Istanbul, Carie (Chora). Where can I see the unfading faces of the saints?

Even today, there is the concept of European and Asian Istanbul. Two parts of the same city, separated by the Bosphorus. So is the history of the city, changing with amazing consistency. Why are only churches and temples rebuilt under mosques!

The most striking example is the Hagia Sophia. The faces of the Christian saints and the Arabic script of prayers are all intertwined. It would seem that after the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans, there would be no trace of the shrines of Byzantium (so almost everything disappeared in St. Sophia Cathedral, the mosaic was mercilessly destroyed, the painting was almost completely destroyed). But there is one unique place on the map of the ancient city, where the soul trembles with delight not only believers, but also ordinary tourists. Today we will talk about an amazing cultural monument, a priceless museum Brown (Chora). Carian mosaics and frescoes have become a true gem of painting Byzantine art. The appearance of this architectural structure is also remarkable, but let us return to the history and find out how and when this miracle occurred.

The exact date of construction of the church is unknown, the very name Carie (Chora) means, translated from Greek, "for settlement". Historians know that during the reign of Constantine I there was a monastery outside the city walls, next to which Emperor Justinian built the church of Caria. The church was destroyed, partially restored, but it flourished during the years of the rule of Theodos II, when the emperor settled nearby in the palace and important church services began to be held in the church.

However, the luxurious life of the church often gave way to dark pages. Thus, during the fourth crusade, the city was captured by the crusaders and plundered, and the church suffered as well. Later, it was abandoned and dilapidated, was re-restored, and extensions were made to the northern, western and eastern parts, which increased the area of ​​the temple.

But nothing lasts forever in this world ... In 1453, Istanbul was captured by the Ottomans, and in 1511, Qarii was transformed into a mosque, and unique mosaics and paintings (as contrary to Islam) were mercilessly painted over with paint. For 434 years, Kariye was a mosque until it was turned into a museum in 1945. In the years 1948-1958, the American Institute for the Study of the Heritage of Byzantium carried out restoration work and opened the faces of the saints to the world.

If you suddenly find yourself in Istanbul, be sure to visit this church. Its amazing atmosphere, images of saints, biblical scenes, captured on the walls and vaults, will not leave you indifferent. Do not be surprised that the camera does not photograph everything and a part of the images will remain blurry in the photographs, as if the church gives you a special sign that you need to come back here to touch art, history and true faith.

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