September Notes from Istanbul: Fethiye Museum – Pammakaristos Church

Among the important churches built under Byzantine rule in the 11/12th century is the Pammakaristos Church, which is now the Fethiye Museum in the Çarşamba neighborhood of today’s Fatih district.

Pammakristos means very happy in Old Greek. The museum also houses the most beautiful examples of 14th century Byzantine mosaics. It was renovated in the 1930s.

This church museum is a real jewel.

Fethiye Museum in Çarşamba, Istanbul

Fethiye Museum in Çarşamba, Istanbul

Pammakaristos Church - Fethiye Museum

Pammakaristos Church in Fatih, Istanbul

Museum guard at Fethiye Museum in Istanbul

Museum guard at Fethiye Museum in Istanbul

Fethiye Müzesi map

The entry fee is TL 15 per person.

September Notes from Istanbul: Old Greek Quarter

We stayed at a friend’s place in Fatih, which was only a ten-minute-walk from the old Greek quarter of Istanbul. Some parts are really run down, while some buildings show a lot of potential for a revival. We walked around there in the morning hours, and hardly anybody was around.

Istanbul-Greek quarter -1

View down to the water.

Istanbul - Greek quarter

Some buildings need love and funds.

Istanbul-Greek quarter corner house

This building showed more life, and we ended up talking to the residents, Turkish-Greek-Germans who live in Rosenheim/Germany during the year.

Istanbul - Greek quarter -2

Old and New - in Istanbul

Istanbul-GQ up the street

With few people living in that part of the Greek quarter, it also lacked shops and restaurants. The few working people I saw were rebuilding homes. This is a good start.

September Notes from Istanbul: Galata Bridge

This view is from the Galata Bridge, across the Golden Horn onto the Asian side of Istanbul. The lighted structure is the Galata Tower  at 60m (196-ft) in height.

Galata Bridge

… and looking back onto the European part of Istanbul. At dusk, the city is buzzing with social life.

Galata Bridge and restaurants

You can also watch my short video: Istanbul at prayer time

Our Turkish friend mentioned she does not even hear the prayer call anymore.

September Notes from Istanbul

Based on our walking instructions, we had to pass by the ‘University of Istanbul’ on our way to the Grand Bazaar.

University of Istanbul

It seems like nooks and crevices are filled with vendors on almost any given day.

Book market

This tram caught my eye.

Metro in Istanbul

Approaching the Hagia Sophia on foot.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia interior

Hagia Sophia interior

Hagia Sophia ceiling

Hagia Sophia ceiling-2

Hagia Sophia - tour guide

Cats in Istanbul

I never thought I’d publish photos of cats. But Istanbul has so many of them, they are everywhere; on the streets, sleeping in grave yards, eating out of garbage bags, lying in a sunny spot at the Hagia Sophia, etc. They became part of our Istanbul experience.

The cat is a revered animal in the Islamic faith, because the prophet Muhammad adored cats.

humpy cat

black cat

Someone supplied this little sleepy group of four with milk (süt: milk)

many cats

Tourists playing with a cat at the Hagia Sophia Church.

Hagia Sophia cat

Resting in a side chamber of the Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia cat #2

Hagia Sophia cat#3

This one clambered out of the trash container when it heard us approaching.

cat on trash container

This one tried to get back in when it saw us coming near.

cat stuck on window gate

At the Church of the Pammakaristos (Fethiye Camii).

cat at Fethiye Camii Church in Istanbul

The cat Muezza (or Mu’izza) is said to have been the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite cat.

Thanks to him, cats enjoy a relatively good life in the Muslim world.