A real Byzantine fairy tale of the Kariye Mosaic Museum hides from tourists behind an inconspicuous facade, so casual visitors are rare here. But knowledgeable people and pilgrims from all over the world set out on a journey, only to see firsthand a unique collection of ancient mosaics. Most of the frescoes in the former church are chronological illustrations of biblical scenes from the 14th century, the most impressive of which are The Descent into Hell and the Last Judgment. The full name of the Great (or Ecumenical) Patriarchate sounds like "Patriarchate of New Rome and the Orthodox Church of Constantinople", but for convenience it is often abbreviated. Unlike many other Byzantine shrines, the Patriarchate is an active religious object; now it houses the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The main entrance is closed in memory of Patriarch Gregory V, who was hanged in 1821 for calling the Greeks to revolt. The main Christian relics are kept today on the territory of the Patriarchate in the Church of the Great Martyr George, built in the 18th century. You will see mosaic icons of the 11-12 centuries, a Byzantine ceremonial cross carved from the tree of the Holy Cross, a stone column to which Christ was tied, the patriarchal throne, on which, according to legend, John Chrysostom himself sat. The relics of many famous saints, the remains of Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom are also kept here. Mentioning Byzantium, it is impossible not to turn your gaze to the Golden Horn Strait, at the mouth of which in the 7th century BC the colony of Byzantium was founded, and later the city of Constantinople was created around it. Travelers of the 19th century called the strait the most beautiful part of the city, and the full name of the bay, given by the Turks, sounds like Halich-i-Dersaadet, that is, “Bay of the Gates of Bliss”. Now, driving along the Golden Horn, you can see many architectural monuments associated with the Orthodox page of the history of Istanbul. The Bulgarian Church of St. Stephen (Iron Church) is located off the coast of the Golden Horn. This Church received its name in honor of the great martyr Stephen. In the interior, you can see the neo-baroque and neo-gothic styles. St. Stephen's Church is portable, it can be disassembled at any time and transported to another place. This is its uniqueness, it is also the only iron church in Turkey. Blachernae Church is one of those churches whose history since its inception is associated with miracles. Since pagan times, there was a sacred healing spring on this place, which was later included in the territory of the temple, where the veil and belt of the Mother of God were kept, secretly taken by pilgrims from Jerusalem. The Blachernae Icon of the Virgin was credited with saving Constantinople during several sieges. Russia also took part in one of them. In 910, during the siege of the city by the Russians, the Mother of God appeared to the defenders of the city, covering everyone with her robe (veil). The cover immersed in the waters of the Golden Horn caused a storm that swept the Russian boats. It made an indelible impression on the miraculously saved Russes, and after the adoption of Christianity in Russia, the Intercession became one of the main holidays of the Russian Church. The history of the ancient Blachernae icon, created from the crushed relics of the martyrs and inexplicably ended up in Russia, is also interesting.