©The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project

Glykeria Kilisesi

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Glykeria Kilisesi

Plan Type:
Cross in Square
Year of Costruction:
11th c.
Investigation Method:

Imrali Adasi
Antique Name:
H. Glykeria Nesos


Location: It is located on the Incirli Island (Rahmi Koc), the easternmost of the islets in the Marmara Sea across Tuzla to the west of the Gulf of Izmit. It is accessible by sea from Tuzla. A small pathway leads to the monastery on the northern part of the island. The remains of the church lie on the eastern end of the island. The island is a private property of Rahmi Koc (a Turkish business man) at present, and therefore, it is not open to visit.
Geography and Environment: It is known that on the island there was a monastery dedicated to St. Glykeria during the Middle Byzantine Period. No other building exits on the island from the Byzantine Period. Present land use of the island is unknown.
Research and Excavation: No systematic survey or study has been carried out on the building. The island is referred in the survey about Tuzla and its vicinity carried out by Sideris, a Greek historian from Istanbul [Sideridis 1908]. In 1976, A. Koyunlu, C. Soyhan and S. Atasoy of the Archaeological Museums of Istanbul conducted a survey in the island, and published a brief report [Koyunlu et al. 1976]. This research team saw three cisterns and an unidentified building, but not the church. In 1988, a team led by S. Eyice conducted a study in the island for a few days, made measured drawings of the building and took photographs [Eyice 2001].
Description: Building Phases: The Church: It was repaired in the 13th century, and enlarged with additional constructions [Eyice 2001:71]. It was abandoned following the conquest of Gebze and its vicinity by the Ottomans during the 14th century [Eyice 2001:71]. The Great Cistern: It is located to the northeast of the island, west of the church, measuring 11.5x7 m with a height of 4 m. The arches standing on six columns support 12 domical vaults. During the research in 1975, it was found out that the roofing system stood on wooden piers as the columns were removed [Koyunlu et al. 1976:58]. The cistern is descended through a staircase of 14 steps to the north. At the center of the four domes in the middle row there are openings for light and airing [Koyunlu et al. 1976:58, pic. 3; Soyhan 1995-96:27-28, pl. 3; Eyice 2001:76]. The Vaulted Cistern: It is located to the northeast of the island, measuring 5x6 m with a vault height of 5 m. Covered with a barrel vault, it is descended by a bilateral staircase [Eyice 2001:76; Koyunlu et al. 1976:59]. The Open Cistern: Noted during the research in 1976, the cistern was identified next to the wooden house at the end of the pathway while climbing from the natural port, however the dimensions were not provided [Koyunlu et al. 1976:58]. The Monk Cells: Three chambers, each with a dimension of 4.5x1.9 m and a partition wall of 0.45 m in between, were identified on a steep slope facing the south on the western section of the island, and they were defined as monk cells [Eyice 2001:76-77]. Architectural Features: Out of the monastery, only the church, two cisterns and some remains of the monk cells survived to the present day. With a domed cross in square plan, the walls of the church are extant only up to 1.5 m. Although traces of a chapel adjacent to the southern part of the church are observed, these parts disappeared due to erosion by the sea. It is known that the naos was covered with a dome standing on four pillars which were connected to each other by wide arches. Among the pillars, except the bema, there were two each columns [Eyice 2001:73-76]. Decorative Features: Although there is no in situ decoration, traces of frescoes and mosaics found among the debris of the church and monk cells indicate presence of decorations on the buildings. Also found are evidences of opus sectile pavement in the floor of the church [Eyice 2001:75].
Finds: Architectural Plastics: Two columns, probably moved from the cistern, were found in the natural port to the north [Koyunlu et al. 1976: pic. 1]. Among the debris of the church, some architectural fragments are observed, including many opus sectile fragments [Eyice 2001:75, 78]. Glass: Some window glass was found among the debris of the church and the monk cells during the cleaning work [Eyice 2001:75-76].

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