One day Yağmur and I decided to go to a cafe in Balat and explore the old Jewish streets at the same time. After getting off the bus, a large Orthodox Church came to our attention. I had heard that there was a Church in the Golden Horn area, but I never dared to go there. And this is not just a Church, this is the Bulgarian Church of St. Stephen, built in honor of the first Martyr Stefan. It is one of the few iron temples that remain. Seeing this beauty, we froze enjoying and wondering at this greatness.

Church from the road side

Crossing the road and approaching the entrance, we took a couple of pictures, and I remembered what I had heard about this place in the audio commentary of Big Bus Istanbul (Blue Route). This is the only Orthodox Church, which is entirely assembled from metal structures. Metal parts were brought from Vienna in 1893-1896 by ship across the Danube river and the Black sea. Going around the Church, we tried to see traces of the building, because the walls were made of metal sheets and were fixed with bolts, nuts, etc. Incredible, isn’t it?

In fact, on the site of the iron Church was a small wooden Church, only after the fire it was decided to update. And since the ground is soft in the Golden Horn and the water is very close, it was decided to use iron.

Fallen leaves around the Church

Standing outside the Church, we felt like we were somewhere in London, probably because of the leaf litter and still green grass. Then we came to the entrance, next to the opened doors, you can see the main hall. Slowly going inside, we stared at the iconostasis, I think this is the most powerful part of the temple. The icons were painted by the Russian artist Claudius Lebedev. In the Church, Orthodox believers can put a candle, as well as dedicate Easter on holidays. After leaving, Yağmur  and I were sharing the temples we had visited and would like to visit in the future.


Enter fee: Free
Open hours: 09:00 – 17:00 every day of the week
How to reach:Big Bus Istanbul (Blue Route), bus from Eminönü