Silence in Hagia Irene


Hagia Irene was a wonderful find. It is right across from the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul so we thought we’d stop by.

There was nobody but us. Entering this sacred space, we were enveloped by a serene hush.

You wouldn’t know but this was actually the first church built in Constantinople by Constantine himself in the 4th century. As an amateur Paleochristian (very early Christian) fan, this gave me goosebumps. I love exploring the very early Christian churches and see how it has evolved to the modern church we’ve seen now.


This Byzantine church has its original atrium – a large open in the building. This is what old churches used to look like. Look at the simple black cross above. This one dates from the iconoclastic period – a violet period where images were forbidden in Greek Orthodox Christianity.

It was one of the few church not turned into a mosque by the Turks. It became an armoury during the Ottoman period.



the roof


Another look at Hagia Irene.

Image Credit


Because Hagia Irene had excellent acoustics, it is now presently used as a concert hall for classical music performances.



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