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Zeyrek Camii (Church of the Pantocrator), Istanbul

Photo © Helen Betts. View all images in our Zeyrek Camii (Church of the Pantocrator) Photo Gallery.

Istanbul's Church of the Pantocrator, now a mosque named Zeyrek Camii, is a former monastery church and one of the most important historic landmarks of the Byzantine period.

However, the structure is in a sad state of neglect so a detour here may only be worthwhile in tandem with a stroll through the narrow streets of the Zeyrek neighborhood.


Dedicated to St. Saviour Pantocrator, the monastery was founded by Empress Eirene, wife of John II Comnenus, who completed the south church prior to her death in 1124. She was also the first to be buried here (her sarcophagus was moved in the 1960s to the Archaeological Museum, but now resides in the exonarthex of the Ayasofya).

The northern church was added by the emperor (her husband) after Eirene's death, and dedicated to Virgin Eleousa, the Merciful or Charitable.

The emperor also had the churches connected through the jerry-rigging of a chapel between the north and south church, which also required the demolition of part of the exterior walls of the two buildings.

The church was converted to a mosque in the 15th century.

Quick Facts on the Zeyrek Camii (Church of the Pantocrator)

Site Information
Names:Church of the Pantocrator; Church of the Pantocrator, Istanbul
Categories:Churches; Mosques
Faiths:Christianity; Islam
Dates:c. 1120
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Istanbul, Turkey
Coordinates:41.019773° N, 28.957177° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of the Zeyrek Camii (Church of the Pantocrator)

Below is a location map and aerial view of the Zeyrek Camii (Church of the Pantocrator). Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

More Information

Article Info

Title:Zeyrek Camii (Church of the Pantocrator), Istanbul
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:09/18/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/istanbul-church-of-the-pantocrator-zeyrek/turkey/istanbul-archaeological-museum">Zeyrek Camii (Church of the Pantocrator), Istanbul</a>