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Almost all of the precious icons of the Pantocrator were sacked by the Venetians during the Fourth Crusade, and are displayed today in Venice's Basilica di San Marco.
The monastery of the Pantocrator (today known as Zeyrek Camii) was one of the largest and best organized monastic complexes of the Byzantine period. Originally it had two churches and a funerary chapel and included a hospice for the aged, a hostel for travellers, baths, a hospital, a medical school and a library. The main church built at the north side of the complex, was consecrated to Christ Pantocrator, hence the name of the monastery. The second church was dedicated to Panagia Eleousa (Merciful), and the funerary chapel, erected between the two churches, honoured the Archangel Michael. The founding of the monastery is attributed to the Emperor John II Comnenus (1118-1143). Relevant evidence is found in the monastery's typikon established by the Emperor himself in 1137, and in the writings of the historians Nicetas Choniates, Nicephorus Gregoras, George Pachymeres et al. John Cinnamus and other historians relate that the Empress Irene, wife of John II Comnenus, took an active interest in the construction, organization and functioning of the monastic complex. Replacing her husband when the Emperor was campaigning, she personally supervised the progress of works undertaken by the architect Nicephorus.
The imperial founders, John and Irene, were buried in the funerary chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
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