Pammakaristos Church

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Pammakaristos Church, south facade
Pantocrator in the circle of the prophets of the Old Testament , mosaic in the main dome
Apse with Christ mosaic

The Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos (Μονή Παμμακάριστου, the Blessed Mother of God ) or Pammakaristos Church , today Fethiye Mosque (Fethiye Camii) and Fethiye Museum called, was one of the most famous Byzantine churches in Constantinople Opel . The side chapel ( Parekklesion ) of the former Pammakaristos monastery church has the most mosaics in Istanbul after the Hagia Sophia and the Chora church and has been a museum since 1949.


The Pammakaristos Church is located in the Fatih district , near the Theodosian Land Wall .


According to the vast majority of sources, the church in its present form was completed in 1292 by John II Komnenos , a member of the royal family, and his wife Anna Doukaina . However, many historians and archaeologists believe that the original construction was older and ascribe it to Michael VII Dukas . Among others, the Swiss scholar and Byzantinist Ernest Mamboury believed that the original building was built in the 8th century.

The church was renovated in 1315 in honor of the general and protostrator of Emperor Andronikos II. Palaiologos , Michael Tarchaniotes Glabas, by his wife Martha Glabas, who also donated the Parekklesion (presumably as a burial chapel) on the south side of the church, richly decorated with mosaics and frescoes was added.

After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the Apostle Church and from 1456 the Pammakaristos Church became the seat of the Patriarchs of Constantinople , which then remained the seat of the patriarchate until 1587. After that, St. George's Cathedral became the seat of the patriarchate from 1600.

Five years later, the Ottoman Sultan Murad III. the church into a mosque, and renamed it in his own honor after the conquest (Turkish fetih ) of Georgia and Azerbaijan in Fethiye Camii . Most of the interior walls were removed to create a larger interior space that met the requirements of prayer. The minaret was only added at the end of the 19th century. The building complex was restored in 1949 by the Byzantine Institute of America and the Dumbarton Oaks Study Center . While the main building continues to be used as a mosque, the Parekklesion has been a museum ever since.


The former Pammakaristos monastery church was a communal church with a naos and its own narthex . The three-part apse was replaced by a mihrab .

In the Parekklesion a mosaic under the main dome shows the Pantocrator surrounded by the biblical prophets ( Moses , Jeremiah , Zefaniah , Micha , Joel , Zechariah , Obadja , Habakuk , Jonah , Malachi , Ezekiel and Isaiah ). In the apse of the Parekklesion there is a Deësis , depicting Jesus Hyperagathos, the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist . The baptism of Jesus is the only completely preserved scenario in the Parekklesion.

Web links

Commons : Pammakaristos Church  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  • Mathews, Thomas F .: The Byzantine Churches of Istanbul: A Photographic Survey. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park 1976, ISBN 0-271-01210-2
  • Belting, Hans; Mango, Cyril (ed.); Mouriki, Doula: The mosaics and frescoes of St. Mary Pammakaristos (Fethiye Camii) at Istanbul . Dumbarton Oaks Pub Service 1978, ISBN 0-88402-075-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mamboury, Ernest: Byzance - Constantinople - Istanbul . Milli Neşriyat Yurdu, Istanbul 1934.

Coordinates: 41 ° 1 ′ 45 ″  N , 28 ° 56 ′ 47 ″  E