An earthquake in the 12th century caused a partial collapse of the church and repairs weren’t completed until the early 14th century that it was completed thanks to funding from the great Byzantine statesman, Theodore Metochites. Most of the gorgeous mosaics and frescoes in the building date to that period and represent the best of the Palaeogian Renaissance. The mosaics depict various biblical scenes, including the birth of Christ and the journey of the Magi, as well as major events in the life of the Virgin Mary.
The church was converted to a mosque during the Ottoman period and became a museum in 1948. Due to its somewhat out of the way location, visitors often skip it but due to its history and beauty, it really should be considered a must-see.
Tours & Tickets
Location: İstanbul, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours