Istanbul is full of surprises, which you’re likely to stumble upon around every corner. It’s rich and complex history has left traces on its surface, that each reveal a little more of its past. Or that’s how it feels, at least, when you enter the gardens of the Crimean Memorial Church, in Galata.
Built in the latter half of the 19th century, it stands as a British national memorial to those that died during the Crimean War. The design itself came about as a result of a competition between four architects, including the celebrated William Burges and George Edmund Street. The final design (by Street) is neo-Gothic in style, set in a beautiful walled garden that also includes the parsonage (both are Grade II listed buildings). Old Crimean Memorial Church photos show that little has changed in more than 100 years.
Entrance of Crimean Memorial Church at Galata
It was built on land donated by Sultan Abdulmecit, so that the British community living in the area would have somewhere to worship. It still serves a Church of England congregation, forming part of the Istanbul Anglican Chaplaincy, and is officially known as Christ Church.
The current Reverend, Ian Shewood, has been at this chaplaincy for 25 years (read an interview with him on Today's Zaman). He has done much to both repair the church and increase the congregation. Indeed many of the regular worshippers come from a myriad of different countries. There are also events, and concerts held in both the church and gardens.
Interior of Crimean Memorial Church, Istanbul
There is no admission price for the Crimean Memorial Church Turkey, and everyone is free to enter, but donations of 10TL are welcome in order to fund essential church maintenance.
The Crimean Memorial Church Istanbul is open to the public on a daily basis from 9am-6pm, but you may need to ring the bell several times, in order to gain access. Alternatively, attend the Sunday service held every week at 10am.
From Galata Tower, walk all the way down the chic Serdar-i Ekrem Sokak, and take a right at the very end. The church is through the large gates on the right.