It was in 2010 when I first time visited the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul. The church located in the Phanar district, facing the Golden Horn, is full of beautiful Byzantine icons and valuable historical objects. Between them is the very famous patriarchal throne that is attributed to St. John Chrysostom (398-404). At this day I have spent there about half an hour admiring beautiful icons and the very ornate interior of the church. While leaving it I saw near the entrance a mysterious box covered with a very curious pattern. I made a photograph of it and I went out to visit other Greek churches in the Phanar. I did not pay any attention to this box, as at this time I was more interested in Byzantine icons.
|Fig. 1 The Patriarchal church of St. George is the fifth church in Constantinople to house the Ecumenical Patriarchate since the 15th century. Formerly a convent for Orthodox nuns, it was converted to the patriarchal offices by Patriarch Matthew II (1598-1601). Patriarch Timothy II refurbished the church in 1614, and Patriarch Jeremiah III rebuilt it after a fire in 1720). It was repaired in 1836 by Patriarch Gregory VI and restored recently under Patriarch Bartholomew.|