Byzantine Palace to become open air museum
ISTANBUL – DHA
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality will restore the 1,610-year-old Boukoleon Palace in Çatladıkapı, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
A project delivered to the Cultural and Natural Heritage Conversation Board proposes to make the palace an open-air museum. The project details include a timber walking trail for visitors, a museum, and a pool. Works will start after the approval of the project by the board.
In the project, all subsequent ironworks will be removed. All marble surfaces will be cleaned and structural elements will be repaired. Parts with material loss will be completed. Repairs will be made where melting and wear are observed. Located between the Boukoleon Palace and the railway, the cement plastered rubble stone wall will be removed and a wrought iron fence will be made.
According to the restoration project, the sections of the facades of the Faros Tower that have lost surface and material will be completed with cut stone, taking into account the static condition of the structure. The debris on the ground of Boukoleon Palace will be removed. Original marble columns and pillars on the facade beneath the large arches under the Emperor Pier will be excavated and unearthed. All subsequent wire fences, iron bars, and sheets that cover gaps will be removed. A pool will be built at a specified location, scale and depth in the eastern edge of the Emperor Pier. The parks in front of the palace will be removed too.
A museum structure will be built underground in the specified position and size in the project. In addition, an environmental arrangement will be made for visitors.
The marble block, which is located on the opposite side in the main entrance and on which there is a monogram of Emperor Justinianus, will be removed and moved to its original place.
The Boukoleon Palace was built by Theophilos (829-842 A.D.) with a facade to the sea on top of the sea walls that had been thickened in this region some decades before.
The western part of this facade survived until 1873 when it was demolished to give way for the railway. The eastern part still stands upright.
This reconstruction is based on old drawings made before the destruction and the suggestions of E. Mamboury published in 1934. About the back parts of the building behind the facade and the railway, nearly nothing is known.
The Latin name of the palace is known as Buccoleonis Majus Palatium. The ownership of the palace belongs to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.