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Istanbul Sights

Sveti Stefan Bulgar Kilisesi (Bulgarian Church of St. Stefan)

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Updated 11/19/2013

Fodor's Review

One of the most remarkable and odd structures in Istanbul—and that's saying a lot—this small neo-Gothic church looks like it's covered with elaborate stone carvings but when you get up close, you realize that it's all cast iron. It was prefabricated in Vienna, shipped down the Danube on barges, and erected on the western shore of the Golden Horn in 1898. The then-flourishing Bulgarian Orthodox community in Istanbul was eager to have an impressive church of its own

as a statement of its independence from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate; the Ottoman Sultan had given the community permission to break away in 1870 but the first church built on the site had burned down. The Istanbul municipality announced in mid-2011 that the church—one of the few such surviving prefab cast-iron churches in the world—would undergo restoration. Whether you can get in, the building, set in neatly tended gardens by the waters of the Golden Horn, is an impressive structure to look at.

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Sight Information

Address:

Mürsel Paşa Cad. 10, Balat, Istanbul, Turkey

Sight Details:

  • Daily 8–5

Updated 11/19/2013

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