Hagia Sophia Interior

Metal Coffin

The Metal Coffin

According to a legend, a Byzantine Empress who was afraid of snakes wanted to buried in a metal coffin. On the Imperial Gate (Emperor Gate) there is a metal coffin. However, her last will seems to be in vain because of the holes on it.

The Metal Coffin of Hagia Sophia

Legend of the Snake in the basket

The Emperor Constantine had a daughter whom he loved very much. One day, the emperor called all his daughter’s future. The oracles told him that his daughter would be stung to death by a venomous snake’s bite on her 18th birthday. The emperor, in an effort to prevent his daughter’s early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphours to protect his daughter until after her 18th birthday. After a while, he sent his much beloved daughter to that tower.

The days of the princess were passing in this tower. One day, the girl wanted to eat grapes. Whereupon, a basket of grapes had been brought to her. Upon reaching into the basket, however, a snake that had been hiding amongst the grapes bit the young princess and she died in her father’s arms, just as the oracle has predicted. Emperor Constantine had an iron coffin made for her daughter so that she would be protected from sankes after her death and placed it on the entance gate of Hagia Sophia. However, today, the two holes o the coffin in the same place she was bitten show that the snake disturbed her after her death as well.

  • The Metal Coffin
  • The Metal Coffin
  • The Metal Coffin
  • The Metal Coffin
  • The Metal Coffin


About the author


Hagia Sophia Research Team (HSRT) consists of a group of people who likes to research Byzantine Heritage in Turkey by visiting and taking photos of the historical places.

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