advertisement

We really know very little about the origins of this Byzantine church. Scholars are not even sure as to which St. Theodore the church was dedicated. Still, we can at least narrow down the construction of the building to a 200-year period between the 12th and 14th centuries. The church was predictably converted to a mosque immediately after the conquest and is alternatively known as the Kilise Camii (Church Mosque) and the Molla Gürani Camii, after the Kurdish scholar, tutor to Mehmet the Conqueror, and the first Mufti of Istanbul. Inside are what appear to be a number of recycled 6th-century-A.D. architectural elements (columns, capitals, supports). The building underwent a restoration in 1937, during which mosaics were revealed from under the whitewash. These are located primarily in the south dome of the exonarthex depicting the Virgin Mary surrounded by prophets.