Marble Revetments

Today I would like to call attention to marble revetments, meaning the decorative marble paneling that clads the lower walls of a Byzantine church. It is impossible to overstate the architectural importance of revetments. In the grander Byzantine churches, the marbles covered most of the interior surface, dominating the visual experience of the church far…

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Parekklesion of the Pammakaristos Church, Istanbul

The Church of the Pammakaristos (“All Blest Mother of God”) is a complex of medieval Byzantine structures at the north-west tip of the walled city. It was the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from 1456 to 1587. Today, the 11th-century main church serves as a mosque, but the 14th-century parrakklesion (side chapel) has been restored to its…

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Church of St. John, Istanbul

I will be periodically posting short photo-essays illustrating historical Orthodox art and architecture that may be of interest to our readers. I have decided to start with some photos of the least-known Byzantine church in Istanbul, the tiny church of St. John the Baptist, now the Hirami Ahmet Pasha Mosque. It is the smallest Byzantine church…

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Embroidery for the Modern Church

In 1995, a small unused room in the Icon Painting School at the Moscow Orthodox Theological Academy was converted into a studio for a single student interested in the lost art of church embroidery. This became the Pictorial Embroidery Department of the Icon Painting School housed in a larger facility within the famous Trinity-St. Sergius…

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