Polat Utku Kayrak Arha318 Field Trip 2

Although I was not able to join the second field trip due to the health reasons, I didn’t want to miss the chance to understand and examine the Byzantine art after the 8th century, basically iconoclasm. My friend Melis helped me to see those areas next week after the actual field trip date as I have fully recovered from the illness. The first place that we explored was Gul Camii (Hagia Theodosia) in Ayakapi in Istanbul. It was an ex-church converted into a mosque in 1499 after the capture of Istanbul by Ottomans. During the iconoclasm era, Theodosia opposed the removal of Christ icon on the gate of Great Palace so it is believed that church is also named as “Hagia Theodosia”. One of the most interesting details of the mosque was that, its plan was designed as the shape of a Greek Cross. The dome of the mosque was standing on the independent columns and in the east side of the building I encountered three apses, where the one on the center was a little big than the others. The niches in the apses show that those apses are reconstructed in the 13th and the 14th centuries.

After leaving Gul Camii, we headed to The Church of St. Mary of the Mongols in Fatih region again but in the neighborhood of Fener. The plan of the church is also very interesting that its central dome is surrounded by the tower. It has four apses on the each side of the church. This plan is called as tatraconch.

On the eastern side we can also see mosaics of an Icon representing the Theotokos. Again On the eastern side of the wall we can see a very huge representation of the famous “Last Judgment”. In this side of the church we can see other mosaics and Icons.

There are also several rumors about the underground tunnel of the church. It is said that this tunnel is reaching Hagia Sophia but there is no evidence about that.

The lobby is of the church called as ‘Narthex’ consists of three bays. Unfortunately the southern side of the church was demolished and does not contain the original structure of the church. If we examine the dome of St.Mary of the Mongols we can see that it is made upon a cross.

To sum up, those places that I have visited has preserved their originality and historical atmosphere much more than Hagia Sophia or the monuments of the Hippodrome. These places like St.Sophia or the base stone of Egyptian Stone have much more touristic purposes in Istanbul but thus those new places that were visited in the second field trip do not drive touristic purposes so they continue keeping their historical taste and atmosphere.

Bibliography ;

The city of Constantinople ,Michael Maclagan

Byzantine Constantinople, Nevra Necipoğlu

Constantinople from Byzantium to Istanbul,David Talbot Rice

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Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 23:05  Leave a Comment  

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