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Sacred Architecture and Art of Four Byzantine Capitals

Sacred Architecture and Art of Four Byzantine Capitals

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by Nicholas N. Patricios, PhD
Softcover: 425 pages

The aim of this book is to depict the architecture and iconography of the significant churches
built in one the four capitals of the Byzantine Empire over a period of about nine centuries.
Capitals of the Byzantine Empire were Constantinople (today Istanbul) on the Bosporus the
major capital city: Thessaloniki located in northern Greece the co-capital; Mystras in the
central Peloponnese a medieval capital; and Mount Athos on a peninsula in northeast Greece
still today the spiritual capital of Eastern Orthodox monasticism.

The book is an invaluable visual and written account of sixty-nine Byzantine churches, nearly all
visited by the author, richly illustrated with color photographs many full-page, a total of 391
in color out of the 476 illustrations in the book. The architecture and art of each church is
depicted with an informative written description, a floor plan and visually by color
photographs. Descriptions of those churches in Constantinople, in particular, are vital as
nowadays they accessible only with great difficulty as they have been converted to mosques
especially the famous Agia Sophia.

Byzantine churches are exceptional as their architecture, art, and liturgy are integrated and
imbued with symbolism, and they do so in so many different ways. The best have impressive
architectural exteriors and striking iconographic interiors. These churches of the Empire’s
capitals are most significant as they acted as models or prototypes, for those built elsewhere
in the Byzantine world. It is remarkable that the Byzantine-style church has continued to be
built even after the Byzantine Empire ceased to exist in Greek and Eastern Orthodox
communities throughout the world to the present day.

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