Iron Church - St. Stephen Church

Iron Church, which we call the church of St. Stephen is one of the most impressive buildings of Istanbul and amazes its visitors with wonderful architectural features.

Rising in the Fener district on the shore of the Golden Horn, this church draws attention like a pearl in the crown of the old and eternal city. The land is a donation by Prince Stefan Bogoridi, and they converted the wooden house into a church with the voluntary aid of the Bulgarians in Istanbul. The church sanctioned with a ritual in the Slavonic language on October 9th, 1849, and the metoh building, built two years later, became the cradle of the awakening of the cultural and religious consciousness of the Bulgarians. The edict of February 28th, 1870, recognizing the Bulgarians as a separate religious community within the borders of the Ottoman Empire, was first read here, and soon afterward a Bulgarian charter was established with another edict.

iron church
iron church interior

History of the Iron Church

Instead of the wooden church that burned down in 1898, the Iron church, which is still standing today, is built. The architect of the project is Hovsep Aznavour. The manufacturer and the builder firm is Rudolf von Wagner, which operates in the city of Vienna in Austria. They used a total of 500 tons of iron, subsequently installed the parts right there. The building cost 4,000,000 silver plates of its time. They brought the fragments from Vienna by sailing through the Danube and the Bosphorus strait by ships. Ekzarh Yosif inaugurated the church on September 8th, 1987, and opened to worship.

Sveti Stefan continues to exist as the only iron church in the world when the other one of the two iron churches in the world disappeared in time. The church, which has three domes and a crucifix shape, draws attention to the richness of the dental decorations. Its altar faces the Golden Horn. The bell tower is above the entrance door and 40 meters high. All six bells in the bell tower were from Yaroslavl, Russia, and today two of them can be used perfectly. The wooden iconostasis, made in a modern renaissance style, is an example of perfection and elegance. Church items and icons donated by philanthropists have great historical significance.

Today, the Iron Church St. Stephen remains one of the most significant symbols of the Bulgarian religious belief.

Private Tours of Iron Church

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