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Crimean Christ Memorial Church Istiklal

Crimean Christ Memorial Church Istiklal

Location

This British church can be found east of Istiklal Road on Serdari Edrem Street.  

The Design

It was built to commemorate the Crimean War and a competition was held to find the best design.  This was won by William Burges, the architect responsible for Cardiff Castle but the commission actually went to G.E. Street, who’s best known work is the Royal Courts of Justice in London, England; this design was the first neo-Gothic building to be built in Istanbul but he never actually came to see it.  

Inside, there is a vibrant rood screen painted by Mungo McCosh, a Scottish artist, which illustrates famous people of  Istanbul against a background of  Sarayburnu and has the Christ Child holding a simit (a kind of Turkish bread).  

Building the Church

Building work began in 1858 taking ten years and is constructed from Maltese stone on land given to the British by Sultan Abdulmecid.  The foundation stone was laid by Lord Stratford de Redcliffe (Great Elchi – Ambassador) as he played a significant part in modern Ottoman politics.  The church closed in the 1970s and reopened for services in 1991 after restoration works were carried out by Sri Lankan refugees.  

Appartements Papadopoulos

Opposite the church is the superb Art Nouveau building the Appartements Papadopoulos, that was built in 1907 and the apartments have beautiful painted ceilings.

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