Great Palace Mozaic Museum

The Great Palace Museum

More than 50 years ago, British archaeologists from the University of St. Andrews in Edinburgh, headed by J.H. Baxter unearth a large peristylar court with an axially joining apse hall and some adjacent parts of a large group of buildings. the complex, erected on an artificial terrace over subtructures, extended over fully 3500 to 4000 square metres. of this area, 3,690,75 square metres were taken up by the peristylar court which measured 66.50x 55.50 metres at the side. the 12 x 12 Corinthian Columns in the halls that had a depth of 9 metres were  8.50 to 9 m tall. When the peristyle was redone under Justinian I (527-565),the hall floor was decorated with the splendid ormamental pavement that is now on display in this mesum. 

The combination of peristyle adjoined by the palace aula has its roots in the Graeco-Roman design of state and residantial buildings. The Great Palace shows the unmistakable influence of the Roman palace building tradition. It is also noticeable how well the orientation of the peristylar court and aula matches that of Hagia Sophia and Hagia Eirene, which are aligned baically along the same axis. Probes underneath the palaces mosaic in the north-eastern hall discovered elements of a peristyle dating back to the 4th and 5 th centuries. Potteryfound in the soil filling underneath the mosaic  indicates that comprehenive conversion and construction work,including the laying of the mosaic , took place  under Justinian I in the first half of the 6th century. The palace district was enlarged and houses were built on three lower-lying terraces of the western slope right down to the coast. The main buildings and imperial quarter were shitted to the middle terrace above the palace  harbour near the Golden Tricilinium.

The Great Palace Mozaic

Nowhere  else in antiquity can we find a tessellated floor of quite the size and quality of the Great Palace Mosaic in Istanbul. This unique masterpiece also provides us with the single reference that we have of the furnishings of the imperial palace of Constantinople. At the time of its making, the mosaicist craft,rooted in Anatolia and artistically perfected in Greece and Italy, could draw on a long-established tradition. The best artists from all corners of the empire were employed to lay this splendidly ornamented floor. With no comparable  works available, it is however, difficult to interpret and date the mosaic solely on the basis of typological and stylistic criteria.

The mosaic floor was made up of three layers: the bottom stratum consisted of a thick (0.30 to 0.50 metres) bed od packed quarrystone , covered by a mortar screed of 9 cm in thickness topped by a compacted insulating layer of loam,soil,and charcoal and hard screed layer containing a high rate of stone chips, which in turn suppoerted the embedding mortar and tesserae.

The pavement required  75 to 80 million many-coloured lime, terracotta and glass cubes(40,000 cubes per square  metre) of some 5 mm in average edge  length. Due to destruction  and numerous conversion since the days of Justinian I, only some 250 square metres of the floor survived in the south-west, north-western and north-eastern halls of the peristylar court, about one seventh or one eighth of the original expanse. in spite of its fragmentes state, the unearthed parts of the mosaic  suffice to give us an impression of the splendour common in early Byzantine palaces. 

Every Tourist knows where Ottoman Sultans lived in İstanbul. And  most  of tourist  visited their palace like topkapı palace or Dolmabahçe palace. but Nobody knows and visits Romans palace. Because Romans palace completely was destroyed in reing of  Crusaders in terms of 1204-1261. And Also Blue Mosque covers all ruins of Roman Palace. According Cengiz Alatlı , in 20 or 30 years ago  , kids used to play games nearby blue mosque. these kids discovered a few mosaics during Their Games. afther that the restoaration was  done here. So beautifull Ground  Mozaic was found under Blue Mosque.  we can get information  how they wear costume and which animal  lived in İstanbul in that time thanks to these Mosaics .

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