Zeyrek Mosque

At the beginning of the 12th century, this complex, formerly used as a monastery, was built by Emperor John II and his wife Irene, who can be seen on one of the mosaics in the Hagia Sophia as an imperial family. After the conquest of Constantinople, the Ottomans converted the church into a mosque and named it Molla Zeyrek Camii.

Nikephoros, who was a famous architect at that time, built two churches connected in the middle with a funerary chapel and surrounded by a hospital, a nursing home, a mental hospital and several monastery cells. In addition to the consecrated imperial burial place of John and the Archangel Michael, one can also see the resting places of other Komnenian and Palaiologan rulers and emperors of Byzantium.

The complex of the Pantokrator Monastery includes three former Orthodox churches, which are interconnected and once employed up to seven hundred people. Architecturally, the complex is the culmination of the Komnenian period in the Byzantine Empire as well as in Constantinople and represents the Byzantine architecture of this period.

Since 1206, Hodegetria, the Icon of Constantinople has been kept in the monastery as a unique reliquary. The complex of the Zeyrek Mosque houses, after the Hagia Sophia, the second largest still existing church, built in the Byzantine period. Until recently, the Zeyrek Mosque was on the list of the most endangered 100 cultural monuments of the World Monuments Fund. However, the complex is being carefully restored by the Koç Foundation.

  • Zeyrek, İbadethane Sk. No:2, 34083 Fatih/İstanbul

Istanbul Mosques