Church of St Polyeuktos, Istanbul

1.3
The Church of St. Polyeuctus (Greek: Ἅγιος Πολύευκτος, Hagios Polyeuktos) was an ancient Byzantine church in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) built by the noblewoman Anicia Juliana and dedicated to Saint Polyeuctus. Intended as an assertion of Juliana's own imperial lineage, it was a lavishly decorated building, and the largest church of the city before the construction of the Hagia Sophia. It introduced the large-scale use of Sassanid Persian decorative elements, and may have inaugurated the new architectural type of domed basilica, perfected in the later Hagia Sophia.


Little is known of the church's history after its construction. The building survived until the 11th century, after which it fell into decay, while several architectural elements were removed and reused in Constantinople and other cities. After being built over in the Ottoman period, the site of the church was rediscovered during excavations in the 1960s. The area, directly opposite the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Hall, is now a preserved archaeological site open to visitors, although the sculptures have been removed to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
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Church of St Polyeuktos Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
4 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Who knows there is one archeological site very close to Aqueduct Valens, within walking distance. Ruins of Polyeukyos Church was accidentally discovered in 1960 during the construction of an overpass....  more »
  • This is a sad sight. The church was excavated in the 1960s but is now an overgrown heap which locals use as a toilet  more »
  • The ruins are fenced off but it does appear that homeless are settling in because the fencing has several large holes which give direct access to the ruins. The church ruins from 524-527AD were...  more »

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