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Üç Horan Kilisesi (Church of Three Altars)

Balık Pazarı, Galatasaray, Beyoğlu

The 19th-century Üç Horan Kilisesi, with its soaring white marble edifice, was designed by the Balyan family. The Balyans were of Armenian descent and produced a staggering nine Ottoman architects and almost 60 landmarks and palaces in Turkey, most of them in Istanbul. (They are best known for the Dolmabahçe Palace; the Çırağan Palace, now a luxury hotel; the Yıldız Palace and the Ihlamur Kasrı, but there are many others.)

A pair of wooden doors leads to a chamber in which 20 chandeliers of different sizes reflect a blue light. Seven large paintings hang on each sidewall: 12 portray the apostles and two are of angels. Iron girders across the barrel-vaulted ceiling create a magnificent acoustic, while the corinthian columns at the back rise to the screened balconies for women.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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