Home City Search Istanbul Walking Tour of the Churches of Istanbul
Walking Tour of the Churches of Istanbul, Istanbul
Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Miko Stavrev
Author: kane
This self-guided walking tour is included in the iOS app "City Maps and Walks (470+ Cities)" in iTunes and the Android app "Istanbul Map and Walks" in Google Play.
Constantinople was a center for religion and the orthodox Christianity for over a millennium and even after the Ottomans came many Christians remained in the city. There are many churches in Istanbul and each of them has its uniqueness.
Attractions Map
Tour Stops and Attractions
1) The Iron Church - Bulgarian St. Stephen Church
The Bulgarian St. Stephen Church is also known as The Iron Church, since its structure is made of Cast Iron. This is a Bulgarian Orthodox church located in the Fatih district of Istanbul. The church belongs to Bulgarian minority who live in the city of Istanbul. During the 19th century, the Bulgarians were permitted by the Ottomans to construct a separate church for themselves, due to nationalistic movements.

The church is richly ornamented, and is constructed like a cross shaped Basilica....
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Miko Stavrev
2) Church of St. Mary of the Mongols
The Church of St Mary of the Mongols is an Eastern Orthodox Church that is located in the Fatih district in the neighborhood of Fener. It stands on the summit of a slope, and overlooks the Golden Horn. The Church of St Mary of the Mongols is the only surviving Byzantine church of Constantinople, which the Ottomans never converted into a Mosque, and it has always been open to the Greek Orthodox Christians. Its conversion into a mosque was saved by a personal decree of Mehmet the Conqueror.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and A. Fabbretti
3) Pammakaristos Church
The Pammakaristos Church, located in the district of Fatih, in the neighborhood of Carsamba, is a famous Byzantine church in Istanbul. The church is also known as “The Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos”, which means “All Blessed Mother of God”. In the year 1591, the church was converted into a mosque called Fethiye Cammi, which translates to “the mosque of the conquest” from the Turkish language. The church overlooks the Golden Horn.

Today a part of the church has been converted...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Mehmet Kerem Tuncay
4) Chora Church
The Chora Church is better known as the Church of Holy Savior in Chora, and it is one of the most relevant surviving examples of an original Byzantine church. It contains the second largest number of surviving Byzantine Mosaics, after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul today.

The Chora Church is located to the south of the Golden Horn, in the district of Fatih, in the neighborhood of Edirnekpi. The original church was built outside the walls of Constantinople, during the fourth century. The church...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Andreas Wahra
5) Church of St. Mary of Blachernae
The church of St. Mary of Blachernae is an Eastern Orthodox Church, located in the Fatih district in the neighborhood of Ayvansaray. It is just a short walk from the Golden Horn, and the complex consisting of the church itself and a garden, is protected by a high wall. The church was built in 1867 and dedicated to St. Mary of Blachernae, whose shrine was erected here in the fifth century by Empress Aelia Pulcheria and her husband Emperor Marcian. The shrine was destroyed in 1434, and until its...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and A. Fabbretti
6) Mayor Synagogue
Mayor Synagogue is located in the Hasköy district of Beyoğlu in Istanbul. The synagogue was constructed during the Byzantine period, and was called “Mayor” since it was the largest in the area. The date of construction of the synagogue is disputed by scholars, with some scholars stating that it was constructed 300-400 years ago, which is a recent date compared to the Byzantine era. During the time that it was fully operational, it was an important worship site for the Jewish community in...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Donnyhoca
7) Maalem Synagogue
Maalem Synagogue is the only regularly open synagogue in the district of Maalem. In this old, dilapidated building, Sabbath services are held on a regularly...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Donnyhoca
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