Surp Kevork Church

This church was built on the Byzantine monastery called “Panaia Perivlebdos” (Surp Asdvadzadzin, St. Mary). It was called "Sulu Monastery" by Ottoman Muslims because of the holy spring and large cistern underneath it. After the conquest of Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet settled the Armenians who had migrated from the villages to Istanbul in Samatya. In 1461, he brought the Spiritual Leader of Bursa Armenians, Bishop Hovagim, to Istanbul and recognized him as the "Armenian Patriarch". The church here, which belonged to the Greeks and was handed over to the Armenians, was used as the Central Church of the Patriarchate until 1641. The fire that occurred in 1660 destroyed half of the church, and it was rebuilt with three churches by the Imperial Architect Melidon Kalfa Araboğlu in 1722, during the time of Patriarch Hovhannes Golod. However, these were destroyed in the fire in 1782. The church was restored in 1804 during the reign of Patriarch Hovhannes XI from Bayburt. Later, it was restored again in 1832 with the efforts of Architect Hagop Amira Güllabyan and Architect Minas Kalfa. However, in the fire in 1866, the church and the adjacent Sahakyan Nunyan and Vartuhyan mixed schools were destroyed. Finally, in 1885, with the financial support of brothers Mikayel and Hovhannes Hagopyan and the architecture of Bedros Nemtze, the school was rebuilt as a masonry building. The church has a high bell tower. Its last restoration was done in 2006 and was carried out by Patriarch Mesrob II. It was opened for worship by His Holiness.

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