Located in the Topkapi Palace grounds, in the first courtyard behind the Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine church of Aya Irini features classical music concerts and art exhibitions year round during important festivals such as the Istanbul International Music Festival in June and July. It is said that Aya Irini has the be acoustics in the world so a concert here is not to be passed up.
The structure is the only untouched Byzantine church since the Ottoman conquest and is in fact, the first church built in Constantinople. When not functioning as a concert venue, this former church serves as a museum and requires special permission to visit due to the sensitive nature of its rare 8th century mosaics and frescos (added by Emperor Constantine V).
Istanbul Aya Irini (St. Irini) – Open every day except Monday.
Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 İstanbul, Turkey – 0212 512 04 08
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