Historic Bulgarian church in Istanbul to reopen on Jan 7 after seven-year restoration
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov are expected to attend the opening ceremony at the St. Stephen Church, located on the shore of the city’s Golden Horn in the historic Balat neighborhood.
The reponening follows major seven-year restoration works at the distinctive “iron church,” co-funded by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in association with the Bulgarian authorities.
The original 19th-century wooden church burned down and was rebuilt in 1898 from prefabricated cast iron materials.
The authorities in Turkey say a total of 14 churches and one temple were restored across the country from 2003 to 2017.
The restored worship places included the Great Synagogue in the northwestern province of Edirne, the Aya Nikola Church on the Gökçeada island off the northwestern province of Çanakkale, a Syriac Catholic church in the İskenderun district of the southern province of Hatay, an Armenian Protestant church in the Sur district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, the Fevkani Church in the Nizip district of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, the Taksiyarhis (Ayanikola) Church on the Cunda island off the northwestern province of Balıkesir, and in Istanbul the Edirnekapı Hagia Yorgi Church and St. Stephen Church.