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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Consecration of the Temple of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos at the Diakonissa

Floorplan of the Beyazit Churches A, B, C

On July 28th the Orthodox Church commemorates the Consecration of the Temple of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos at the Diakonissa. Diakonissi, or Diakonissa, was a district of Constantinople, within the city walls, west of the Beyazit Gate. Saint Olympia the Deaconess had hermitages built in this area, which were consumed by fire in 465, and again in 533 during the Nika Riots. These hermitages housed the one hundred Deaconesses that served in the Great Church. Patriarch Kyriakos II, around the year 598/99, built the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos in Diakonissi, for his sister, who lived in this area as a Deaconess of the Great Church. Because of its association with Deaconesses, the district received its name. In the eleventh century it is also reported that the Theotokos Church had an elementary school. The Church of the Theotokos is likely today the ruins of Church B of the Beyazit Churches. Their ruins are currently located under some of the buildings of Istanbul University.

Fragment of the piscina of Church B

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