Blachernae ( _el. Βλαχερναί) was a suburb in the northwestern section of
Constantinople. It was the site of a spring and a number of churches were built there, notably by Pulcheriain the 5th centuryand by Justinian Iin the 6th century. These were originally outside the city walls, until 627when the walls were expanded to include this section of the city. The area was expanded to include an imperial palace in the 11th centuryby Alexius I, but the walls were still relatively weak, reinforced only by the ramparts of the palace. After Alexius, the Palace of Blachernaebecame the main residence of the emperors from 1081 AD to 1453 AD, though the old Great Palace was still used for major imperial ceremonies.
Its weakness was first exposed in the
Fourth Crusade, when the invaders penetrated Blachernae. Blachernae was also the site of the Blachernitissa, a church in honour of the Theotokos( Mother of God), which became the second-most important church in Constantinople after Hagia Sophia, if only because the emperors' residence was nearby. In 1347, John VI Cantacuzenuswas crowned there, instead of in Hagia Sophia. In 1453during the final siege of Constantinople, the Ottomans attacked Blachernae with their large cannon, almost completely destroying the walls there; the Byzantine defenders failed to block the Kerkoportagate, enabling the Turks to enter the city.
After the Ottoman conquest, the sultan's residence was moved to
Topkapı Palaceon the site of the ancient acropolisof Byzantium, opposite to the original site of the Great Palace, which had by this time fallen into complete ruin, and the Blachernae area (with the exception of the Palace of Porphyrogenitus) fell into disuse.
The Protection of the Mother of God- Glorious Mystery which happened at the Blachernae church
Blachernitissa- the illustrious icon from Blachernae
Blanquerna, a 1238 book by Ramon Llull.
*Hagia Thekla, a Byzantine church now converted into a Mosque.
* [http://www.adventuretours.com.tr/showinfo.asp?InfoNo=39 Church of Panagia of Blachernae]
* [http://www.byzantium1200.com/blach_walls.html 3D Reconstruction of Blachernae Walls]
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