Sunday, December 19, 2010

Voice Of The Angels

When I head down the Istiklal Street of Beyoğlu disctrict on the European part toward the Tünel Quarter, there is a gorgeous greeting just few meters away from St Anthony Church that I love standing on the stairs and looking at this beautiful golden mosaic, depicting the Santa Maria standing on a seashell carried by two angels:

Santa Maria Draperis Church is only one in Istanbul to have the signature of Sultan, that plaque located above the door. The Ottoman Empire's Sultan Abdülhamid II gave his permission for the construction of that church and Rıdvan Pasha, the mayor of Istanbul supported the construction.

Being one of the oldest and holiest Roman Catholic icons in Istanbul, the Santa Maria was built by Genoese Nicolo Draperis in 1584, who was the famed merchants in Galata. Interior of the Church is also interesting and colorfully ornamented, I love it! Sculptor Lorenzo Gerotti brought the marble used for the altar from Italy, and worked on the main hall which both the altar and chancel area feature late baroque and roman catholic styles. Sources say that, this Church survived the great fire in 1881 with a very little damage while other churches in the town were destroyed. Then, Architect Guglielmo Semprini supervised the re-building and renovated.

Apart from being a fine mixture of western and Ottoman architectural forms, Santa Maria Draperis Church stands as unique senthesis of tolerance and appreciation between religions, Christianity and Islam. I am very lucky coming from a beautiful City that is really crossroads and best example for the values.

Turning down the page for 2010. Will we be able to see good tolerance and understanding in 2011's world? Who's the best; hindu? buddist? christian? ateist?
Why religion still important problem? What's the point missing, respect or tolerance? Should I select my (blog) friends according to his/her religion?

Unfortunately the same problem exists on this "blogging" community!

A bit of my Joan of Arc soul would like to fight for it...

*you can enlarge my photos*


  1. when i stayed in the tunel quarter, i looked for signs of mary. i found one statue, but i missed this gorgeous mosaic! i love it!

    today, i have a picture of a santa maria on my blog, as well. i think religion should not matter. if some one has a kind and happy heart, that is all i care about.

    and did you see your gift to me on the 16th?


  2. I select my friends by their heart. I do not select them by their religion. I respect those of different faiths and do not feel they have to follow my faith, or I their faith, in order for us to be friends. My daughter and I were discussing the lack of "civility" that we see today. I wish the entire population would simple be more kind and understanding of one another. I sent the travel article on Turkey that appeared in our Star Tribune off to you in the mail this past Friday. You should receive it in a few days. Wishing you a peaceful holiday!

  3. @ Graciel: Sorry, it took me for a while, been busy over the weekend. Right now I'm off to read your post:)

    @ Sandi: Oh sounds great! Why does the world talk on Turkey:) I'll be looking forward to the ST article from the mail. Thanks very much as you are so sweet and golden hearted one. ((warm hugs))

  4. Nihal! What a pleasant surprise for me in your sidebar! It's very kind of you to support Torino, what a good idea!!
    Santa Maria Draperis Church is really magnificent, the golden mosaic is precious and harmonious, I always appreciate so much the uplifting concept of tolerance and appreciation between religions. Very interesting article.
    Have a nice Monday evening :-)