The Grand or Holy Palace in Constantinople ( Greek Μέγα Παλάτιον ) remained the main residence of the Byzantine emperors for eight hundred years, from 330 to 1081. It was laid by Constantine the Great between the Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia , rebuilt by Justinian and expanded by Theophilos . Children of the emperor born in the Porphyry Hall of the palace were called porphyritic .
Justinian began the construction of the palace complex shortly after Nick’s uprising , during which a significant part of the buildings of the old imperial chambers of Constantine suffered from a fire. The central part of the sacred chambers was a large square - Augusteon , which stretched from the church of St. Sophia to the palace. On four sides the area was surrounded by buildings - the church of St. Sofia in the north, Terme Zeuxippus and the Hippodrome in the southwest, in the east the Senate and the Magnavra Palace , and in the south the imperial residence.
After the fire, Augusteon was expanded and decorated with white porticoes supported by two rows of columns, the ground was lined with marble . In a square not far from the Golden Column, from which the roads of the empire diverged, a bronze column was erected, crowned with an equestrian statue of Justinian. Procopius writes that the emperor was represented with his face facing the east, with a power in his left palm and an outstretched right hand, "in order to command the barbarians." The emperor was dressed in armor, which usually depicted Achilles  .
A portico with six white marble columns decorated with statues was built in front of the Senate building. In the terms of Zeuxippus, where Constantine collected a collection of antique statues, Justinian ordered the restoration of multi-colored marble ornaments damaged in the fire. The imperial residence was rebuilt with pomp, which, according to Procopius, cannot be expressed in words. From the southwest side under the porticoes were iron doors that led into the canopy, called the Hulk. Entering the door, visitors walked in a semicircular courtyard into a large hall with a dome, which Justinian rebuilt a second time in 558. The floor was made of colored marble edging a large round porphyry slab. The wall panels were also made of colored marble. On top were large mosaic paintings depicting Justinian and Theodora in festive robes surrounded by senators, scenes of the Vandal and Italian wars, the triumph of Belisarius , representing the defeated kings to the emperor.
A double-leaf bronze door led from the Halki rotunda into the guardrooms called porticoes of the scholarii, protectors and candidates . These were vast halls that served as premises for the palace guards, and in addition, they included ceremonial rooms, in one of which was a large silver cross under a dome. Finally, through a wide alley bordered by columns and cutting through the quarter of the guards, they got into the palace itself, where they first of all entered the large Consistorion . It was a throne room, into which ivory doors draped in silk curtains led from three sides. The walls were decorated with precious metals, the floor was cleaned with carpets. In the depths of the hall on a three-stage elevation between the two statues of Victoria with spread wings was a throne, covered with gold and precious stones. Above the throne stood a golden dome supported by four columns. Behind the throne, three bronze doors opened onto the stairs that led into the inner chambers.
Reception at the Consistory was held on days of great holidays, with the appointment of senior dignitaries and the meeting of foreign ambassadors. Next to the Consistorion was a large Triclinium or Triclinium of nineteen lodges . It was a large luxuriously cleaned hall, where receptions were held in honor of foreign ambassadors or high dignitaries, and some ceremonies were held in Triclinium, such as the coronation of the empress, farewell to the late emperor. Nearby was the Church of the Savior, which served at the time of Justinian as a palace church. The entire described complex was one-story and was called the Halkey, all of whose buildings with facades were directed towards Augusteon. Behind the Halkey's apartment, a large Daphne palace towered. The Halkey complex was connected with the palace by many alleys, courtyards and galleries.
The entrance to the palace was opposite the south-eastern gate of the hippodrome. The palace was two-story and had two wings that surrounded a large courtyard, part of which was occupied by the personal arena of the emperor. The ground floor of the buildings was occupied by court services. On the second floor were the emperor’s private chambers, including the most luxurious chamber rooms. These were three halls - the “Triclinium of Augusteos,” the “octagonal living room,” and the “coiton of Daphne.” The halls were complemented by a wide terrace with a view of the sea. The terrace was part of the Daphne Gallery, which contained a statue of a nymph brought by Constantine from Rome . On the other hand there was a gallery connecting St. Stephen’s church, Daphne with the emperor’s box at the Kafisma hippodrome, which was a palace where there were rooms for receptions and relaxation behind the box. In this part of the Chambers, as in Halkey, there were only reception and service premises. For housing, two palaces were used located between Daphne and the sea - Chrysotriclinium and Tricon. A description of their decoration has not been preserved.
The complex of sacred chambers was complemented by the secluded “Magnavar triclinium”, restored by Justinian with great splendor. Galleries were added to the palace, connecting it with St. Sophia. Thus, the emperor could, without leaving his home, go from the hippodrome to the church. At the end of everything, Justinian included in his expanded complex of palace buildings his old house, in which he lived until his reign  .
By the XI century, the palace complex included many buildings of different eras, scattered over an area of 20 thousand square meters. ft. The emperors of the Komnin dynasty left him for the sake of the Blachernae Palace , and during the Paleologists he completely fell into disrepair. Its last inhabitant was the Latin emperor Baldwin II , who, due to need, was forced to dismantle and sell the lead roof of the palace.
All palace buildings were gradually demolished after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The majestic and richly decorated palace church was adapted for a powder warehouse, which flew into the air in 1490. In a slightly better condition, the Bukoleonsky palace located to the south has reached our time.
At the beginning of the XX century, during a fire, several fragments of the Great Imperial Palace were found - prison cells, burials and halls with a mosaic floor of the 4th – 5th centuries. During subsequent excavations, a quarter of its territory was discovered. Discovered mosaics were transferred to a specially established museum of mosaics .
- Procopius of Caesarea. The war with the Goths. About the buildings: Arctos; Moscow; 1996, ISBN 5-85551-143-X
- S. Dil. Justinian and Byzantine civilization in the VI century. SPb., Altshuler Printing House, 1908 Book 1, Ch. 3, p. 76-89.