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Monastery of St. Andrew in Krisei

The Monastery of St. Andrew in Krisei (now Koca Mustafa Pasha Mosque) was Byzantine church located on the seventh hill of Constantinople, north of Psamathia (Turkish Samatya) somewhat near the Cistern of St. Mocius and the Gate of Selymbria (Turkish Silivri Kapı).

The church has undergone significant changes since its conversion into a mosque, which have obscured most of its original character. While it probably had an ambulatory plan, it was reoriented by ninety degrees so that it would face toward Mecca. The southern aisle was transformed into a mihrab; its original barrel vault was replaced by a Turkish half-dome, and the original Byzantine dome was replaced by an Ottoman dome. A portico with five bays along the north wall of the building was also added during the Ottoman era. Several Byzantine capitals have survived, some of which perhaps date to the 6th century. Its entire exterior is encased in limestone, and the interior is plastered and painted, making its identification and the date of the budding are uncertain. 
According to tradition, it was founded in the 8th century and dedicated to the iconophile St. Andrew of Crete who was martyred during the reign of Constantine V (741-775). It was also possibly restored during the reign of Basil I (867-886). Following the Latin occupation of Constantinople, it was significant renovated or even rebuilt by Theodora Raoulaina (ca. 1240-1300), niece of Emperor Michael Vlll Palaiologos. It was converted into a mosque by Koca Mustafa Paşa, the grand vizier of Bayezid II, in 1486. The mosque is also known as Sümbül Efendi Mosque, who establish a tekke (a dervish lodge) on site. The mosque complex also includes the tombs of several saints, a madrasa and a soup kitchen. 


Photo by David Talbot-Rice 

From Birmingham East Mediterranean Archive


Photos by Mathews

Saint Andrew in Krisei.jpg

From Byzantine Studies by Paspates (1877)

From Ebersolt & Thiers (1910).jpg

From Ebersolt & Thiers (1910)

Plan by  Ebersolt & Thiers.jpg

Plan by Ebersolt & Thiers

Istanbul Archaeological Museums


Door frame from the church
From garden of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums


Lead Sarcophagus 

Kocamustafapaşa, 5th-6th century

Gold Ornaments from Sarcophagus at Kocamustafapaşa
4th century

St. Andrew in Krisei (Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World)

Architecture and Ritual in the Churches of Constantinople: Ninth to Fifteenth Centuries by V. Marinis

Converted Byzantine Churches in Istanbul: Their Transformation Into Mosques and Masjids by S. Kirimtayif

Bildlexikon zur Topographie Istanbuls: Byzantion, Konstantinupolis, Istanbul by Wolfgang Müller-Wiener


St. Andrew in Krisei Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

Byzantine Churches of Constantinople Photo Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

Byzantine Churches of Constantinople (Byzantine Legacy Google Map)

Koca Mustafa Paşa Camii (Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection)

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