The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Ii. Constantinople

Santa Maria de la Cherne Church

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This church of 'Santa Maria de la Cherne' used to be a chapel of the emperor's, and the interior consists of three naves, the centre one being the largest and most lofty, and the other two being lower. They are vaulted, and the arches connect them together. These naves are adorned in the following manner. They are raised on great pillars of green jasper, and their bases are of white marble, inlaid with many figures. The ceilings and the walls, half way up, are covered with flags of jasper of many colours, with many figures and beautiful works artificially wrought upon them. The ceiling of the centre nave is very rich, made of timber in squares and beams, all gilded with very fine gold; and though parts of the church were much out of repair, this gilded ceiling looked as fresh and as beautiful as if it was just finished. In the centre nave there was a rich altar and a pulpit, also very rich; and all the furniture of the church is very rich and costly, and the roof was all covered with lead.