11 Most Iconic Examples Of Byzantine Architecture

Byzantine architecture is one of the most popular and authoritative styles in the world. Right after the fall of Roman Empire in the 4th century the Byzantine empire started and began the Byzantine art and architecture. This empire cautiously formed as an individual cultural and artistic outfit which is today known as the Roman empire right after 330 A.D. Today, Istanbul is home for most of Byzantine style. The magnificent churches built at that time is one of the main examples of Byzantine architecture. Probably, the Byzantine architecture is the foundation of basilicas, an ancient type of church.

There are number of famous Byzantine architecture structures all over the world, so save yourself some money and learn about them without visiting them personally. These amazing Byzantine architectures attract people all from all around the world, so must pay them a visit if you’re ever near them. This article is an efficient source of getting answers to questions like “What are most famous Byzantine architectures?” and “What is the significance of Byzantine architectures buildings?”

11 of the best Byzantine architecture are described below:

1 Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Byzantine Architecture

Hagia Sophia, one of the ancient and historical Byzantine architecture building that remains standing today, it holds an important place in Istanbul because of its style, functionality, size, and grandness. This is an enormous church constructed by the Romans and has been reconstructed three times on the same location. Hagia Sophia was first known as Megale Ekklesia; big church. During the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmed’s, a madrassah was also constructed towards the north of Hagia Sophia.

Minbar, mihrabs maks oorah’s, a muezzin mahfil, and a preachment stand was also added in the structure of Hagia Sophia during the 16th and 17th century; Ottoman Period.

2 Chora Museum, Kariye

Byzantine Architecture

Chora church has one of the great examples of Byzantine architecture buildings. Chora church is located near the Golden Horn in Kariye neighborhood. This was originally a Christian church but after the conquest of Constantinople, it was changed into a mosque, and today it is a museum.

Chora church was constructed in 5th century over the wall of Constantinople, as in Greek Chora means countryside. However, in the 11th century it was rebuilt by Maria Ducaena, the mother in law of Alexius I Comnenus.
The dome of the rock

The Dome of the Rock is a Muslim temple that was constructed in Jerusalem in AD 691 on the temple mount. The Dome of the Rock is constructed within a wide Muslim holy area that is also referred to as Mount Moriah in the core of Jerusalem. The main significance of this building is itself its name from the fact that it was constructed on the upper part of Mount Moriah where Christians and Jews have a belief that the son of Abraham was prepared as a sacrifice to God.

The Dome of Rock is a part of Masjid-al-Aqsa but mostly it is itself referred to as al-Aqsa mosque. The structure of this building was designed by Caliph Abd al-Malik from the period 688-691 CE.

3 Saint Sophia Church, Bulgaria

Byzantine Architecture

Saint Sophia church is also known as Sveta Sophia and is one of the ancient Christian shrines in Bulgaria. Saint Sophia church has been transformed, destroyed, rebuilt, and annexed until now and all wrapped up in mysticism. It is said that a princess named Sophia built this when she arrived in the city. She eventually healed after a serious disease, therefore, built this church to praise the God. Later she was buried there. Ages ago, the church was converted into a mosque by the West goths and Huns during the Ottoman occupation.

4 Saint Mark Basilica, Venice

Byzantine Architecture

Saint Mark Basilica is one of the popular churches in Venice and is considered one of the great examples of Byzantine architecture buildings. It is located on the Grand Canal; this malicious basilica disregards the Piazza San Marco and touch the Doge’s Palace. Saint Mark Basilica covers a huge mosaic here to cover even 1.5 American football fields. Mostly the basilica treasures and wealth have been coming from the Constantinople and Crusades. However, not so long ago but its bell tower collapsed once.

5 Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

Byzantine Architecture

Basilica Cistern is considered as the marvel of Byzantine architecture under the streets of Istanbul. The structure for this building was designed by Emperor Justinian and constructed in 532. It is the biggest Byzantine cistern in Istanbul that remains still today. 336 columns were utilized in the construction of Basilica Cistern, many of which were collected from old ruined temples and hold finely carved capitals. Its style, functionality, symmetry, and sheer grandeur of conception are breathtaking. Basilica Cistern gets its name as it lay underneath the Stoa Basilica.

6 Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Balkans

Saint Andrew’s Cathedral is one of the famous Byzantine architecture building consisting of the largest tomb in Balkans. It has a huge bell tower and many arches, holding Byzantine architecture, it was established in 1974. Saint Andrew’s Cathedral church is a Greek Orthodox Basilica in the city of Patras, Greece. There is an ancient church also referred to as Saint Andrew opposite to this church, that was constructed in 1835. This church was designed by a well-known architect Lysandros Kaftatzoglou.

7 Hagia Irene, Istanbul

Byzantine Architecture

Hagia Irene is an Orthodox former church, the first one built in Constantinople. Hagia Irene is the one and the only church that was not converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul. One must pay a visit to Hagia Irene as it is worth seeing. Hagia Irene possesses several few interesting features that make it different from other Istanbul’s Byzantine churches. It is believed to be an ancient site for Christian worship accords Istanbul. Due to its exceptional features and style, today Hagia Irene is also used during music festivals in Istanbul.

8 Fenari Isa Mosque, Istanbul

Byzantine Architecture

Fenari Isa Mosque is also referred to as Molla Fenari Isa Camii, this mosque is situated in Constantinople that was made up of two bygone Orthodox Eastern Churches. This church was constructed in 908, besides another temple which was from the late 6th century. The interior and exterior of this mosque is exceptional and is one of the greatest Byzantine structure all over. This building describes a notable example of Byzantine style in Constantinople.

9 Church Of The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

Byzantine Architecture

The Church of Holy Sepulchre is also referred to as Church of Resurrection to Eastern Christians. This church is situated in the eastern old city of Jerusalem that is the holiest Christian place to worship in the world. It is situated on the place which is believed to circumscribe both Calvary, or Golgotha, the place where Jesus was shattered, and where he was buried. It is a famous example of Byzantine architecture structures.

10 Ca Da Mosto, Venice

Byzantine Architecture

Ca Da Mosto is concerned with the original Byzantine style, and is an important example of 13th-century mansion in Venice. It is an ancient and incredible building beside the Grand Canal. This palace was constructed in 13th century in the intersection of Castello and Cannaregio, but with the passage of time and the administrator, amendments have somehow changed its appearance and structure.

Until the 16th century, the second floor of Ca Da Mosto was not added so far. Ca Da Mosto palace remained the property of its original owners till 16th century; Mosto Family.

11 Church Of Saint Catherine, Greece

Byzantine Architecture

The Church if Saint Catherine is situated in the old city of Thessaloniki in Greece. It is one of the most attractive, and beautifully preserved Byzantine architectural church in Greece. However, some of its acceptance has also served as a mosque.  This church was constructed in the period of Palaiologos that conquered the Byzantine Empire from 1261-1453. However, the exact time when it was built still unknown.


By approaching the work of Byzantine architecture regardless of its deep association with religion provide us an incomplete and sketchy of this tradition. However, Byzantines were the descendants of the Roman empire, they embraced Christianity and turned away from gods of antiquity.