The Nea, the "New Church" which was built by Basileios I between 876 and
880, marks the beginning of monumental middle byzantine architecture. It
existed until the end of the empire. The church is probably the same that
was used by the Ottomans as a powder magazine and exploded when it was
struck by a lightning in 1490. Since there are no remains left, and we know
only that it had five domes, several reconstructions have been proposed.
On the so-called Vavassore woodcut of Istanbul that shows the city as in ca. 1480 the Nea is depicted under the name S. Luca as a cross-in-square church on a high substructure, with domes on the four chapels over the corner rooms.
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