Hagia Triada Greek Orthodox Church, Istanbul
|Hagia Triada Greek Orthodox Church|
The church viewed from the South
|Cult(s) present||Holy Trinity|
|Architectural type||Domed single nave basilica|
|Style||Neo-Baroque and Neo-Byzantine|
|Groundbreaking||13 August 1876|
|Completed||14 September 1880|
|Number of domes||1|
|Number of spires||2|
|Metropolis||Patriarchate of Constantinople|
The Hagia Triada (English: Holy Trinity) is a Greek Orthodox church in Istanbul, Turkey. The building was erected in 1880 and is considered the largest Greek Orthodox shrine in Istanbul today. It is still in use by the Greek community of Istanbul. It has about 150 parishioners.
The property where the Church stands used to be the site of a Greek Orthodox cemetery and hospital. This was demolished in order to build the Church. Its construction, based on the designs of the Ottoman Greek architect P. Kampanaki, began on 13 August 1876 and was completed on 14 September 1880. The Church is built in neo-baroque style with elements of Basilica, with the unusual features of twin bell towers, a large dome and a neo-gothic facade.
Architectural elements such as the dome of the church were only allowed after 1839 during a period known as the Tanzimat under which the restrictions limiting the Freedom of Speech for minorities were loosened and domes were allowed to be constructed as design features of Christian churches. Hagia Triada is the first domed Christian church to be allowed to be built in Istanbul.
The paintings and decorations of the church's interior are the work of painter Sakellarios Megaklis, while the marble works and designs were created by sculptor Alexandros Krikelis. On Church grounds there is also a school, Zapyon Rum Lisesi (Zappeion Greek Lyceum), which continues to serve the Greek community of Istanbul. In the church courtyard there are additional buildings dedicated to social services and also a sacred spring.
Damage and restoration
The Hagia Triada Church was damaged and set on fire during the Istanbul pogroms of 6-7 September 1955 by an organized mob attack directed primarily at Istanbul's Greek minority. During the unrest, the Church was wrecked and pillaged but withstood an attempted arson attack by the rioters. According to ethnic Armenian actor Nubar Terziyan, who witnessed the incident, the mob arrived at the Church and started the fire by dumping kerosene onto the Church and lighting it with burning sticks.
Decades after the events, industrialist and businessman Panagiotis Angelopoulos, who was given the titles Megas Archon Logothetes and Great Benefactor by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, donated the sum of US$ 90,000 to Patriarch Bartholomew; the funds were used for repairs and renovations of the church which lasted two years.
The inauguration took place on 23 March 2003 and the official opening of the gate of the church was attended by many officials of the Greek Orthodox Church as well as the consuls general of Greece, France and Germany and hundreds of people from Istanbul and Greece. The inaugural speech was delivered by Patriarch Bartholomew. The church is now used on a daily basis.
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