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HAGIA IRENE

Hagia Irene church built in the 4th century was rebuilt by the Eastern Roman emperor Justin in 548 after it was damaged in a fire in 532. The church is a three-aisled basilica comprising a main space (naos), a narthex and an atrium. In the apse, the half-dome above the main narthex, there is a large mosaic of a simple black cross on a gold background. On the arch of the apse there is an inscription extracted from Amos 9:6: “[It is he] that builds his ascent up to the sky, and establishes his promise/foundations (epithemelion) on the earth; the Lord almighty is his name.”