Istanbul's Bulgarian community may be one of the smallest of its kind but their splendid church on the Golden Horn shore made a splash after it was reopened last week in a ceremony. Since the opening of the church that underwent major restoration courtesy of Turkey, at least 2, 000 people came to see Sveti Stefan Church, better known as Iron Church by locals due to its iron architecture. Though the community thinks they may not have Sunday services regularly as the congregation is small, the church is popular among weekend sightseers and tourists. Bulgarian tour operators also added the site to their itinerary, further driving up the visitor numbers.
Istanbul municipality and Bulgarian government had jointly completed the restoration project of the 19th century church, spending some TL 16 million. Sveti Stefan is branded as the only church mainly made of iron in the world, but it fell into a state of disrepair. Restoration started seven years ago.
Source: Daily Sabah