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The Mosaic Picture of Saint Piroska / Eirene in the Southeast Gallery of Hagia Sophia and her Sarcophagus at the Entrance

Piroska, the daughter of Saint Ladislaus, king of Hungary and Adelaide from Rheinfeld was probably born in 1084 in Esztergom. She was the wife of Greek Komnenos II co-emperor (sole emperor between 1118 and 1143) from 1104 on. She received the name Irene (Eirene) after converting to the Greek Orthodox Church. They had eight children from their marriage, one of them being Manuel Komnenos, important emperor of the age (1143-1180). Piroska is the saint of the Orthodox  Churche as Saint Irene. She died in Anatolia in 1134. The mosaic depiction of Irene in Hagia Sophia is the first picture of a Hungarian woman in history as well as the ancient Hungarian hair style. Experts agree that the physical features of the Árpád dynasty are well depicted on the mosaic. The alleged sarcophagus of emress Eirene is at the entrance of Hagia Sophia, which is told to have been originally come from the Pantocrator Monastery that she founded. Historians still dispute the identity of the sarcophagus.

E-mail:macarkulturmerkezi@mfa.gov.hu