Take a trip back in time, to the days of Istanbul’s Byzantine era with the Istanbul Constantinople Tour of Orthodox Religious Sites. Explore the Eastern Orthodox Christian sites of Istanbul, known in Byzantine times as Constantinople, on this full day private tour with a knowledgeable guide. Visit the Orthodox Patriarchate in the beautiful Church of St George, and check out other richly gilded places of worship including the Church of St Mary of the Mongols, and Chora Church, famous for its glittering Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. View the art and saintly treasures at each church, while learning about Constantinople’s tangled religious history from your informative guide.This tour is ideal for history buffs.
Meet your guide and drive to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate which is located in Fener. There you will visit the main building – the church of St. George – was originally part of the Orthodox nunnery. One of the most valuable and ancient relics in the church is part of the pole to which Christ was bound before being flogged and crucified by Roman soldiers. In the main cathedral are relics of three female saints; Saint Euphemia the Great Martyr and St. Theophano who was the wife of Emperor Leo the Wise. The third set of relics belongs to Saint Mary Salome.
After exploring the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, next spot is the Church of St. Mary of the Mongols, the only Byzantine church that has never ceased conducting divine services and that did not become a mosque.
Then you will continue your day by visiting Church of St. Mary of Blachernae which is one of the most revered Orthodox Christian churches. In the Vlaherna Church is found the Holy Virgin’s robe, Her omophorion (head cover) and part of Her belt that was brought from Palestine in 457.
Our next destination is St. Savior in Chora, now the Kariye Museum, but originally a Byzantine monastery with fantastic mosaics and frescoes that portray scenes from the bible. The building that is located in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul and called the “Chora Museum” (Kariye Muzesi) is a church building that constitutes the center of the Chora Monastery, which was a great building complex in the Eastern Roman Empire period, and it was dedicated to Jesus Christ. Since it stood outside of the city walls built by Constantine, the building was called “Chora”, which means “in the country” or “outside of the city” in Greek.
After the Conquest of Constantinople, the Ottomans converted the church to a mosque and named as Kariye Camii (Kariye Mosque). The mosaics and frescoes were covered with a plaster because of the prohibition of images in Islam, a Mihrab was added, and a minaret was built outside. In the beginning of the 20th century the minaret collapsed on the dome because of an earthquake, thus the dome was rebuilt but mosaics were lost.
After the Republic, experts on the Byzantine art came to Istanbul to work on the restorations of the Chora in order to uncover fantastic mosaics and frescoes. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1958.
Please fill the Booking Request form above for price requests.
Other than private tours, availability differs depending on the type of tour booked. All travel products and services described on this website are subject to specific departure dates and availability. So request you please contact with us to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements.
Simply fill in the Booking Request form above and we will contact you as soon as possible. For a Custom Tour Itineraries other than mentioned please e-mail us.
Final pricing will be calculated according to your chosen types of tours, travel dates, number of participants and category of accommodations you would like to stay in. After we receive your request, we will start working on details and then e-mail to you our proposal including detailed itinerary, price and accommodations of the package for your convenience. The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within Turkey, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.
Please inquire for a custom quote and check availability and our latest prices.
Most tours are customized for private travel according to your preferences and dates. More detailed information is highly appreciated as it will help us optimize your customized tour plan more effectively. After receiving your request, we will go to work for you and arrange a very reasonable itinerary and quote. You will receive our reply usually within 24-48 hours. Upon your receipt of our reply, please have a look to the itinerary and quotation we have prepared for you. After that, should you have any questions or further requirements regarding the tour, please feel free to e-mail us. We will be pleased to make any changes as per your requests. No matter how long the tour discussion may take and our aim is to make you completely satisfied with the final tour plan. Simply fill in the Booking Request form above and we will contact you as soon as possible.