Bulgarian Church-St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church

After the original was burnt down, the church was replaced with the larger one, made of iron. The church was designed by the Ottoman-Armenian architect Hovsep Aznavour. An iron frame was preferred to concrete reinforcement because of the weak ground conditions.

The Austrian Company R. Ph. Waagner produced the prefabricated cast iron parts of the church. The church elements were produced in Vienna in 1893-1896 and transported to Istanbul by ship through the Danube and the Black Sea.

In 1898, the church was completed and inaugurated by Exarch Joseph. The church’s skeleton is made of steel and covered by metal boards. All the pieces were joined with nuts, bolts, rivets, or welding. The church was combined with Neo-Gothic and Neo-Baroque styles.

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