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Andonyan Armenian Monastery

Mecidiye Mh., Çevirmeci Caddesi, Ortaköy, Beşiktaş, Istanbul

Founded by the Lebanon-based Andonyan Union as an institution for training priests, the exact date of when this austere-looking monastery was built is unknown, however, records show that it was operational in the 1860s. It was a self-sustaining institution with a library (established in 1871), a school and a print shop, and the monastic community relied on products it raised on its own farmland. The print shop produced books and engravings.

In a letter (muvafakat) from Maryam binti Ovakim (Maryam, daughter of Ovakim) to the authorities, dated June 24, 1913, the monastery is described as follows: ‘house with garden and land located at 60 Ortaköy Pişmişoğlu Caddesi (known as Çevirmeci Caddesi today), leased from (icareli) the Sultan Beyazıt Veli Hazretleri Foundation, 9000 zira (approximately 5,167 square metres) and previously leased (icareli) from the Ibrahim Pasha Foundation, 1,000 zira (approximately 574 square metres).’

Although there is no definite information as to when the monastery was closed, some records believe it ceased to be functional in the 1920s.

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Issue 59, June 2019 Behind Closed Doors
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