Hagia Irene, built at the beginning of the 4th century, is known as the largest Byzantine Church that could not be converted into a mosque.
The reason why the church was not turned into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul is shown to be that it remained inside the Sur-ı Sultan, which surrounds Topkapı Palace.
It is said to have been built with the remains of Artemis, Apollo and Aphrodite structures from Roman times. Hagia Irene was severely damaged due to severe earthquakes in the region in the 700s and 800s.
You can visit the Hagia irene Museum, which is open to visitors every day of the week except Tuesdays, between 09.00 and 19.00 in winter (3 October – 14 April), and between 09:00 and 19:00 in summer (15 April – 2 October). Only in winter, ticket sales end at 16:00.
The entrance fee to the museum, where MüzeKart is not valid, is 30 TL.
You can take any of the trams running on the Bağcılar, Kabataş and Zeytinburnu lines to go to the Hagia Irene Museum located in Fatih district.