Best places in Istanbul

Hagia Irene(atrium)

The building reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. It ranks, in fact, as the first church built in Constantinople. Roman emperor Constantine I commissioned the Hagia Irene church in the 4th century. It was burned down during the Nike revolt in 532. Emperor Justinian I had the church restored in 548. It served as the church of the Patriarchate before Hagia Sophia was completed in 537. Today, the museum serves mainly as a concert hall for classical music performances, due to its extraordinary acoustic characteristics and impressive atmosphere. Most of the concerts of the Istanbul International Music Festival have been held here every summer since 1980.

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