Are you passionate about Byzantine and Greek-Orthodox art? Would you be interested in visiting the nineteenth-century treasures of cosmopolitan Istanbul? Your passion can be satisfied with our new private tour devoted to discovering the artistic treasures of the ancient capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople and the European and Western zone par excellence of Istanbul.
Our first stop is the Church of San Sergio and San Baco, converted into a mosque in Ottoman times and currently called Hagia Sofia. Next we will admire one of the most beautiful and spectacular Byzantine temples of the former Byzantine imperial capital, the Church of San Salvador de Chora (or Cora), which in the times of the Ottoman Empire became the Kariye Mosque. Its mosaics and frescoes are among the most important of Byzantine art in the city and in the world.
After this visit we will continue to the Church of Pammakaristos, also known as the Church of the Blessed Mother of God (Theotokos Pamakaristos), and which during the Ottoman Empire became the Mosque of the Conquest (in Turkish: Fethiye Camii). Under its main dome is a representation of Christ Pantocrator surrounded by Old Testament prophets. In the apse the Christ Hyperagathos (Merciful) is shown next to the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist.
Later we will head towards our next stop: the headquarters of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate, which has all the opulence and beauty of an Orthodox church. Apart from its main condition as a church of the Patriarch of Constantinople, it houses sacred relics, including the patriarchal throne, believed to date from the fifth century, three rare mosaic icons, the Column of the Flagellation in which Jesus was bound and whipped, and the tombs of three saints, apart from their glass staircases, chandeliers and crystal chandeliers from Baccarat, French chimneys Limoges, which is already worth seeing.
Then we will visit the Galata Tower, built by the Genoese in 1348. The ancient site of Pera, on the European side facing the ancient city of Constantinople, was granted by the Byzantine Empire for its help in defeating a crusade. After a short quiet walk we will take the oldest working underground in the world, the “tunnel”, finished in 1873 and which is also the shortest ever built. It connects the areas of Karaköy and Beyoğlu, where we can admire the pedestrian street of Istiklal. This is the heart of Istanbul. Walking along this boulevard we can see nineteenth-century buildings and the best examples of Art-Nouveau, typical of any European city.