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The church’s history dates back to 1584 when the Franciscan Friars were given a house with a tiny chapel in Galata by a Levantine woman, Clara Maria Draperis. Fires ravaged the church in the 17th century and the Friars moved to Pera, and finally to the current location where the church was erected once again, burned again in 1767 and was finally rebuilt in 1769.
Together with St Anthony of Padua and the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, the St Mary Draperis was one of the three Roman Catholic Parishes in the Levantine quarter of Istanbul. During the 19th century, it became one of the most prestigious Catholic churches in the city. In 1803, its parish had a flock of 470 Levantines, plus several Arab Catholics from Aleppo and Armenian Catholics
An entrance in the neoclassical style leads to a chamber where the painted, barrel-vaulted ceiling makes an impression, however, the Venetian School paintings don’t stand up to closer scrutiny. The icon of the Virgin Mary behind the altar may have been rescued from previous fires.
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