Istanbul – Day 6

This is potentially my last post for the trip as I suspect tomorrow will be a pretty lazy day and I’m not too sure anyone will want to be entertained by photographs of the process of buying a new suitcase.

Today was actually pretty lazy as well. We took our time leaving the hotel as we had to get everything packed up because we were moving rooms. For breakfast we shared the two portions of stuffed mussels that we had bought the day before.

The back of the church

After breakfast we slowly made our way out of the hotel and to the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (or Kariye Müzesi if you want the Turkish name). We had been warned that the church was pretty difficult to get to, but was actually just two tram rides away so not difficult at all so I would highly recommend it (we took the T1 to Topkapi and changed to the T4 and got off at Edimekapi, after which we walked in an easterly direction and then asked for directions). The church is even credited on Trip Advisor as a “HIDDEN GEM” if you need any more convincing after this post.

Showing how much has been lost but also how much still remains

I’m not too sure what the mosaics depict, possibly the dream of Joseph and the journey of the family to Bethlehem but I have no idea to be honest. The mosaics lie in the exonarthex right above the museum giftshop (no joke)

The church (now museum) is supposedly the best preserved Byzantine church that dates to around the 12th century (though the mosaics and frescoes date to the 15th century). The mosaics and frescoes are pretty well preserved in places because the church was converted into a mosque in the 16th century under the Ottomans, meaning the decoration was covered in plaster to rid the space of all figural representations. Some of the works that remains are absolutely stunning and it’s difficult to think that these were created some 600 years ago.

Fresco of the resurrection of Christ in the parecclesion of the church.

Of course given how I raved about the decoration of domes in Ayasofya and Topkapi Palace, I feel I should also mention a Christian example which was of course absolutely stunning. I think my sister said it was the best dome we had seen yet. This is of course arguable as they have all been pretty damn awesome to date.

The virgin and child painted on the dome of the parecclesion. Because she is surrounded by twelve figures I think it’s easy to assume these are the 12 apostles, but because of the wings I suppose this is just a court of angels. *shrug*

As always we also made a shit tonne of cat friends as there were about 20 cats chilling in the gardens of the museum. One even jumped on my lap, clambered onto my shoulders and started licking my face which was bizarre.

And then I thought I should probably reinforce the theme of preservation and destruction by showing you a picture I took of a nearby abandoned building – not really, I just thought I should include a non-church photograph in this post.

Cool abandoned building?

One Response to “Istanbul – Day 6”
  1. Cherizzle says:

    Great post, Kim! Your blogging is really coming along, good balance of photos, description, and your personal insight too. I’m enjoying it 🙂

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