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6 November 2014  |  0 comment  |  Zeynep Bakir

Roofs of Karaköy

There’s not only a subterranean mosque in Karaköy, but also churches on roofs.

Roofs of Karaköy

There are two Russian Orthodox churches at Hoca Tahsin Street, parallel to the dock of the district. Both of these are on the sixth floor. The first church is located at building with number 19, with marble stairs at its entrance, where its name is written: Aya Panteleymon.

Wanting to establish their own mosque in the region, the congregation asked for permission from the Sultan, but he declined on the grounds that there were sufficient churches, so they resorted to constructing churches on roofs. When you ring the bell on the sixth floor, you are greeted by Priest Konilios. The priest welcomes everyone inside, with only one condition: You must cover your head with a shawl…

Visited by Ukrainians and Belarusians to light candles, this church is mostly crowded on Sundays. When you look around from the roof, you can see the Aya İlya Church. However, that church is closed to worship. We learn that Aya Andrea on the lower street is only open on Sundays, since its priest is old.

You can also see a bird’s eye view of Aziz Nikola Turkish Orthodox Church at the head of the street. It’s vacant, unused, its windows open, and its yard desolate. It’s waiting for restoration…

Last not but least, the opportunity to see Istanbul from a different angle is priceless for those interested in photography…

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