Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Istanbul Turkey

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has been located in Istanbul (previously Constantinople) since the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church officially split.  What was once a haven for Orthodox Christians, the Patriarch is now  in charge over dwindling number of Christians in Istanbul.  The church of St. Gregory, as it is officially named, built in 1720 is not nearly as impressive as St. Peter's in Rome.  However the smaller Greek Orthodox Church still maintains its traditional iconastas and vestments.  Ceremony and tradition are large factors within the Greek Orthodox Church.  The main doors to the complex have been welded shut in memory of Patriarch Gregory V who was hanged in front of these doors in 1821 for treason.  He encouraged the Greeks to overthrow Ottoman rule and was punished for it.  

- nick svilar

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