Located one block away from the lower end of Istiklal, Christ Church is situated on a peaceful street amongst an assortment of colorful apartments. The lush garden, contained within the outer walls of the Anglican establishment, adds to the natural beauty of the site.
Although the church has only been open since 1991, its chaplaincy has been based on various sites close to the current location as far back as 1582. The narrow, tall interior of the nave features an umber- and black-checkered floor, simple wooden chairs with cushions, and a side chamber with a baptismal fountain. There are four arches impressed into the sidewalls of the nave, each adorned with three columns of stained glass and five support columns.
The altar, separated from the rest of the nave by a decorated choir screen, is dimly lit by a rose window on the front wall. A beautiful pulpit, featuring white, red, and blue-green shades of marble, stands in front of the altar. Christ Church was constructed as a memorial to those who died in the Crimean War. It is respected as a source of hospitality for homeless refugees today.
- Christ Church requests a 10 TL donation from all visitors in order to remain open.
- Take note of the dedication imprinted on the choir screen: “in memory of the men who fell in the Great War – 1918.” Also take a moment to absorb the paintings along the balcony in front of the organ, which are particularly eye-catching.
- For an experience that is quintessentially Istanbul, visit the church during the Islamic call-to-prayer. There is nothing quite like immersing oneself in the sacredness of one institution while remaining cognizant of an entirely different religion.
Churches on Istiklal Caddesi; by Greg Koski
Hidden Churches of Istanbul; by Feride Yalav