Churches in Istanbul – Istanbul has taken its place in history as the melting pot of civilizations. Istanbul is a city that emphasizes the richness of different religious lives and beliefs. The historical churches of Istanbul enable us to better understand the cultural structure and richness of the city. Churches are mostly Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, or Protestant churches in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia, Hagia Eirene, and Havariyyun draw attention as the first churches built in Istanbul.
Hagia Eirene Church
It was built as the first church of Byzantium, which became a part of Topkapi Palace. The history of Hagia Eirene is based on the 4th century. However, the church gained its original identity after the fire in 532. Eastern-Roman Emperor Justinianus rebuilt the church, which was damaged by the fire, in 548. Hagia Eirene also has an important place as the only Byzantine church whose courtyard part has survived.
In this stunning place, the big sign of the cross on the gilded mosaic adds an extraordinary value to Hagia Eirene. As it was located in the courtyard of the palace, it was not converted into a mosque, and the janissaries used it as a weapon house. And the building, which once housed the first military museum, can be visited today as a museum. Thanks to its unique acoustics, it also hosts distinguished concerts.
Sveti Stefan Bulgarian Church
This church’s cast-iron walls were prepared in Vienna and its construction was completed within a month. This church is one of the first prefabricated buildings in the city. After the wooden church burned down, Sveti Stefan was built of iron to prevent the building from being damaged again. Thus, it is one of the most elegant architectural structures in Istanbul. It was opened in 1898 and gained to the Golden Horn.
This magnificent church, in which 500 tons of iron and 4 million silver plaque brought from Vienna by ships were used in its construction, bears the signature of the famous architect of the period, Aznavour. Sveti Stefan is described by the Bulgarians as “a pearl in the crown of Istanbul”; and is also known as the Bulgarian Church.
Hagia Triada Greek Orthodox Church
This building, which is the largest Greek Orthodox church in Istanbul, draws attention to its architecture. It is one of Taksim’s hidden architectural treasures. Aya Triada Church is known for its stunning architecture and peaceful garden. Byzantine architecture and modern architecture constitute the main lines. This church has many eye-catching details of neogothic and neoclassical movements, medieval architecture.
St. Pierre and St. Paul’s Church
It is the church with the icon of Virgin Hodegetria that survived despite the fires. It draws attention with its sky blue dome and golden star ornaments. It is completed by Swiss Fossati in 1843. The neoclassical St. Pierre and St. Paul’s Church has 35 meters in length and 14 meters in height. Serving the Italians and Maltese, the church was built next to the Genoese walls.
Also, next to the church is a monastery building that served as an Italian Primary School until the 1950s. It is one of the rare structures that has survived by reflecting the effects of the Middle Ages. You should visit this church by feeling the magnificent atmosphere of Galata.
St. Antuan Church
The place of worship, which is one of the striking buildings of Istiklal Street, is one of the churches with the largest congregation in Istanbul. And the history of the church dates back to the 13th century. The construction of the new church, which started in 1906, was interrupted due to financial insufficiency and it was finished in 1912.
Designed by Mongeri church, a pope in 1967, the territory of Turkey (Pope Paul VI. Paul) makes the first rituals were directed at the host. Because it is the largest church in Istanbul, St. Antuan is the most popular church in Istanbul during Christian religious holidays.
Fener Greek Patriarchate
Churches in Istanbul – The Fener Greek Patriarchate, the center of the patriarchate, which is regarded as the representative of Orthodox Christians, is located in Balat. It is one of the most important religious buildings in Istanbul. The Fener Greek Patriarchate carries out the symbolic leadership of the Greek Orthodox world. The interior decorations of the patriarchate, which has a simple architecture, attract attention.