Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 2: The Chora Museum

After about 30 minutes on the road along the old city wall of Constantinople - the bus tour turned in at the Edirne Gate and made a stop at the Chora Museum. A visit into this museum was an optionwith an entry ticket of 15 lira each.
The Chora Museum was a smal church built during the Byzantine period. But it had gone through the same history as the Haga Sofia - being converted into a mosque during the Ottoman period and now has been converted into a museum. The beauty and richness of this museum is the fact that some of the very old mosaic pictorial representations of the life of Jesus and Mary and the story of Christianity ahve been well preserved. Of course, during the 100 years or so of the Iconoclastic Period - the period when the Christians took the stand that no pictorial representations of Jesus should be allowed - these mosaic pictures were covered over with a layer of plaster and replaced with Christian symbols of the cross. And during the Ottoman years - the same was done and the plaster layer was decorated with calligraphy and geometrical and floral designs charasteristic of Islamic art.
Restoration work had been carefully done to expose the earliest of these mosaic pictures.

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