Byzantine monastery to be converted into mosque


Share post:

The largest Byzantine monastery in Istanbul will be converted into a mosque after its restoration next year.

Byzantine monastery to be converted into mosque
St. John Stoudios (Imrahor) Monastery, built in 462 AD, is one of the oldest surviving
Byzantine churches in Istanbul (Constantinople) [Credit: WikiCommons[

The Monastery of Stoudios, also known as the İmrahor Monument, will be turned into a mosque and be titled İmrahor İlyas Bey Mosque. The renovation of the mosque, which forms part of the Hagia Sophia Museum, will follow the same fate as that of Hagia Sophia churches in Trabzon and İznik, which had been already turned into mosques.

“I wouldn’t like to speak as a member of a council but my personal opinion is that cultural heritage shouldn’t be reflected as an antagonistic heritage. If we reflect it like this, it will damage societies on a macro level,” said Laki Vingas, acting as representatives of the Directorate General of Foundations.

Vingas added that the issue creates grief within society, and it was not only the Greek community’s problem.

“Cultural heritage is universal heritages, meaning that they are humanity’s common heritage,” he said.

Byzantine monastery to be converted into mosque
Byzantine miniature depicting the Stoudios Monastery and the Propontis (Sea of Marmara),
from the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000) [Credit: WikiCommons[

İmrahor’s conversion into a mosque came at a time debate continues as to whether to reopen Hagia Sophia as a place of worship. Most recently, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has expressed his hope to see the Hagia Sophia to be used as a mosque.

Vingas said: “My personal view is that when you are trying to create a new vision you should be careful not to create new problems for the future.”

The Monastery, which dates back to the fifth century, was the most important monastery of Istanbul during the Byzantine era, also serving as the center of Byzantine intelligentsia. The basilica was converted to a mosque, during the period of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II. After two major fires in the 18th and 19th centuries, the monastery was mostly destroyed. In 1946, it was turned into a museum in line with a ministerial cabinet decision.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [November 26, 2013]



Related articles

Ultra-fast outflows help monster black holes shape their galaxies

A curious correlation between the mass of a galaxy's central black hole and the velocity of stars in...

Research lends new view of the Earth’s core

There is more oxygen in the core of Earth than originally thought. Lawrence Livermore geologist Rick Ryerson and...

Clues to Southeast Asian civilisation unearthed

An archaeological dig led by Dr Marc Oxenham from The Australian National University’s School of Archaeology and Anthropology...

Excavation of Neolithic chambered tomb on Anglesey begins

An archaeological excavation of Ynys Môn's least known Neolithic chambered tomb – Perthi Duon, west of the village...

1,600 year old Byzantine mosaics in southern Turkey set to open to tourism

Early Byzantine mosaics unearthed in 1999 in the southern Turkish city of Kilis are ready to be showcased...

Ancient Akkale to be restored

Officials have pushed the button on a project for the restoration and environmental arrangement of the ancient city...

Best map ever of the Universe

The Planck space mission has released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light...

Bizarre bovid species found from the Late Miocene of Linxia Basin, China

Numerous Neogene mammal fossils have been excavated in Hezheng location, Gansu province because the 1970s. Two fossil skulls...