The Hagia Irene is the oldest Roman church to outlive in Istanbul at this time, and it’s open to the general public.

Hagia Irene Byzantine Church in Istanbul 

The Hagia Sophia was, for hundreds of years, the largest and most majestic of churches on this planet. It wasn’t till the fifteenth century that the Spanish Seville Cathedral overtook the size of the Hagia Sophia – round 800 years after it was constructed. The Hagia Sophia’s lovely structure impressed many subsequent church buildings and mosques. However the Hagia Sophia will not be the one Japanese Roman (or Byzantine) church to outlive to at the present time in Istanbul.

The second largest surviving Byzantine church in Istanbul is the Hagia Irene. There are a lot of spectacular Roman ruins surviving in Istanbul at this time – one among the most notable is the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople. One other is the famous Byzantine Galata Tower (which visitors can climb up).

Topkapi Palace Seen from the Bosherphus

Topkapi Palace Seen from the Bosherphus 

Historical past Of The Oldest & Second-Largest Roman Church In Istanbul

The Hagia Irene (Greek for “Holy Peace”) is an Japanese Orthodox Church and is situated within the outer courtyard of the beautiful Ottoman Palace – the place the Ottoman Sultans used to dwell. The Hagia Irene is situated throughout the Ottoman Topkapi Palace, which is one of the most extensive and best-preserved palaces to discover in and round Europe at this time.

It’s thought that the Hagia Irene occupies land that beforehand hosted a pagan temple. It was additionally the primary church accomplished in Constantinople because the outdated Greek buying and selling colony was being remodeled into the brand new capital of the Roman Empire (later Japanese Roman Empire / Byzantine Empire).

  • Constructed: 330 (Previous Constructing) 532 (Present Constructing)

Custom has it that the primary Hagia Irene church was commissioned by Constantine the Nice earlier than 337 AD. Nevertheless, the primary church succumbed to the harmful Nika revolt in 532 beneath Justinian I, and it burned down. Justinian I had it rebuilt (and he constructed the Hagia Sophia). It was later broken by an earthquake in 740, nevertheless it was repaired (among the restorations from this era survive at this time).

Stop 7. Istanbul, Turkey
Picture by Hussein Himmati on Unsplash

Cease 7. Istanbul, Turkey

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Hagia Irene Was Used As A Warehouse & Turned The First Turkish Museum

The Hagia Irene can be the oldest identified church to outlive from historical Constantinople and is the one Byzantine church within the metropolis that was by no means transformed to a mosque (the Hagia Sophia was constructed as a church, then transformed to a mosque, then turned a museum, and has lately been reconverted again to being a mosque). The Ottomans did exchange the highest that when adorned the highest of the dome with the Islamic crescent moon.

For a few of its later historical past, the Hagia Irene was used as a spot to retailer weapons (up till the nineteenth century). At this time it’s a museum and a live performance corridor.

The Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453, after which the Janissaries used the construction as a warehouse for army tools and trophies taken by the Turks all the best way as much as 1826. In 1726, it was transformed right into a Nationwide Navy Museum. In 1846, it was reconverted right into a army antiques museum and was later utilized by the Navy Museum between 1908 and 1978.

Interior of the Byzantine Church of Hagia Irene
MehmetO / Shutterstock

 Inside of the Byzantine Church of Hagia Irene

It was right here that the primary place of Turkish museology was born.

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What To Know About Visiting The Hagia Irene At this time

At this time the principle use of the Hagia Irene is to function a live performance corridor for classical music performances. It’s a famous venue for its extraordinary acoustics and its environment. It is without doubt one of the lesser-known points of interest of Istanbul, however one that’s simply as storied and even has the longest historical past of the church buildings and mosques of town.

It gives a stark distinction to the extra well-known Hagia Sophia. The Hagia Sophia is exceptionally busy, drawing plenty of crowds which impacts the expertise of visiting the monument. The Hagia Sophia can be a working mosque as soon as once more, so guests are required to decorate modestly, and women and men are required to segregate throughout occasions of prayer (there’s a separate part for ladies).

For a very long time, the Hagia Irene was solely open throughout occasions or for these with particular permission. Nevertheless, it has been open to the general public every day (aside from Tuesdays) since 2014.

  • Opening Hours: 9.00 am to six.00 pm
  • Closed: Tuesdays
  • Tackle: Cankurtaran, Topkapı Sarayı, No:1, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul
  • Entrance Charge: 120 ₺ ($6)

Ferries In Istanbul

Ferries In Istanbul

To get essentially the most out of visiting the Hagia Irene, guests ought to think about going with a professional tour guide. Turkish skilled tour guides are very pleasant and well-versed in historical past and are in a position to actually carry the outdated metropolis and monuments to life. The tour may be part of touring the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, the Harem, and different notable historic points of interest of town.

When planning a go to to Istanbul, you should definitely enable for sufficient time to see the various points of interest and lesser-known monuments of the traditional metropolis.

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