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Church of St. John the Baptist of Studios Istanbul

Church of St. John the Baptist of Studios Istanbul
This ruined church is Samatya’s most important monument; it was built between 454 and 463 and is located on Imrahor Ilyas Bey Road, it was also known as the Church of Ioannes Prodromos.

It is believed to be Istanbul’s oldest surviving Byzantine church and was once part of the Studion, an important monastic complex that had 1,000 monks and took its name from the Roman consul Studios.

History

Its most famous abbot was Theodore the Studite (759-826) who had been exiled and canonised and later buried in the grounds. It was during his leadership here the monastery became a centre of Byzantine revival and the monks produced many wonderful illuminated manuscripts.

The Crusaders ransacked the building in 1204, and in 1261 it was here that Michael VIII Paleologos was reinstated to the throne; the fortress type walls were built in 1293 and it remained a centre of intellectual genius up until 1453. The church was converted to a mosque after the Turkish conquest and almost destroyed by a major earthquake in 1894 and although it has retained original floor mosaics and had restoration works the church has been locked and remains deserted.

Location

The church is located in Samatya Fatih .

Church of Hagioi Konstantinos and Helene

Nearby on Haci Manav Street is the Church of Hagioi Konstantinos and Helene that dates back to 1805 and in 1963 underwent extensive repairs. The church was known as Karamanlıs because the Greeks from Karaman, a province in central Anatolia, spoke Turkish but wrote using the Greek alphabet and this linguistic form was named Karamanli.

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