Found project: Myrelaion Church

    Project : Myrelaion Church

    Architect : Romanos I Lekapenos (commissioner)

    Completion: 920 (ca.)

    Locality : Istanbul

    Country : Turkey

    Building style : Byzantine

    Description :

    “Continuing along Ordu Caddesi, we now take the second turning on the left. We turn right at the next corner, and then at the end of this street we ascend a flight of steps onto a marble paved terrace. Just beyond the far left corner of the terrace we see a former Byzantine church known in Turkish as Bodrum Camii, or the Subterranean Mosque, because of the crypt that lies beneath it. The church and the monastery to which it was attached were founded by the Emperor Romanus I Lecapenus (919-944). The monastery was known as the Myrelaion, the ‘place of the myrrh oil’, an ancient name of unknown origin that was also applied to the church. When his wife Theodora died in 922 he buried her in a funerary chapel that he built beneath the church. The church was converted into a mosque late in the fifteenth century by Mesih Pasha, a descendant of the imperial Byzantine dynasty of the Palaeologues who became a Muslim and rose to the rank of commanding general of the Ottoman army.”

    John Freely, The companion guide to Istanbul and around Marmara, Companion Guides, Woodbridge, 2000, p. 117.

    Ed. Adzhoa Makkonen

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    Myrelaion Church
    Myrelaion Church
    Image © Heikki Hanka