Church of Koimesis in Nicaea

Photo by Guillaume Berggren (1870s-1880s)

The Church of Koimesis in Nicaea, originally the Monastery of Hyacinth, was destroyed in 1922. It was built by abbot Hyakinthos for his monastery, and several monograms of Hyakinthos decorated the church. The monastery played an important part throughout the Byzantine period, appears to have housed the patriarch during the thirteenth-century exile from Constantinople, and members of the imperial family were buried there. The church, which measured around 22x21, was centered on a dome supported by four piers and barrel vaults, which appeared as short cross arms. It has a triple apse and its walls of the naos were covered with marble revetment. The mosaics of the sanctuary are reconstructed with four phases. The nearby Böcek Hagiasma, a round structure with a water spring at the center of a quadrangular fountain, was also part of the monastery. It was destroyed in 1924.

Böcek Hagiasma

Mosaic of Virgin and Child

It replaced an Iconoclast cross whose outline could clearly seen on the gold background

Vault Mosaic of Narthex

Virgin Orans

Christ Pantokrator

John the Baptist

Evangelists St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John

Angel Mosaics of Bema

Hetoimasia

Narthex

Plan by Foss

Map of Nicaea

Sources

Nicaea: A Byzantine Capital and Its Praises by Clive Foss

The Archaeology of Byzantine Anatolia: From the End of Late Antiquity until the Coming of the Turks edited by P. Niewohner

Byzantine Architecture by Cyril Mango

Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture by ​Richard Krautheimer 

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium edited by Alexander Kazhdan

“The Date of the Narthex Mosaics of the Church of the Dormition at Nicaea” by C. Mango

“The Evidence of Restorations in the Sanctuary Mosaics of the Church of the Dormition at Nicaea” by P.A. Underwood

Resources

Nicaea Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

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Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016