Hagia Irene Museum (Guided Tour)
#240 in Istanbul
Hagia Irene or Holy Peace, was a Greek Eastern Orthodox church built under the orders of Emperor Constantine I over the ruins of a pagan temple as the first church in Constantinople. It served as the church of the Patriarchate until the Hagia Sophia basilica was built.
Due to fires and earthquakes, the church suffered damanges and was restored in several ocasions.
After Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans, the chuch was located inside the walls of the Topkapı Palace and although it was not converted into a mosque as most other churches, most likely because the Ottoman sultan was more interested in the nearby Hagia Sophia Basilica, it still suffered damages under the hands of the Ottoman soldiers, the Janissaries, while they used the building as an arsenal and warehouse.
Before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, it served during 70 years as the Military Museum; it was closed for a long period after which it was restored and opened again as a museum in 2014 until today and eventually, due to the excellent acoustics of the building, classical music concerts are held
An amazing skip-the-line guided tour where you will be able to visit the beautiful former church.
Hours & Schedule
- Monday: NO TOURS
- Tuesday: NO TOURS - the museum is closed
- Wednesday thru Sunday: 15:30
The approximate duration is 20 minutesView Timetable
How To Get There?
The tour starts in front the entrance of the Carpet Museum (Halı Müzesi), outside the Topkapı Palace.
The palace is located close to the Sultanahmet Square, next to the Hagia Sophia museum. It can be reached via the T1 Tram Line and then walking 5 minutes to the palace.
- The guided tours are performed in English.
- The tour starts from the front of the entrance of the Carpet Museum, outside the palace. Click on Get Directions above to find the location.
- The tour doesn't require a reservation in advance.
- Istanbul Tourist Pass holders do not pay admission at the Hagia Irene Museum.
- Children will be asked to present their valid passport at the entrance of the museums in order to validate their age.
- Please note that this attraction cannot be accessed directly by presenting the digital Pass at the museum. You need to enter with the tour guide.
- The museum is closed for visits for half-day on the first day of Ramadan and Sacrifice Festivals.
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