Welcome to day 2. If you wish to read other post in this series you can find the links here. As the posts go live you can access them there.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. Luke 2:4-5
Today we move to Istanbul, Turkey. The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora was a medieval Byzantine Greek Orthodox church. Over it’s long history it has been converted into a mosque, and is now a museum.
Chora is translated ‘country’ or ‘field’.
In the early 4th century the church, which was part of a monastery, was built outside of the walls of Constantinople, hence the designation of a church in the fields or country. In the late 5th century the walls were rebuilt and the church was included within the walls, however, the name remained. Undergoing several building programs, the building as it exist today was largely done in the 11th century, with the interior decorations completed between 1315 and 1321.
The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes and mosaics that were endowed, or paid for by the powerful statesman, Theodore Metochites. While we do not know the names of any of the artist who were employed, we can appreciate the devotional nature of their work. I am always awed by the beauty of these old churches. The prospect of painting frescoes or building mosaics on the domed ceilings without any of the modern conveniences we have at our disposal is impressive.
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