Istanbul Iconography

Mary, Jesus, and John the Baptist,” by Jim Geraghty, TKS, 20 April 2005,

Nice photo of the Coredemptrix, the Redemptor, and the last Prophet, Church of the Divine Wisdom, Istanbul


I had thought the ancient paintings had been destroyed during its use as a Mosque. Obviously not!

One thought on “Istanbul Iconography”

  1. Many churches were converted to mosques but this doesn't mean they destroyed the insides. There are many former churches turned mosques in Turkey and Cyprus which retain a lot of their former beauty, though such depictions of humans are covered.

    From Wikipedia:

    For over 900 years the Hagia Sophia was a seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for imperial ceremonies. It was converted to a mosque at the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II in 1453. Since more conservative factions of Islam consider the depiction of the human form to be blasphemous, its mosaics were covered with plaster.

  2. Thanks for the info.

    I remember watching Ashley Banfield on MSNBC years ago, when she was in Damascus. She was in the old Church of Saint John the Baptist, which was kept up as a beautiful (if oddly Crusader-style-cathedral) mosque.

    What other famous examples of this maintained dual-use do you know of?

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