TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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From Istanbul to Constantinople

Imperishable traces of Christian Constantinople are now hidden in the Muslim Istanbul but can
be gradually discovered by any pilgrim throughout this impressive former capital of the Eastern
Roman Empire. Forty-seven churches and ten Orthodox monasteries are still in function today in
Istanbul, most of them being very old monuments, carrying a history of centuries and hiding within
their walls priceless relics and miracle-working icons. They are all under the pastoral care of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate which is also preserving some sacred relics of crucial importance for Eastern
Christians. Blachernae monastery and that of The Healing Spring are blessed places where the
Mother of God revealed herself and bestowed her grace upon men which become historical characters.
But even in former churches, today mosques and museums, as Kuchuk Aya Sofia (Little Hagia
Sophia, former church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus) or Aya Irini, Byzantine testimonies remain
undeleted. Romanians feel bound to Istanbul not only because of the many donations made by our
rulers over time to Christian places, but through our Prince Constantin Brancoveanu, founder of
the church St. Paraskeva, benefactor of Pikridion and martyr of the true faith under the city walls
of Constantine the Great.
Keywords: christian Constantinople, muslim Istanbul, monasteries and churches in Constantinople,
Constantin Brâncoveanu, ecumenical Patriarchy