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July 2020
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This is in the vast belt of cemeteries outside the land walls. Walk out of Silivri Kapı, cross the road, take the first right and keep walking. In the middle of the graveyards and men with chisels chipping out names on marble, there is an island of Christianity (41.006808,28.915887). Pilgrims still come here in large enough numbers to supply business for the upmarket Manastir Café and Restaurant.


The healing powers of the spring have brought people since pre-Christian times. Justinian appears to have built a church here in the 6th century although there was probably one already there. Destruction by earthquake (8th C), burning by Bulgars (928), and conquering Ottomans (1453 and thereafter) meant that there was little remaining to tempt anyone to confiscate the land from the Greek Church. When the Patriarchate asked for permission to rebuild in 1833, the current building over the ayazma was constructed. There is a walled cemetery for the Orthodox Patriarchs who have died since this church opened. The bekçi is absurdly helpful and will use his collection of enormous iron keys to unlock wherever one asks. Not unreasonably, he will expect a tip.


Hardly a Byzantine church, but the spring is original and so, according to legend, is the lineage of the fish that still inhabit it. Inscriptions on some of the headstones you will probably walk over to get around the grounds are in Karamanlı, Turkish language written in Greek characters.



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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “The Shrine of Zoodochus Pege/Balıklı Kilise/The Ayazma of Pege/Balıklı Meryem Ana Rum Ortodoks Manastırı”

  1. Enormousfish | Kocamustafapaşa, Yenikapı and Silivrikapı | Adam Kaya Heskith | Author and Writer | Enormousfish Says:
    November 13th, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    […] […]

  2. Enormousfish | Church underneath Sedir Carpet Shop/Kirkit Rugs, Sultanahmet | Adam Kaya Heskith | Author and Writer | Enormousfish Says:
    September 19th, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    […] that this was the spring of Zoodochos Pege. This seems almost certain to be in the well-known Balikli Monastery outside the Theodosian walls near Silivrikapi. A member of the team who excavated the building […]


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