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Churches of Istiklal Street Part II

The Santa Maria Church

It is a special church that has made a name for itself on Istiklal Street, frequently visited by local and foreign tourists, and which you can easily visit and see with VIP Istanbul Tourism.

Santa Maria Church, which burned down in 1584, was rebuilt of wood in 1660. It burned again in 1691 and was rebuilt in 1729. It was completely renovated in 1871 and was restored in 1904 and took its final shape.

The white Virgin Mary icon on the front is a rare artifact that managed to survive all these fires.

The story of the church appeals to everyone who hears it. Let’s find out together why the Santa Maria church is special. 

Story of the Santa Maria Church

Before living a captive life, Francesko, who was an extremely fun-loving and wealthy youth of his time, would become a completely different person in his new life.

During his captivity, Francesko plunged into the depths of poverty and true faith, and spent the rest of his life inviting people to religion.

He was only a teenager in his twenties when he started inviting people, but he was completely devoted to religion and was the powerful breath of a brand new sect. The name of this cult that grew up around him was Franciscan.

Just like Jesus Christ, they made it their responsibility to live in poverty. For a true Christian must live devoid of any material value. Thus, they were cleansed of their sins and purified from the sins of all who came in their way.  


Santa Maria was founded by the Franciscans, and with the Virgin Mary statue in front of it, it still seems to call people to goodness and beauty even today.

If you haven’t been yet, we recommend you not to miss this atmosphere. The churches of Istiklal Street will cause warm feelings to bloom in you and today you will be watching a completely different corner of history.