The Greek Orthodox Cathedral is located between Sadrazam Ali Pasha Avenue and Incebel Street in Fener. The Orthodox Patriarchate is adjacent to the cathedral in the same courtyard. The Patriarchate moved to St. Yorgi in 1602. Since then it has weathered much damage and undergone repair for various reasons. The latest disaster was a fire in 1941 in which it suffered a lot of damage. Repair work began in 1989 and was completed in 1991.
From an architectural point of view the church is neither very valuable nor very appealing. However, there are some very valuable articles inside. Among these articles is a patriarchal throne, which is claimed to be of the 5th century. In addition there are three very rare mosaic icons, a column from Jerusalem which Jesus was tied and whipped, and the coffins of three saints.
As the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church, this church, dedicated to St George, is as significant to Orthodox Christians as the Vatican is to Catholics. Bearing this in mind, you might be surprised by the diminutive size of the complex here that is overseen by the current Patriarch Bartholomew. As you enter the main gate, look to your right at the black door that has been welded shut: it’s the site where Patriarch Gregory V was hanged for treason in 1821. Inside the church is a beautifully gilded front altar section as well as the remains of Saints Omnia, Thoephano and Euphemia.
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