St. Mary Pammakaristos Monastery , St. Mary Pammakaristos Church
Structure in General
Pammakaristos Church, also known as the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos (Joyous Mother of God), later known as Fethiye Camii (Fethiye Mosque) and today a museum, is one of the most famous Byzantine churches in Istanbul.
Located in the Çarşamba neighbourhood within the borough of Fatih inside the historic city walls, Theotokos Pammakaristos has the largest amount of Byzantine mosaics after the Hagia Sophia and Chora Church in Istanbul.
The interior of the building contains the restored remains of a number of mosaic panels, which, while not as varied and well-preserved as those of the Chora Church, serve as another resource for understanding late Byzantine art.
According to most resources, the church was built in 1292 by Ioannes Komnenos, a member of the Byzantine royal family, and his wife Anna Doukaina.
On the apse, Christ Hyperagathos is shown with Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist. The Baptism of Christ survives intact to the right side of the dome.
Many historians and archaeologists, however, believe that the original structure was older and some attribute it to Michael VII Ducas (1071-1078). What is certain is that Michael Tarchaniotes Glabas was the founder of the elegant parecclesion added to the south side of the church.
It has also been suggested by Mamboury and several other scholars that the original building was erected in the 8th century.
A representation of the Pantocrator, surrounded by prophets (Moses, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Micah, Joel, Zechariah, Obadiah, Habakkuk, Jonah, Malachi, Ezekiel, and Isaiah) is under the main dome.
Five years later, the Ottoman Sultan Murad III converted the church into a mosque and renamed it in honor of his Fetih (Conquest) of Georgia and Azerbaijan, hence the name Fethiye Camii.
The church was later renovated to a large extent by Michael Tarchaniotes Glabas, a general and protostrator of Andronikos II Palaiologos, who constructed a side chapel in 1315 to house the remains of himself and his family members.
Following the fall of Constantinople, the seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate was first moved to the Church of the Holy Apostles, and in 1456 to the Pammakaristos Church, which remained as the seat of the Patriarchate until 1587.
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