St. John Prodromos at the Hebdomon
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Photo of apse by Mango (1949)

The Church of St. John Promodos was a church located at the Hebdomon, a coastal Constantinopolitan suburb on the Via Egnatia seven miles west of the Milion. It was first built by Theodosius I to house the relic of the head of St. John the Baptist and later rebuilt during the reign of Justinian. It was an important monument of the Hebdomon (modern Bakirköy), where several emperors were crowed. It is also known that this church was rebuilt or more likely restored by Basil I.

The remains of an octagonal church, generally identified as St. John Prodomos, were uncovered at Bakirköy by French excavations in 1921-1923. Only a few pier foundations and part of the apse were discovered. However the remains of the building, along with a description of the church by Procopius, allow for a partial reconstruction of the church. This church (or martyrion) had an octagonal plan similar to the churches of San Vital in Ravenna and Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople. It consisted of a octagonal nave surrounded by an octagonal ambulatory and galleries. The last traces of the church disappeared in 1965 with construction of the Bakırköy Hospital. Several architectural remains are now on display at the Istanbul Archaeological Museums.

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Photo of demolition by Kleiss (1965)

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Plan by Mathews

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Fragment of a Marble Frieze, First half of 6th c.
St. John Prodromos at Hebdomon

Inv. 3967 T

Marble Inlaid Column, First half of 6th c.
St. John Prodromos at Hebdomon
Inv. 3968 T

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Marble Basket Capital with Monograms of Justinian and Theodora
Hebdomon, 6th century (Inv. 1239 T)

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 Ionic impost capital

In the gardens of Hagia Sophia

Sources

Contribution à la topographie de l'Hebdomon by R. Demangel

Constantinople byzantine: développement urbain et répertoire topographique by R. Janin

The Early Churches of Constantinople: Architecture and Liturgy by T. Mathews

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium edited by Alexander Kazhdan

Resources

Hebdomon Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

Istanbul Archaeological Museums Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

Byzantine Churches of Istanbul (NYU)

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The Byzantine Legacy
Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016