These Gorgeous Churches In Turkey Offer A True Glimpse Of Its Cultural Beauty!


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Türkiye is the center of sacred institutions. Christianity has a long history in Turkey dating back to the 1st century AD. There are various Christian denominations, religious orders and different national cultures in Turkey which are reflected in the churches. Among many, there are some types of churches in Türkiye. Armenian Apostolic, Anatolian, Armenian Catholic, Armenian Evangelical/Protestant, Greek Orthodox, European Catholic, Anglican and Protestant. Although the Christian population has dwindled, its rich history still remains Church in Türkiye.

6 Best Churches in Türkiye

Take a look at these six majestic churches in the country of Turkey that should be at the top of your list. We bet you won’t find such Anatolian gems anywhere else in the world.

1. Armenian Apostolic Church

great church

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Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity. This is the great Church which was founded by Gregory the Illuminator in 301 AD through the apostolic succession confirmed by tradition by the apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus. It is an Oriental Orthodox Church with approximately 9,000,000 members and is the largest Christian denomination in Turkey. St. Gregory the Illuminator was the first official governor of this church.

Place: St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Church (Ortköy, Istanbul)

2. Bulgarian St. Stephen’s Church

churches in Türkiye

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The Bulgarian St. Stephen’s Church, also known as the Bulgarian Iron Church, is a famous church in the Istanbul region of Turkey due to the use of precast cast iron elements in its construction. It is a cross-shaped basilica with three domes. This church is an important part of the Bulgarian community. This church was first built of wood and later due to a fire in 1898 the church was rebuilt using 500 tons of iron. The architect of this amazing church is Hovsep Aznavour.

Place: Balat District, Murselpaşa CD. No.10, 34087 Fatih/Istanbul, Türkiye

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3. St. Paul’s Orthodox Church

St. Paul's Orthodox Church

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Also known as the Antakya Orthodox Church, it is the second oldest church in the world and one of the famous churches in Turkey. It is a Classical Orthodox church established around 41 AC dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, two important saints in Jerusalem. The church building collapsed due to the earthquake of 1872 and was therefore rebuilt by the Russians. The building is rich with Russian architectural style such as three entrances, an ancient font, a small beautiful courtyard, abundant daylight inside the church and many essential archaic religious artefacts, icons. Usually, churches are not open for public worship but this place is open to all. It is an important pilgrimage site as thousands of Christians visit this church every year. Please check whether the church is open before visiting as it has been undergoing renovation for some time.

Place: Kukukdalyan Mahalesi, Hürriyet Cad. No.14, 31120 Antakya/Hate, Türkiye

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4. Church of St. Anthony of Padua, Istanbul

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Opened in 1912, the Church of St. Anthony of Padua is one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in Istanbul. Another name for this church is St. Anton’s Basilica or Sant’Antonio di Padova Church. The original church was built in 1725 by the local Italian community but due to some reasons it was demolished and the new Church of St. Anthony of Padua was built. This church is considered to be a miniature basilica type and is run by some Italian priests. It is the most important Catholic church in the Istanbul region of Turkey, with the largest community of followers.

Place: TomTom District, Istiklal CD. No.: 171, 34433 Beyoglu/Istanbul, Türkiye

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5. Mar Petyun Chaldean Church

interior view of the church

Image Credit: Effendi via Flickr

A 17th-century church, also known as A Chaldean Catholic Church, located in the Old City area of ​​Istanbul. Belonging to the Chaldean Eastern Catholic Church, this church is exceptionally beautiful and worth visiting. One of the most beautiful parts of this church in Diyarbakır is the four-legged tower. The church is a unique cultural heritage site which is very well maintained. The walls, light points and altar of this church leave a great sacred impact on the minds of the visitors. This church structure is built using black basalt stone during construction. It is said that this church has been functioning as the Amid Keldani Church since 1681. It is one of the richest historical remains of Diyarbakır, near the Ceh Muthar Mosque.

Place: Savas Mahallesi, Serefali Sok. No.2, 21200 Sur/Diyarbakir, Türkiye

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6. Deyrulzafaran Monastery Church

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Also known as Mor Hananyo or Ksar Monastery or Monastery Church, it was built in 493AD for the Syriac Orthodox (Assyrian) Christian sect. Deyrulzaferan Monastery Church is a main tourist attraction in Turkey. Also, it is one of the oldest monasteries in the southern Turkish region. This monastery was renovated in the year 2007. The monastery is in amazing condition, with amazingly beautiful objects on display like old Bibles and an old crypt that people used to worship at when the building was a sun temple. There are two churches inside this monastery. The first is Mor Hananyo which was built by Syriac architects Theodosius and Theodore. The main attraction of this church is its big and grand dome.

Place: Eskikel District, Deyrulzafaran Road Mardin, Türkiye

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Hope this article has helped you discover some amazing facts about the great churches of Turkey.. So, next time you take a trip to Turkey, don’t miss the beautiful churches.

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FAQs about Churches in Türkiye

What are some of the most famous churches in Türkiye?

Even though Turkey has a population of people of different religions, there is still a strong Christian influence that cannot be denied. Some of the famous churches located there are the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Bulgarian St. Stephen’s Church, St. Paul’s Orthodox Church and the Church of St. Anthony of Padua.

What are some Catholic churches in Türkiye?

Many Catholic churches in Türkiye are quite popular throughout the world. Some of them are Mar Petyun Chaldean Church, St. Anthony of Padua Church and many others.

What are the famous Orthodox churches in Türkiye?

Most of the churches in Turkey are Orthodox churches and some of the most famous churches are the Antakya Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Which are the most famous historical churches in Türkiye?

Some churches in Turkey hold deep significance in Turkish history. Some of the historically important churches located in Turkey are the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Bulgarian St. Stephen’s Church, the Mar Petyun Chaldean Church and many others.

What is the first church ever built in Türkiye?

The Armenian Apostolic Church is the oldest church built in Türkiye.

When is the best time to visit Türkiye?

Türkiye has great weather all year round. But the best time to go there is between April to May or September to November. You will be able to visit this place quite comfortably.

How many days are enough to visit Türkiye?

You can visit the whole of Turkey within 12 days. If you do not have much time then you can cover that area within 10 days also. It entirely depends on how much space you are going to cover.




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