Museum of Chora

On each side of the door leading from the inner narthex to the cella (NAOS) , we find the mosaics pertaining to St. Peter and St. Paul. To the right of the door, we see St. Paul in an arched frame. He has a halo over his head and he makes a sign of blessing by raising his right hand to the level of his chest. On the mosaics the inscriptions inform us that St. Paul is represented here. We see him in a natural way, wearing a blue tunic. The mosaics at the bottom have unfortunately fallen. The mosaics panel of St. Paul shows the apostle completely, holding the Holy Bible in his left hand. His facial expression is very successful.

St. Paul was from Tarsus and he belonged to the Jewish race. Later on he became one of the closest disciples of Christ. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.), he travelled as far as Rome and upon speaking there about Jesus Christ, he was executed by decapitation. And thus he acquired saintship. On the left side of the door, we find St. Peter. Peter was a man making a living by being a fisherman. One day when he was repairing his fishing nets on the lake shore, he expressed his religious views to Jesus, who came near him by chance. Peter was very much impressed by Jesus, so he became Christ’s most faitful disciple since that day. St. Peter is depicted in the panel of mosaics, holding a scroll in his right hand, while in his raised left hand hang two keys; “the keys to the kingdom of heaven”.