Minecraft Maps / Land Structure

Chalke Gate - Great Palace of Constantinople

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marvelfannumber2's Avatar marvelfannumber2
Level 50 : Grandmaster Cake
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Chalke Gate


Yet another sneak peek at my ongoing Constantinople project.
This time around I'm sharing the Chalke Gate, giving a glimpse at what the Great Palace is going to look like eventually. This is a 1:1 scale (1 block=1 meter) reconstruction of the gate as it may have looked around 1180 A.D. This build comes complete with the gate itself, the icon of Christ Chalkites, the Chalke courtyard, the Iron Gate, the Small Chapel, a chunk of the Anabasion of the Chalke and a bunch of small statues.

Like last time I have covered the gate with mosaics described by Procopius of Caesarea in his "De Aedificiis", you'll only see these if you download the world itself, but the schematic is also made available.

This reconstruction was based off of the reconstruction by Alfredo Calahorra, you can find his article and 3D model of the Chalke here

This build was made in Minecraft Java 1.17.1


History

Located south-west of Hagia Sophia, the Chalke Gate was originally built by Emperor Constantine as the monumental gateway to the Great Palace complex. Little is known about this original building. In 532 A.D, it, along with much of the city center burned down during the Nika Riots.

Emperor Justinian set about rebuilding the Palace Gate with a radically different design. Sporting a central square gate with a large rectangular courtyard. The Chalke was also to be more than just a gate, as it would also be a record of Justinian's legacy. The year after the Nika Riots, in 533 A.D, Justinian ordered his famous general, Belisarius, to reconquer the lost western provinces of the Roman Empire, leading to much success in Africa and Italy. The Chalke was decorated with a grand mosaic scheme, showing Belisarius' battles in Africa and his Triumph in Constantinople, surmounted by a dome with Justinian and Empress Theodora, flanked by the Senate.

The Chalke would go on to have a controversial history in subsequent centuries, serving as the focal point for the Iconoclastic controversy in the 8th-9th Century. According to legend, Emperor Leo III, having saved the Roman Empire from the Muslim Arabs, began testing his banning of religious icons by removing the great mosaic of Christ from the gate. When the workers began to remove the icon, a woman, Theodosia, intervened and killed one of the workers. Theodosia was executed, later being canonized as a saint.

In the 800's Empress Irene re-established the use of icons, and had the Chalke's icon restored. However a few decades later Iconoclasm returned and the icon was removed again, replaced with a simple cross. Only in 843 was the use of icons returned for good, and the Chalke had another icon made.

In later times the Chalke would serve as a prison, and as barracks for the Varangian Guard. It vanishes from the historical record in the 13th Century and is last mentioned in the year 1200, 4 years before the destructive Sack of Constantinople.

Today nothing remains standing of the Chalke, only in the late 1990's were the foundations excavated, serving as the basis for all reconstructions.
CreditAlfredo Calahorra
Progress100% complete
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KostasMisa
10/05/2022 10:20 pm
Level 13 : Journeyman Crafter
KostasMisa's Avatar
looking forward to seeing the city herself!
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