April 9, 2018

Edirnekapi, Istanbul. June, 2007

Look at these guys, “noble ancestors of Christ” if we can believe the guide, all decked out in their bold geometric prints. Hard to believe that such modern designs were in fashion back in 1315 when the mosaics here in the Holy Savior in Chora church were created. Sometimes mistranslated as Saint Savior, this Byzantine church (first built in the 5th century, converted to a mosque in the 16th, and made into a secular museum in 1948) is one of the glories of Istanbul. A bit out of the way (chora = the country; the church was originally outside the city walls), but your efforts to get there will be rewarded by an up-close visual spectacle unlike any other in this visually spectacular city. The tour groups are all back in the city center, too, so take your time and enjoy the uncrowded show. And, if you like, top it off with a superb lunch at Asitane right next door.

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