Found project: St. Polyeuctus


    Project : St. Polyeuctus

    Language variant : Ἅγιος Πολύευκτος

    Architect : Anicia Juliana (commissioner)

    Completion: 527

    Locality : Istanbul

    Country : Turkey

    Building style : Byzantine

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    “This morning I visited the site of St Polyeuctes, once the greatest church in the whole Christian Empire; Justinian was said to have built Haghia Sophia in an attempt to match it... The church fell into disrepair, and after the Turkish conquest of 1453 it collapsed and was forgotten. In 1960 it was accidentally rediscovered. Briefly it became famous again, and art historians and archaeologists triumphantly announced that many of the innovations of Justinian’s reign were pre-empted by the work at St Polyeuctes.
    Thirty years later the various archaeological reports are gathering dust, and St Polyeuctes seems to be returning to the earth. The ruins are an open latrine, and stink too badly to be examined at any length; only the most desperate Turkish tramps linger in its portals.”

    William Dalrymple, From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1998, p. 41.

    Ed. Adzhoa Makkonen



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    St. Polyeuctus
    St. Polyeuctus
    Image © Heikki Hanka