Türkan UZUN
(Maltepe Unv.Architectural Dep., Turkey)

Abstract: In this poster the remains of the fourth century Great Byzantine Palace will be discussed. It will take up what was discovered during excavations carried out during the process of transforming the prison near St. Sophia in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square into the “Four Seasons Hotel.”

In the Ottoman Empire period the Sultanahmet area was an abandoned area and empty land. So building a prison called the “Istanbul Crime Detention Home” here was considered convenient.

In the excavation of the old Byzantine Palace that began in 1997 in the garden of the Four Seasons Hotel, quite a few discoveries were made that illuminate history. One third of the excavation was completed and yielded hundreds of thousands of  items that belonged to the Hellenistic (second and third centuries) and Ottoman periods as well as to the Byzantine. Findings belonging to the Roman tradition were found as well in the excavation. The colored frescoes found in the southeast part of the palace are dazzling.

In the Byzantine Palace excavation which is shown in American archaeological literature as among the most important 100 scientific events of the century, the section of the palace that was first brought to light became the archival section. With the hundreds of thousands of items in the end as well as the remains that are thought to have been a church devoted to the name of Jesus, the walls of the Chalke Gate that was said to have been used by the emperor and formed the great palace’s entrance gate were uncovered.

In addition some remains were found that are thought to belong to the foundations of the bridge that provided the emperor with passage from the palace to the second floor of St. Sophia.

Keywords: Byzantine Palace, Four Season’s Hotel