Mysterious Churches in Istanbul

Tour code:OPUS344
03 nights / 04 days


Is there somewhere else as magical as Istanbul? Old capital of two great empires (Byzantine and Ottoman) has still charmed her guests. We invite you to re-discover Christian heritage in Istanbul…

Day 1: Istanbul

Arrival to the Atatürk airport and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation in the hotel.

Day 2: Istanbul

After early breakfast at the hotel we will start to our tour form Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, known variously as Sancta Sophia in Latin or Ayasofya in Turkish, is an ancient cathedral of the Church of Constantinople located in modern-day Istanbul, Turkey.  Then we will visit St. Irene Church. St.Irene, which is one of the largest and oldest Byzantine churches other than Hagia Sophia, was commissioned in the year 330 by Emperor Constantine the Great. The church takes its name from a saint who was at that time working for the spread of Christianity. We will continue to the Basilica Cistern that is located in the crowded Eminönü district of Istanbul next to the Hagia Sophia, was built to provide water for the city of Istanbul during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE. After lunch, we will go to Pantokrator Church now a mosque named Zeyrek Camii, is a former monastery church  and one of the most important historic landmarks of the Byzantine period.  However, the structure is in a sad state of neglect so a detour here may only be worthwhile in tandem with a stroll through the narrow streets of the Zeyrek neighborhood.  Dedicated to St. Saviour Pantocrator, the monastery was founded by Empress Eirene, wife of John II Comnenus, who completed the south church prior to her death in 1124. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 3: Istanbul

We will start to our full-day tour from Yedikule which is a part of Constantinople Walls. It is located in the southwestern part of Istanbul city walls. It is known as Yedikule Zindanları (Seven Tower Dungeons) among public. On the other hand, because of its architectural aspect, it is also called Yedikule Hisarı (Seven Tower Fortress).Yedikule was not built to be used a dungeon.The main aim of the building was to meet the emperor who returned from a war as victorious or welcoming other states’ heads in some events like coronation. Then we’ll visit the Balikli Monastery. One of the most famous shrines of Constantinople, the Zoodochos Pege, is located outside the land walls to the west of the city, at the site now known as Balikli. Two versions of a very old tradition provide information on the origins of this ancient shrine.According to the first, related by the historian Procopius, Justinian (527-565) while hunting in a beautiful verdant part of the land with many trees and much water, had the vision of a small chapel with a large crowd of people and a priest in front of a spring. It is the spring of miracles, he was told, whereupon the Emperor built a monastery at the site using surplus materials from the church of Hagia Sophia. Cedrenus records that the monastery was built in 560. Before lunch, we will visit the Chora Museum. The first Chora Church was rebuilt by Justinianus (527-565) in place of this chapel. In the era of Komnenoi, it served as the court chapel for important religious ceremonies, thanks to its nearness to the Palace of Blachernae. The mosaics and frescoes in the Chora are the most beautiful examples dating from the last period of the Byzantine painting (14th century). After lunch, we’ll continue to Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fener neigbourhood. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is the highest see and holiest center of the Orthodox Christian Church throughout the world. It is an institution with a history spanning seventeen centuries, during which it retained its see in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). It constitutes the center of all the local Orthodox Churches, heading these not by administration but by virtue of its primacy in the ministry of pan-Orthodox unity and the coordination of the activity of the whole of Orthodoxy. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 4: Istanbul

Pammakaristos Church
(Fethiye Mosque) is the first spot of the half-day tour. It was built in 1292, the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos in Istanbul is a fine example of late Byzantine architecture and art. It has been a mosque (called Fethiye Mosque) since 1591, but still contains some well-preserved Byzantine mosaics. Secondly we will visit St. Theodosia Church (Gül Mosque). Rarely visited by anyone other than local worshippers, this cross-domed church building  dates from the 11th century. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flights. End of our services.

Pantokrator & Pammakaristos Churches can be only visited with a special permission.
Contact Us
Adress: Carsi Agasi Sok. No:8 34347 Ortaköy-Istanbul-Turkey
Tel: + 90 (212) 327 3400
Fax: + 90 (212) 236 6180
GSM: + 90 (552) 322 3369

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