Hagia Irene, Istanbul

Hagia Irene, Istanbul

The Hagia Irene, also known as the Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") in Greek and Aya İrini in Turkish, is an Eastern Orthodox Church located in Istanbul, in the outer courtyard of the Topkapı Palace. After being closed, in April 2014 it was opened to the public as a museum. The entrance fee is 20 TL per person.

The church originally stands on the location of a pre-Christian temple, and it is one of the first churches to be built in Constantinople. During the 4th century, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great commissioned the first Hagia Irene church to be built, which burned down in 532. In 538, the church was restored by Emperor Justinian I. Before the Hagia Sophia was completed, the Hagia Irene used to serve as the Patriarchate.

The building is a typical Roman basilica and consists of two naives and an aisle, which have been divided by pillars and columns. Today, the Hagia Irene is one of the last standing examples of Byzantine architecture in Istanbul which has retained its original atrium. Under Constantine V, the church’s interior was decorated with frescoes and mosaics.

Today, due to its extraordinary acoustic characteristics and impressive atmosphere, the museum plays host to the classical music concerts held as part of the Istanbul Music Festival.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Istanbul. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Hagia Irene on Map

Sight Name: Hagia Irene
Sight Location: Istanbul, Turkey (See walking tours in Istanbul)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

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Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
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Asian Side and Bosphorus Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Mosques Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
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Istanbul Old City Walking Tour

Situated at the heart of Old Istanbul, the Sultanahmet neighborhood is a fascinating hub of historical timeline. The former administrative center of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, this area abounds in historic sites, such as the Great Palace of Constantinople – the former residence of Byzantine emperors, the Topkapi Palace – a place where the Ottoman sultans used to live, plus a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
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Istanbul Introduction Walking Tour

Formerly known as “Byzantium”, “Constantinople” and “New Rome”, Istanbul is the main city of Turkey, straddling the Bosphorus Strait, and as such, bridging the gap between Europe and Asia, both geographically and culturally. This ancient transcontinental metropolis embraces cultural influences of the many empires and civilizations that once ruled and flourished on this land.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles

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