The School of Architecture, Land and Environmental Science of the Neapolis University of Paphos, part of the Leptos Group Neapolis Smart EcoCity Project, has undertaken the task to landscape the Gardens of the Theological School of Halki in Constantinople, in view of its forthcoming reopening.
The Holy Theological School of Halki is located on the islet of the same name, in the Pringiponissia (Prince’s Islands) group of islands in Marmaras Bay, off the coast of Constantinople, and was established on October 1st, 1844. Following its forced closure by the Turks in 1971, it has lay silent ever since.
After a worldwide campaign to reinstate it, it was essential to undertake the works required to allow it to be ready to once again achieve its aim when it re-opens.
Amongst these works is the landscaping of its surrounding Gardens, a project undertaken by the School of Architecture, Land and Environmental Science of the Neapolis University of Paphos, part of the Leptos Group Neapolis Smart EcoCity Project, led by Dr. Julia Georgi, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of European and Research Projects.
The landscaping project has been envisaged in such manner as to provide a spiritual link between the contemporary landscaping of the Gardens and their Byzantine heritage. This required in-depth and exhaustive research by the team, as the available information on landscaping techniques in the Byzantine era is fairly limited.
Plantation which has survived the forty years of disuse, such as cedars, cypresses, pine trees and oleanders, will be enhanced by landscaping which will include planting several other species of plants and trees found in abundance in the Mediterranean.
The new plants and trees to be used in the landscaping project have not been randomly chosen; instead each of the species has a symbolic meaning in the scriptures: fig trees symbolise gentleness, vines symbolise calmness, pomegranate trees symbolise courage and vigour, date palms trees symbolise justice, and peach trees symbolise modesty. All these will be amongst the species of flora to be included in the project.
As part of the project, the team from Neapolis University visited the site in early June, at the attendance of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Bishop of Proussa and Prior of the Holy Monastery of Saint Trinity of Halki, Elpidoforos, who leads the attempts to re-instate the operation of the Holy Theological School of Halki
The team’s plans are due to be unveiled in a ceremony in the Holy Theological School of Halki in Constantinople, on September 1, 2013, at the presence of Patriarch Bartholomew.
Seen in the photograph (from left) taken in Halki, are the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Patriarch of Antioch John X and the Bishop of Proussa, Elpidoforos, and Dr. Julia Georgi.
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