|Geographic coordinates||41°0′46.8″N 28°59′2.4″E|
|Architectural style||Byzantine Architecture|
Hagia Irene or Hagia Eirene (Greek: Ἁγία Εἰρήνη, "Holy Peace", Turkish: Aya İrini), often erroneously rendered in English as St Irene, is a former Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. It is open as a museum every day except Monday but requires special permission for admission.
The building reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. It ranks, in fact, as the first church built in Constantinople. Roman emperor Constantine I commissioned the first Hagia Irene church in the 4th century. From May to July 381 the First Council of Constantinople took place in the church. It was burned down during the Nika revolt in 532.1 Emperor Justinian I had the church restored in 548. It served as the church of the Patriarchate before Hagia Sophia was completed in 360.
Heavily damaged by an earthquake in the 8th century, it dates in its present form largely from the repairs made at that time. The Emperor Constantine V ordered the restorations and had its interior decorated with mosaics and frescoes. Hagia Irene is the only example of a Byzantine church in the city which retains its original atrium. A great cross in the half-dome above the main narthex, where the image of the Pantocrator or Theotokos was usually placed in Byzantine tradition, is a unique vestige of the Iconoclastic art; presumably it replaced earlier decoration. The church was enlarged during the 11th and 12th centuries.
The church measures 100 m × 32 m. It has the typical form of a Roman basilica, consisting of a nave and two aisles, divided by columns and pillars. It comprises a main space, a narthex, galleries and an atrium. The dome is 15m wide and 35m high and has twenty windows.
After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed II, the church was enclosed inside the walls of the Topkapi palace. The Janissaries used the church as an armoury. It was also used as a warehouse for war booty. During the reign of Sultan Ahmet III (1703–1730) it was converted into a weapons museum.
In 1846, Marshal of the Imperial Arsenal, Ahmed Fethi Paşa, made the church into a military antiques museum.2 It was used as the Military Museum from 1908 until 1978 when it was turned over to the Turkish Ministry of Culture.
Today, the museum serves mainly as a concert hall for classical music performances, due to its extraordinary acoustic characteristics and impressive atmosphere. Many of the concerts of the Istanbul International Music Festival have been held here every summer since 1980.
In 2000, the Turkish haute couture designer Faruk Saraç produced a special show here. A collection of 700 designed pieces inspired by the Ottoman sultans, including the robes of 36 sultans ranging from Osman Gazi, the founder of the Ottoman Empire to the last sultan, Mehmed VI, were on display. The show was accompanied by music and the story of the sultans' lives and demonstrations of Ottoman-era dancing.
The apse of the church with cross
- Allan Doig, Liturgy and Architecture: From the Early Church to the Middle Ages, (Ashgate Publishing, 2008), 65.
- Museums and Narratives of Display from the late Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic, Wendy Shaw, Muqarnas, Vol.XXIV, (Brill, 2007), 256.
- Akşit I., "Hagia Sophia";Akşit Kültür ve Turizm Yayincilik, 2005, ISBN 975-7039-07-1
- Alexander Kazhdan (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, 3 vols., Oxford University Press, 1991 (ISBN 0195046528), s. v. Irene, Church of Saint, vol. 2, 1008–1009
- Krautheimer, Richard (1984). Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-05294-7.
- Necipoğlu, Gülru (1991). Architecture, ceremonial, and power: The Topkapi Palace in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 336 pages. ISBN 0-262-14050-0.
- Fanny Davis. Palace of Topkapi in Istanbul. 1970. ASIN B000NP64Z2
Content from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
What Is This Site? The Ultimate Study Guide is a mirror of English Wikipedia. It exists in order to provide Wikipedia content to those who are unable to access the main Wikipedia site due to draconian government, employer, or school restrictions. The site displays all the text content from Wikipedia. Our sponsors generously cover part of the cost of hosting this site, and their ads are shown as part of this agreement. We regret that we are unable to display certain controversial images on some pages the site at the request of the sponsors. If you need to see images which we are unable to show, we encourage you to view Wikipedia directly if possible, and apologize for this inconvenience.
A product of XPR Content Systems. 47 Union St #9K, Grand Falls-Windsor NL A2A 2C9 CANADA