Istanbul is home to different civilisations throughout history and faced with great wars for its sake. Istanbul has many historical beauties. Among the historical beauties it has, places of worship take a prominent position. Because Istanbul has been the capital of empires with different beliefs for centuries and many of the important places of worship of these beliefs are still standing today. The places of worship usually have unique architectures as they are exceptional places for societies from all faiths. In this article, we will give place to places of worship in Istanbul. Here are the places of worship that can be shown among the historical beauties of Istanbul!
Located in Galata, Tersane Street, Arab Mosque was a church converted into a mosque by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1475. The Arabs who came to the region from Andalusia in 1492 were placed around this mosque, and it became to be called as the Arab Mosque. The mosque, which attracts attention from the architectural point of view, was built in a rectangular and gothic style. The bell tower of the church was converted into a minaret. The minaret is very similar to the minarets in Andalusia.
Located in the south of the Dolmabahçe Palace, the mosque was built by Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abdülmecid. After the death of Valide Sultan, the construction was completed by Sultan Abdulmecid. The architect of the mosque which was completed in 1855 was Garabet Balyan. Adjacent to the palace, the mosque is built in Baroque style and has a round window arrangement which is rare in Turkish architecture. There are two minarets with single balconies; The interior is decorated with a mixture of baroque and empirical styles.
The Sultanahmet Mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed I in Sultanahmet Square between 1609 and 1616. The mosque’s architect was Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa. The Sultanahmet Mosque is the only mosque with six minarets in our country. The Europeans also know it as the Blue Mosque because it is decorated with blue, green and white tiles. The dome of the mosque is 43 meters high and has a diameter of 33, 4 meters.
This unique church in Galata is the oldest Armenian church in Istanbul. Krikor Lusarovich, who was built in 1431, has been repaired many times throughout the history, and in 1958 roadworks it was completely destroyed. The church, which was rebuilt in 1965 by Architect Bedros Zobyan, has a special place with its cone-shaped dome. The bell tower adjacent to the entrance is in the style of classical Armenian church architecture. The interior is decorated with tiles from the destroyed church.
The architect of this historic church in Beyoğlu is G. E. Street. The church, which was built in the memory of the British soldiers who participated in the Crimean War, began in 1858 and was completed in 10 years. All the stone materials used during the construction of the Anglican Church, which has a neogothic architectural style, were brought from Malta.
After the burning of the Church of St Maria Draperis in Galata in 1584, a new church was built on the land of a house donated by Madame Clara Draperis. This wooden church was exposed to fire twice and then moved to Beyoğlu. After that, it had been exposed to fire many times, and its present form was built in 1904 by Italian architect Gulielmo Semprini with the permission of Abdulhamit II.
One of the architectural wonders of Istanbul is the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Kuledibi, Beyoğlu. The synagogue, originally built by the reconstruction of a Jewish primary school’s gym, was converted into a place of worship in 1938. The sanctuary, which had been closed for a while since the necessary permits could not be obtained, was opened to pray in 1951 by Elio Ventura and Bernard Motola. The architecture of the synagogue is noteworthy with its dome with a chandelier weight of 8 tons, windows with stained glass imported from England and marble partitions.
The Ashkenazi Synagogue in Galata, which attracts attention with its European-style exterior, was founded in 1900 by Ashkenazi Jews. The large and bright dome covering the centre of the synagogue is decorated with stars. Chandeliers were brought from Vienna. The synagogue borrows a number of influences from Islamic motifs.
Ahrida, the most prominent synagogue of Istanbul, was founded by Jews from Ohrid. Ahrida Synagogue is known for its boat-shaped tevah (the reading platform, known in Ashkenazi communities as a bimah). The synagogue, which was rebuilt after the fire in 1864, had a major repair in 1881. It was rebuilt in 1922 and has its current form after its restoration in 1955.