PEACE IN THE RUINS: Drawing the Hospital of Sampson

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Day 3: Peace in the Ruins ©2014 Trici Venola

I was allowed to draw the site on the condition that I take no photos down in the ruin. Hagia Eirene’s fabulously aged façade runs straight down into it.

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Façade of Hagia Eirene showing lumpy old ruins of the Hospital that was built onto it.

Hagia Eirene, the second Hagia Sophia (built by Theodosius I,) and the Hospital were all burned in the Nika Riots in 532. The Emperor Justinian re-built all of them, and both basilicas stand today. Here’s a section of the ruin at the base of Hagia Eirene. See the slanted bricks running behind the ruined section in front? There must have been a roof of some kind, later incorporated into the new Church and Hospital.

Slant Bricks at Sampson
Slant Bricks at Sampson ©2014 Trici Venola

The Hospital ruin was excavated after WWII. Until four years ago, the structure in front of it was a private home. Its transformation to upscale cafe brought a fresh group of archeologists and students. A catwalk was built down into the site. Weeds were cleared, bits photographed and catalogued and stacked at the edges, large trees cut. Photographs can be seen at the cafe. Then the walkways were removed, and the site allowed to go back to the wild mustard. It’s lovely.

Day 3
Day 5: Peace in the Ruins ©2014 Trici Venola

  1. Joy Lumb

    Very enjoyable and emotive of the moody surroundings. Lovely artwork and writing! You did it all! I am a friend of Leslie Foale and she has told me about you. We are both on the Isle of Skye. Best Wishes to you and thank you for such a meaningful and moving post.

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