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The wide geography of the Byzantine Empire (Today’s Anatolia and Asia Minor) which included different cultures and its cultural structure shaped by the acceptance of Christianity as the official religion led to a wide range of architectural formation of the empire dating back to the 4th century. Here is the list of 7 Breath Taking Byzantine Attractions in Turkey which have survived to our times.
Saint Peter (Pierre) Church
Saint Pierre Church was built near Habib Neccar Mountain in Hatay. It is known as the church where people who call themselves ‘Christians’ worship for the first time. Saint Pierre (also known as Saint Peter), one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, after the crucifixion of Jesus came between 29-40 and spread Christianity here. The church building is known as the first church in history, but with the additions of the Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries, it took on a complete church appearance as it is today.
Alahan Monastery, built in the 5th century AD, is located in the town of Mut in Mersin city of Anatolia today. This structure, which has a very important place in terms of Byzantine Architecture, was one of the first examples of the domed basilica architecture with the front of the apse covered with a large dome and also allowed the formation of the first centrally planned churches. Standing ruins of the Alahan Monastery still can be seen today.
Hagia Sophia, the largest church built by the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul, was built three times on the same location. Hagia Sophia served as a cathedral as the capital’s largest church where rulers were crowned throughout the Eastern Roman Empire.
Hagia Irene Church
Hagia Eirene is among the most precious treasures of Istanbul with its history and splendor. Hagia Eirene is known as the first church in Istanbul. This church continued to serve as a church and was not converted into a mosque after the city was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror.
House of Virgin Mary in Ephesus
The first sacred ritual and visit at the House of Virgin Mary, which was declared a pilgrimage place by the Vatican, took place on 20 May 1896 with the participation of six hundred people. These visits became regular after the restoration work completed in 1951. So far 3 Popes visited the House of Virgin Mary and increased the importance of this church.
Goreme National Park Churches
Church of the Buckle, Apple Church, Church of Saint Barbara and churches such as Snake Church, Dark Church represent some of the most detailed works of early Byzentian frescoe art heritages in Goreme National Park.
Saint Nicholas Church in Demre
The Saint Nicholas Church, which is located in Demre district of Antalya today, was built on the 6th. The basilical planned church has undergone many repairs and architectural additions until today. Today, Saint Nicholas Church is one of Turkey’s most visited religious and touristic attractions.
Tour Guide for Byzantine Attraction in Turkey
Byzantine Empire is one of the many cultures which left its mark in Anatolia’s past. Istanbul is known for its Byzantian attractions but I hope my list of 7 Breath Taking Byzantine Attractions in Turkey. Contact me to learn more about Byzantine Empire and to hire a tour guide in Turkey for a tailored Turkey trip.