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Saint Theodosia Church of Istanbul

ISTANBUL July 25, 2016
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Saint Theodosia Church (Gül mosque)

Saint Theodosia Church (Gül mosque)

Gül Mosque (Saint Theodosia Church)

The structure that is located at the point where Şerefiye Street and Şair Nevi Street intersect at the back street of the Golden Horn is an old Byzantine church and was contructed during the period of Basileios I (867-886). Saint Theodosia, to whom the church was dedicated, was killed during Iconoclasm period (726-843) when she was trying to prevent others who tried to bring down Jesus icon on Halke Door of Grand Palace next to Hagia Sophia square and she was exalted to the title of saint. Sincethe relics of the saint. Since the relics of the saint were placed at the church, it was contionusly visited by pilgrims and travelers who came to Istanbul.

Saint Theodosia Church view Golden Horn

Saint Theodosia Church view Golden Horn

The time when the church was turned into a mosque is contversial. The fact that this place was named as “Gül Mosque” in the Vakıflar Tahrir Defteri (the notebook for records) in 1546 show that it was turned into a mosque before this date. The mosque that was greatly damaged in the fire of 1633 was repaired during the preiod of Mahmut II (1808 – 1839).

Saint Theodosia Church plan

Saint Theodosia Church plan

The middle section of the closed cross plan structure is covered with a dome and the arms of the cross are covered with vault. The main location covered with a dome sitting on four large feet with pendantives is reached by gallery floors in “U” shape at both sides and at the entrance side. The semidome of the apse and the dome are ornamented with motifs. The side fronts of the structure as well as the large carrier arches and main dome were renewed in Ottoman period.

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