ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
A 120-year-old Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul is set to reopen on Jan. 7 following extensive renovation works.
President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an 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 ?skenderun district of the southern province of Hatay, an Armenian Protestant church in the Sur district of the southeastern province of Diyarbak?r, 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 Bal?kesir, and in Istanbul the Edirnekap? Hagia Yorgi Church and St. Stephen Church.