Interested in reading about some students from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary's Byzantine History class trip to Constantinople? It's really enjoyable reading. Here is the first of the multi-part installments available here.
Now that the group has, at long last, arrived in Constantinople, daily updates and reports will be provided by second-year seminarian Novice Angelos, accompanied by photographs taken by members of the group. On the photo, left to right: Dr. Vitaly Permiakov, Fr. Hegumen Constantine Churchin, Novice Brother Angelos
Tuesday, July 14th. Having gathered from the four corners of the Russian Orthodox world (Jordanville via Moscow, Riga via Kiev, Kishinev, and Moscow via London), we intrepid pilgrims met with our local contact and guide, Marc Madrigal, who drove us to our hotel, located in the Phanar district of The City and only a stone's throw from the Patriarchal complex.
After establishing our living quarters, our first trip was made to the front gates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, permanently locked in memory of the Holy Hieromartyr Gregory V, who was hanged here by the Ottoman authorities at the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Here, before we embarked on our week-long exploration of The City's near-2,000 heritage, we sang prayers and troparia to Our Lord and His saints, asking for protection and guidance on our journey.
The main activity of the evening was a boat trip around the Bosphorus, which allowed us to familiarise ourselves with the area and, assisted by Marc's prodigious knowledge of local history, identify some of the important historical landmarks dotted along the rugged coastline, as well as some more modern developments in the area. The trip on the waters, accompanied by a pleasant coastal breeze, afforded us dramatic views of highlights such as the church of Hagia Sophia, Suleiman and Fatih mosques, Galata Tower, and the massive suspension bridges that connect Europe with Asia. Other notables sites included the Roumeli and Anatolian Castles, which were used to defend the City from attacking navies. Many of these places represent important events that happened outside the city walls, and seeing them from our boat helped us to visualise that which we had learned in Byzantine history class.
After our boat trip, the group enjoyed an excellent fish dinner on the seafront, consisting of locally-sourced fish and vegetables – a real Byzantine meal!
Complete article here.