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|Virgin Orans, The Great Panagia of Yaroslavl, 12th century Notes|
The icon of the Virgin Orans, The Great Panagia, appeared or re-appeared in Kiev in the beginning of the 12th century (see Alexander Boguslawski). In the mosaic image, as it appeared then, and which, I believe, is still present in the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev today, the Virgin was pictured without the Child in a medaillon on her chest, also named the Virgin "Indestructable Wall". A modern depiction thereof is shown in a webpage by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, referenced in the next paragraph.
Also called the Virgin of the Incarnation, or the Panagia of Blachernae, or the Blachernitissa, the icon has a long history that started in Constantinople. It is tied to the history of the Byzantium Empire and all its struggles, more precisely to the history of the Church of Panagia of Blachernae in Constantinople. I will not try to summarize it but refer you instead to a few webpages as follows :
(1) Guide Martine - Istanbul ==> great site with many excellent images !
(2) Monasteries / Monuments in Byzantium
(3) Byzantine Monuments, the Church of Panagia of Blachernae, authored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. This page had been referred to in the past, but recently has become UNavailable, as it has been renamed to www.ec-patr.org, see (4) below.
(4) Ecumenical Patriarchate ==> excellent site, also many images ==> click English, Monasteries and Churches, Churches in Constantinople, and finally Church of the Virgin of Blachernae
* Of possible interest also :
(5) Guide Martine - Instanbul, Historical background
(6) Guide Martine - Invitation to discover Turkey
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