In Turkey, we call Halki which actually means copper in Greek, Heybeliada. The history of the island dates back to the Byzantine period. Before the conquest of Istanbul, Halki was quite famous for its copper mines. After some time, it became a centre of religious education for the Orthodox Greeks. The St. Nicholas Church, The Holy Theological School of Halki and The Monastery of St. George are some of the most important structures located in the area.
Halki is also known for its beautiful pine trees. It is the greenest island amongst all the Princes’ Islands. You can find some of the most important locations of Halki below.
1-The Monastery of St. George
The Monastery of St. George is also known as Hagios Georgios tou Kremnou. The Monastery’s name comes from the high cliffs it was built on, ‘tou Kremonu’ means at the cliff. The Monastery of St. George was built during the late 16th century. It is possible to find the location where the monk was buried at the narthex (at the entrance of The Monastery of St. George) and the icon of St. George that was dedicated to St. Ionnikos. The Monastery is only a 10-minute walk from the sanatorium.
2-The Ornate Tomb
On your way to the Monastery of St. George, it is impossible for you to miss the Ornate Tomb. With the orders of the Gemlik Consulate of Great Britain, the tomb was built in 1865 for his departed wife. After he died, he was buried next to her.
The marbles of the tomb were brought from Italy. You can also find gothic and neoclassical representations on the decorations of the tomb. The words “The plant dried and the flower fell; the word of God will remain forever” can be found at the bottom in Greek.
The Halki Seminary, formally known as the Theological School of Halki was found in 1844. The seminary is extremely important because it was built to strengthening the union between the Orthodox and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is also the first academic school built after the Orthodox Theology Faculty of the University of Athens. The library which is located inside the church is also very popular. It is possible to visit the Halki Seminary every day apart from Sunday’s with permission.
4- St. Nicholas Church
St. Nicholas is a Greek Orthodox Church located in the north of the island. The church is dedicated to Saint Nicholas; patron of mariners, the church was damaged in the great earthquake that struck Constantinople. You can visit the church seven days a week.