Pivoting on the church of St. John Exoteichos: from the empire to modern Trabzon
Presently, the quantity of Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches that remained within the city center of Trabzon is quite limited. Additionally, aside from significant exceptions like the Hagia Sophia of Trebizond, numerous structures remain unfamiliar to the local community and have been repurposed for various uses. Byzantine and post-Byzantine studies in Turkey tend to focus on other centers and the heritage of Trebizond, a peripheral site with exceptional characteristics, receives less attention. The present research focuses on St. John Exoteichos, earlier known as Agios Ioannes tes Petra, and its neighborhood, Sotka, with a diachronic approach.
Built in the 13th/14th century, St. John Exoteichos was rebuilt by Metropolitan Konstantios in the 19th century. From the early 20th century onward, the church, once part of a complex with an adjacent Greek school building, briefly functioned as a warehouse during the Republican period. Subsequently, it transformed into a versatile hall for the neighboring primary school. The study focuses on three different periods, and it illustrates the continuities, changes, and transformations in the design and use of the church building throughout, regarding the region's political, architectural, and social dynamics. This thesis aims at contributing academic literature by exploring the church's historical, architectural, and urban dimensions. The study of St. John Exoteichos, particularly its 19th-century version, offers a novel perspective within Trabzon's Byzantine and post-Byzantine heritage.