Quick Facts on the Church of the Pantocrator
- Short URL
- Church of the Pantocrator Church of the Pantocrator, Istanbul
- Istanbul, Marmara Region
- Istanbul localityIstanbul Province countyMarmara Region stateTurkey countryMiddle East continent
- Main date(s)
- c. 1120
- 41.019773° N,
Description of the Church of the Pantocrator
The Church of the Pantocrator is actually a composite of two churches and a chapel; together, they form the second largest church in Istanbul after the Hagia Sophia. Dedicated to St. Saviour Pantocrator, the monastery was founded by Empress Eirene, who completed the south church prior to her death in 1124. She was the first to be buried here (her sarcophagus is now in the exonarthex of the Hagia Sophia).
The northern church was added by Eirene's husband, Emperor John II Comnenus, after her death. He dedicated his church to the Virgin Eleousa (Merciful or Charitable). The emperor also connected the two churches by squeezing a chapel between them, which required the demolition of part of their exterior walls.
Some of the original decoration survives inside, including the marble pavement, door frames in the narthex, and the marble apse. Restoration is ongoing. The 15th-century minbar (pulpit) is composed of recycled fragments of Byzantine sculpture.
October 27, 2011
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