Hagia Irene or Hagia Eirene, sometimes known as Saint Irene, is a Greek Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the few churches in Istanbul; the Hagia Irene today operates as a concert hall. The church was dedicated to the peace of God, is one of the three shrines which emperors devoted to God's attributes, together with Hagia Sophia and Hagia Dynamis; the building reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. It ranks as the first church completed in Constantinople, before Hagia Sophia, during its transfiguration from a Greek trading colony to the eastern capital of the Roman Empire. According to tradition, the Roman emperor Constantine I commissioned the first Hagia Irene church in the 4th century, completed by the end of his reign, it served as the church of the Patriarchate before Hagia Sophia was completed in 360 under Constantius II. During the Nika revolt in 532, Hagia Irene was burned down. Emperor Justinian I had the church rebuilt in 548.
It was damaged again by an earthquake on October 20, 740, about six months before the death of Leo III. The Emperor Constantine V ordered the restorations and had its interior decorated with mosaics and frescoes; some restorations from this time have survived to the present. Reconstruction during the reign of Justinian I shows change in the architecture of the atrium and narthex, which stayed intact after the earthquake. Restoration after the earthquake created a stronger foundation for the church. Before being rebuilt, the foundation had significant structural problems; this restoration established a cross-domed plan on the gallery level while still being able to keep the original basilica plan at the ground level. The narthex can be found to the west, preceded by the atrium, the apse on the east side. Hagia Irene still holds its dome and has peaked roofs on the north and south sides of the church; the dome itself has twenty windows. Hagia Irene has the typical form of a Roman basilica, consisting of a nave and two aisles, which are divided by three pairs of piers.
This helps support the galleries above the narthex. Semicircular arches are attached to the capitals which helps give support to the galleries above. Art inside the church In Byzantine tradition, there is a unique vestige of the Iconoclastic art within the church; the apse semidome and the bema arch are covered with mosaics. There are the frescoes which can be found on the south side aisle; these mosaics date back to about the 8th century. This was during the time of the earthquake which most of the upper parts of the church can date back to. There is a mosaic of a cross, outlined in black with a gold background; the ends are flared along with having teardrop shapes at the end. This extends around the base of the semidome; the cross was put in during the reconstruction by Constantine V, during the Iconoclastic years. On the bema arch there is an inscription of Psalm 64 verses 4-5 on the inner sider, on the outer side there is an inscription of Amos 6 verse 6. There is evidence of alterations on these inscriptions as well.
The inscriptions detail a praise to the church. The verses the Psalm, were used as inspiration for some of the mosaics in Hagia Sophia. Hagia Irene holds a synthronon. Synthronons are rows of built benches. During Divine Liturgy this is; this is the only synthronon. The synthronon in Hagia Irene has six tiers of seats. There are doors at both side; the cross on top of the dome has been replaced by the conquering Ottomans with the symbol of Islam, the crescent moon. After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed II, the church was enclosed inside the walls of the Topkapi palace; the Janissaries used the church as an arsenal until 1826. It was used as a warehouse for military equipment and repository for trophies of arms and military regalia taken by the Turks. During the reign of Sultan Ahmet III it was converted into the National Military Museum in 1726. In 1846, Marshal of the Imperial Arsenal, Ahmed Fethi Paşa, made the church a military antiques museum, it was used as the Military Museum from 1908 until 1978 when it was turned over to the Turkish Ministry of Culture.
Today, the Hagia Irene serves as a concert hall for classical music performances, due to its extraordinary acoustic characteristics and impressive atmosphere. Many of the concerts of the Istanbul International Music Festival have been held here every summer since 1980. In 2000, the Turkish haute couture designer Faruk Saraç produced a special show here. A collection of 700 designed pieces inspired by the Ottoman sultans, including the robes of 36 sultans ranging from Osman Gazi, the founder of the Ottoman Empire to the last sultan, Mehmed VI, were on display; the show was accompanied by music and the story of the sultans' lives and demonstrations of Ottoman-era dancing. For many years, the Hagia Irene was only accessible during events or by special permission, but the museum has been open to the public every day except Tuesday since January 2014. Hagia Irene History of Roman and Byzantine domes Akşit, I.. Hagia Sophia: Akşit Kültür ve Turizm Yayincilik. ISBN 978-975-7039-07-5. Bogdanovic Jelena, "Hagia Eirene", 2008, Encyclopedia of the Hellenic World, Constantinople Davis, Fanny.
Palace of Topkapi in Istanbul. ASIN B000NP64Z2. Freely
Kalenderhane Mosque is a former Eastern Orthodox church in Istanbul, converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. With high probability the church was dedicated to the Theotokos Kyriotissa; the building is sometimes referred to as St. Mary Diaconissa; this building represents one among the few extant examples of a Byzantine church with domed Greek cross plan. The mosque is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, Turkey, in the picturesque neighborhood of Vefa, lies to the south of the easternmost extant section of the aqueduct of Valens, less than one km to the southeast of the Vefa Kilise Mosque; the first building on this site was a Roman bath, followed by a sixth-century hall church with an apse laying up against the Aqueduct of Valens. – in the seventh century – a much larger church was built to the south of the first church. A third church, which reused the sanctuary and the apse of the second one, can be dated to the end of the twelfth century, during the late Comnenian period, it may date to between 1197 and 1204, since Constantine Stilbes alluded to its destruction in a fire in 1197.
The church was surrounded by monastery buildings, which disappeared during the Ottoman period. After the Latin conquest of Constantinople, the building was used by the Crusaders as a Roman Catholic church, officiated by Franciscan clergy. After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the church was assigned by Mehmed II to the Kalenderi sect of the Dervish; the Dervishes used it as a zaviye and imaret, the building has been known since as Kalenderhane. The Waqf was endowed with several properties in Thrace, many hamams in Istanbul and Galata; some years Arpa Emini Mustafa Efendi built a Mektep and a Medrese. In 1746, Hacı Beşir Ağa, the Kizlar Ağası of the Topkapı Palace, built a mihrab and mahfil, completing the conversion of the building into a mosque. Ravaged by fire and damaged by earthquakes, the mosque was restored in 1855 and again between 1880 and 1890, it was abandoned in the 1930s, after the collapse of the minaret due to lightning, the demolition of the Medrese. The conservation of the building dates from the 1970s, when it was extensively restored and studied in a ten-year effort by Cecil L. Striker and Doğan Kuban, who restored its twelfth century condition.
Moreover, the minaret and the mihrab were rebuilt. The restoration provided a solution to the problem of the dedication of the church: while before it was thought that the church was named after Theotokos tēs Diakonissēs or Christos ho Akatalēptos, the discovery of a donor fresco in the southeastern chapel and of another fresco over the main entrance to the narthex both bearing the word "Kyriotissa", makes probable that the church was dedicated to the Theotokos Kyriotissa; the building has a central Greek Cross plan with deep barrel vaults over the arms, is surmounted by a dome with 16 ribs. The structure has a middle Byzantine brickwork with alternating layers of brick and stone masonry; the entry is via an exonarthex in the west side. An upper gallery over the esonarthex, following the same plan of the one existing in the Church of the Pantokrator, was removed in 1854; the north and south aisles along the nave were destroyed during the nineteenth century too. The tall triple arches connecting the aisles with the nave are now the lower windows of the church.
The sanctuary is on the east side. Two small chapels named prothesis and diakonikon, typical of the Byzantine churches of the middle and late period have survived; the interior decoration of the church, consisting of beautiful colored marble panels and moldings, of elaborated icon frames, is extant. The building possesses two features which both represent a unicum in Istanbul: a mosaic, one meter square, representing the "Presentation of Christ", the only pre-iconoclastic exemplar of a religious subject surviving in the city, a cycle of frescoes of the thirteenth century portraying the life of Saint Francis of Assisi; this is the oldest known representation of the saint, may have been painted only a few years after his death in 1226. Both have now been detached and restored, can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul; as a whole, the mosque of Kalenderhane represents – together with the Gül Mosque in Istanbul, the Church of Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki and the Church of the Dormition in in Iznik, one of the main architectural examples of a domed Greek cross church from the Byzantine middle period.
History of Roman and Byzantine domes Mathews, Thomas F.. The Byzantine Churches of Istanbul: A Photographic Survey. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0-271-01210-0. Gülersoy, Çelik. A Guide to Istanbul. Istanbul: Istanbul Kitaplığı. OCLC 3849706. Müller-Wiener, Wolfgang. Bildlexikon zur Topographie Istanbuls: Byzantion, Istanbul bis zum Beginn d. 17 Jh. Tübingen: Wasmuth. ISBN 978-3-8030-1022-3. Krautheimer, Richard. Architettura paleocristiana e bizantina. Turin: Einaudi. ISBN 978-88-06-59261-5. John. Blue Guide Istanbul. W. W. Norton & Company. IS
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire, or Eastern Roman Empire. The Byzantine era is dated from 330 CE, when Constantine the Great moved the Roman capital to Byzantium, which became Constantinople, until the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. However, there was no hard line between the Byzantine and Roman empires, early Byzantine architecture is stylistically and structurally indistinguishable from Roman architecture; this terminology was introduced by modern historians to designate the medieval Roman Empire as it evolved as a distinct artistic and cultural entity centered on the new capital of Constantinople rather than the city of Rome and its environs. Its architecture influenced the medieval architecture throughout Europe and the Near East, became the primary progenitor of the Renaissance and Ottoman architectural traditions that followed its collapse. Early Byzantine architecture drew upon earlier elements of Roman architecture. Stylistic drift, technological advancement, political and territorial changes meant that a distinct style resulted in the Greek cross plan in church architecture.
Buildings increased in geometric complexity and plaster were used in addition to stone in the decoration of important public structures, classical orders were used more mosaics replaced carved decoration, complex domes rested upon massive piers, windows filtered light through thin sheets of alabaster to illuminate interiors. Most of the surviving structures are sacred in nature, with secular buildings known only through contemporaneous descriptions. Prime examples of early Byzantine architecture date from the Emperor Justinian I's reign and survive in Ravenna and Istanbul, as well as in Sofia. One of the great breakthroughs in the history of Western architecture occurred when Justinian's architects invented a complex system providing for a smooth transition from a square plan of the church to a circular dome by means of pendentives. In Ravenna, the longitudinal basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, the octagonal, centralized structure of the church of San Vitale, commissioned by Emperor Justinian but never seen by him, was built.
Justinian's monuments in Istanbul include the domed churches of Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene, but there is an earlier, smaller church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, which might have served as a model for both in that it combined the elements of a longitudinal basilica with those of a centralized building. Secular structures include the ruins of the Great Palace of Constantinople, the innovative walls of Constantinople and Basilica Cistern. A frieze in the Ostrogothic palace in Ravenna depicts an early Byzantine palace. Hagios Demetrios in Thessaloniki, Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai, Jvari Monastery in present-day Georgia, three Armenian churches of Echmiadzin all date from the 7th century and provide a glimpse on architectural developments in the Byzantine provinces following the age of Justinian. Remarkable engineering feats include the 430 m long Sangarius Bridge and the pointed arch of Karamagara Bridge; the period of the Macedonian dynasty, traditionally considered the epitome of Byzantine art, has not left a lasting legacy in architecture.
It is presumed that Basil I's votive church of the Theotokos of the Pharos and the Nea Ekklesia served as a model for most cross-in-square sanctuaries of the period, including the Cattolica di Stilo in southern Italy, the monastery church of Hosios Lukas in Greece, Nea Moni of Chios, the Daphni Monastery near Athens. The cross-in-square type became predominant in the Slavic countries which were progressively Christianized by missionaries during the Macedonian period; the Hagia Sophia church in Ochrid, the eponymous cathedral in Kiev testify to a vogue for multiple subsidiary domes set on drums, which would gain in height and narrowness with the progress of time. In Istanbul and Asia Minor the architecture of the Komnenian period is non-existent, with the notable exceptions of the Elmali Kilise and other rock sanctuaries of Cappadocia, of the Churches of the Pantokrator and of the Theotokos Kyriotissa in Istanbul. Most examples of this architectural style and many of the other older Byzantine styles only survive on the outskirts of the Byzantine world, as most of the most significant and ancient churches/ buildings were in Asia Minor, but in World War I all churches that ended up within Turkish borders were destroyed,converted into mosques, or abandoned in the Greek and Christian genocides spanning from 1915–1923.
Only national forms of architecture can be found in abundance due to this. Those styles can be found in many Transcaucasian countries; the Paleologan period is well represented in a dozen former churches in Istanbul, notably St Saviour at Chora and St Mary Pammakaristos. Unlike their Slavic counterparts, the Paleologan architects never accented the vertical thrust of structures; as a result, there is little grandeur in the late medieval architecture of Byzantium. The Church of the Holy Apostles is cited as an archetypal structure of the late period, when the exterior walls were intricately decorated with complex brickwork patterns or with glazed ceramics. Other churches from the years predati
Byzantine Iconoclasm refers to two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire when the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities within the Eastern Church and the temporal imperial hierarchy. The "First Iconoclasm", as it is sometimes called, existed between about 726 and 787; the "Second Iconoclasm" was between 814 and 842. According to the traditional view, Byzantine Iconoclasm was started by a ban on religious images by Emperor Leo III and continued under his successors, it was accompanied by widespread destruction of images and persecution of supporters of the veneration of images. The Western church remained in support of the use of images throughout the period, the whole episode widened the growing divergence between the Eastern and Western traditions in what was still a unified church, as well as facilitating the reduction or removal of Byzantine political control over parts of Italy. Iconoclasm, Greek for "breaker of icons", is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments for religious or political motives.
People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any person who breaks or disdains established dogmata or conventions. Conversely, people who revere or venerate religious images are derisively called "iconolaters", they are known as "iconodules", or "iconophiles". These terms were, not a part of the Byzantine debate over images, they have been brought into common usage by modern historians and their application to Byzantium increased in the late twentieth century. The Byzantine term for the debate over religious imagery, "iconomachy" means "struggle over images" or "image struggle". Iconoclasm has been motivated theologically by an Old Covenant interpretation of the Ten Commandments, which forbade the making and worshipping of "graven images"; the two periods of iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire during the 8th and 9th centuries made use of this theological theme in discussions over the propriety of images of holy figures, including Christ, the Virgin and saints.
It was a debate triggered by changes in Orthodox worship, which were themselves generated by the major social and political upheavals of the seventh century for the Byzantine Empire. Traditional explanations for Byzantine iconoclasm have sometimes focused on the importance of Islamic prohibitions against images influencing Byzantine thought. According to Arnold J. Toynbee, for example, it was the prestige of Islamic military successes in the 7th and 8th centuries that motivated Byzantine Christians to adopt the Islamic position of rejecting and destroying devotional and liturgical images; the role of women and monks in supporting the veneration of images has been asserted. Social and class-based arguments have been put forward, such as that iconoclasm created political and economic divisions in Byzantine society. On the other hand, the wealthier Greeks of Constantinople and the peoples of the Balkan and Italian provinces opposed Iconoclasm. Re-evaluation of the written and material evidence relating to the period of Byzantine Iconoclasm by scholars including John Haldon and Leslie Brubaker has challenged many of the basic assumptions and factual assertions of the traditional account.
Christian worship by the sixth century had developed a clear belief in the intercession of saints. This belief was influenced by a concept of hierarchy of sanctity, with the Trinity at its pinnacle, followed by the Virgin Mary, referred to in Greek as the Theotokos or Meter Theou, the saints, living holy men and spiritual elders, followed by the rest of humanity. Thus, in order to obtain blessings or divine favour, early Christians, like Christians today, would pray or ask an intermediary, such as the saints or the Theotokos, or living fellow Christians believed to be holy, to intercede on their behalf with Christ. A strong sacramentality and belief in the importance of physical presence joined the belief in intercession of saints with the use of relics and holy images in early Christian practices. Believers would, make pilgrimages to places sanctified by the physical presence of Christ or prominent saints and martyrs, such as the site of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Relics, or holy objects which were a part of the remains, or had come into contact with, the Virgin or a saint, were widely utilized in Christian practices at this time.
Relics, a embedded part of veneration by this period, provided physical presence of the divine but were not infinitely reproducible, still required believers to undertake pilgrimage or have contact with somebody who had. The use and abuse of images had increased during this period, had generated a growing opposition among many in the church, although the progress and extent of these views is now unclear. Images in the form of mosaics and paintings were used in churches and other places such as over city gates, had since the reign of Justinian I been taking on a spiritual significance of their own, regarded at least in the popular mind as capable of possessing capacitie
Navarinou Square is a square in the city of Thessaloniki in Greece. It is named after the Battle of a crucial battle of the Greek War of Independence; the square dates back to the Roman period of the city, with the ruins of the palace of Galerius located within it. The square is beside the "Hippodromus Square", the ancient site of Hippodrome where the Massacre of Thessalonica took place during the reign of Theodosius I. Today Navarinou is a popular meeting place amongst the student population of the city. Navarinou Square
Murad II was the Ottoman Sultan from 1421 to 1444 and 1446 to 1451. Murad II's reign was marked by the long war he fought against the Christian feudal lords of the Balkans and the Turkish beyliks in Anatolia, a conflict that lasted 25 years, he was brought up in Amasya, ascended the throne on the death of his father Mehmed I. His mother was his father's third consort, their marriage served as an alliance between the Ottomans and this buffer state, produced a son, Mehmed II, who would go on to conquer the Byzantine Empire's capital, Constantinople, in 1453. Murad was born in June 1404 to Sultan Mehmed I and his wife Emine Hatun, he spent his early childhood in Amasya. In 1410, Murad came along with his father to Edirne. After his father ascended to the Ottoman throne, he made Murad governor of the Amasya Sanjak. Murad remained at Amasya until the death of Mehmed I in 1421, he was solemnly recognized as sultan of the Ottoman Sultanate at sixteen years of age, girded with the sabre of Osman at Bursa, the troops and officers of the state willingly paid homage to him as their sovereign.
Murad's reign was troubled by insurrection early on. The Byzantine Emperor, Manuel II, released the'pretender' Mustafa Çelebi from confinement and acknowledged him as the legitimate heir to the throne of Bayezid I; the Byzantine Emperor had first secured a stipulation that Mustafa should, if successful, repay him for his liberation by giving up a large number of important cities. The pretender was landed by the Byzantine galleys in the European dominion of the sultan and for a time made rapid progress. Many Turkish soldiers joined him, he defeated and killed the veteran general Beyazid Pasha, whom Murad had sent to fight him. Mustafa declared himself Sultan of Adrianople, he crossed the Dardanelles to Asia with a large army but Murad out-manoeuvered Mustafa. Mustafa's force passed over in large numbers to Murad II. Mustafa took refuge in the city of Gallipoli, but the sultan, aided by a Genoese commander named Adorno, besieged him there and stormed the place. Mustafa was taken and put to death by the sultan, who turned his arms against the Roman emperor and declared his resolution to punish the Palaiologos for their unprovoked enmity by the capture of Constantinople.
Murad II formed a new army called Azap in 1421 and marched through the Byzantine Empire and laid siege to Constantinople. While Murad was besieging the city, the Byzantines, in league with some independent Turkish Anatolian states, sent the sultan's younger brother Küçük Mustafa to rebel against the sultan and besiege Bursa. Murad had to abandon the siege of Constantinople, he executed him. The Anatolian states, plotting against him — Aydinids, Germiyanids and Teke — were annexed and henceforth became part of the Ottoman Sultanate. Murad II declared war against Venice, the Karamanid Emirate and Hungary; the Karamanids were defeated in 1428 and Venice withdrew in 1432 following the defeat at the second Siege of Thessalonica in 1430. In the 1430s Murad captured vast territories in the Balkans and succeeded in annexing Serbia in 1439. In 1441 the Holy Roman Empire and Poland joined the Serbian-Hungarian coalition. Murad II won the Battle of Varna in 1444 against John Hunyadi. Murad II relinquished his throne in 1444 to his son Mehmed II, but a Janissary revolt in the Empire forced him to return.
In 1448 he defeated the Christian coalition at the Second Battle of Kosovo. When the Balkan front was secured, Murad II turned east to defeat Timur's son, Shah Rokh, the emirates of Karamanid and Çorum-Amasya. In 1450 Murad II led his army into Albania and unsuccessfully besieged the Castle of Kruje in an effort to defeat the resistance led by Skanderbeg. In the winter of 1450–1451, Murad II fell ill, died in Edirne, he was succeeded by his son Mehmed II. When Murad II ascended to the throne, he sought to regain the lost Ottoman territories that had reverted to autonomy following his grandfather Bayezid I’s defeat at the Battle of Ankara in 1402 at the hands of Timur Lang, he needed the support of both the public and the nobles “who would enable him to exercise his rule”, utilized the old and potent Islamic trope of Ghazi King. In order to gain popular, international support for his conquests, Murad II modeled himself after the legendary Ghazi kings of old; the Ottomans presented themselves as ghazis, painting their origins as rising from the ghazas of Osman, the founder of the dynasty.
For them, ghaza was the noble championing of Islam and justice against non-Muslims and Muslims alike, if they were cruel. Murad II only had to capitalize on this dynastic inheritance of doing ghaza, which he did by crafting the public image of Ghazi Sultan. After his accession, there was a flurry of translating and compiling activity where old Persian and Anatolian epics were translated into Turkish so Murad II could uncover the ghazi king legends, he drew from the noble behavior of the nameless Caliphs in the Battalname, an epic about a fictional Arab warrior who fought against the Byzantines, modelled his actions on theirs. He was careful to embody th
Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki
The city of Thessaloniki in Macedonia, for several centuries the second-most important city of the Byzantine Empire, played an important role for Christianity during the Middle Ages and was decorated by impressive buildings. In 1988, fifteen monuments of Thessaloniki were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: City Walls Rotunda of Saint George Church of Acheiropoietos Church of St. Demetrios Latomou Monastery Church of St. Sophia Church of Panagia Chalkeon Church of St. Panteleimon Church of the Holy Apostles Church of St. Nicholas Orphanos Church of St. Catherine Church of Christ Saviour Blatades Monastery Church of Prophet Elijah Byzantine Bath Παλαιοχριστιανικά και βυζαντινά μνημεία Θεσσαλονίκης. ODYSSEUS Portal. Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Retrieved 24 July 2012