
Location of the Pammakaristos Church

Vis Istanbul A-Z 2009 Updated January 6th 2010 i et større kart

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