Christmas at the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi)

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Christmas at the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi)

In Istanbul, it is said that the St. Anthony Catholic Church is so significant and important that it is impossible to imagine the famous İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) without this church. I can easily agree, as my steps often lead me to this uplifting place, besides my other favorite, Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), even though I do not represent any specific religion myself. In this post, we take a glimpse into the beautiful Christmas atmosphere of the St. Anthony Catholic Church.

Everyone is welcome

Originally known as “Sant’Antonio di Padova,” the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the bustling and well-known İstiklal Avenue in the Beyoğlu district on the European side. The church is about half a kilometer from the beginning of the street (in Galata), on the right side of the street. But please be attentive not to walk past it, as you will find the church in the inner courtyard.

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.
Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

Although this church is the largest Roman Catholic church in Istanbul, it welcomes people of all religions and backgrounds. St. Anthony Catholic Church is indeed one of the city’s most noteworthy churches and has a particularly important historical significance.

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.
Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.
The statue of Pope John XXIII can be found in the church’s beautiful courtyard. He preached in this church for about 10 years while serving as the Vatican ambassador to Turkey before being elected pope. He was known as the “Turkish pope” because he spoke Turkish fluently and often expressed his love for Turkey and especially Istanbul.

Church history

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

St. Anthony Catholic Church was built to serve the Italian community living in Istanbul. The impressive red-brick building was originally constructed by Italian Franciscan priests on the same site in 1724 but was demolished in the early 20th century to make way for a tram line.

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

Designed by architect Giulio Mongeri (1875-1953), the St. Anthony Catholic Church was rebuilt and completed in 1912.

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

The church’s architecture reflects neoclassical style with its tall bell towers. Inside the church, there are beautiful frescoes, stained glass windows, and decorative ornaments. The main altar is adorned with intricate carvings and religious artworks.

The church has two organs. The main organs, built by Italian Mascioni (Cuvio, Varese) in 1947 and brought to the church in 1948, located above the entrance. It is the largest organ in Turkey.

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

Who was St. Anthony of Padua?

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.
The church is full of artworks, here is a gilded wooden statue of St. Anthony by Luigi Bresciani.

Originally known as ‘Sant’Antonio di Padova´, St. Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest (1195-1231), the most famous disciple of St. Francis of Assisi. He was known as a miracle worker and is the patron saint of finding lost items and people.

More information: St. Anthony

Christmas

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, churches across Istanbul, both on the city’s Asian and European sides, celebrate.

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.
Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

Churches open their doors not only to their Christian congregations but also to representatives of other faiths. In fact, celebrating holy days of other religions has been a longstanding tradition in Istanbul since the Ottoman era. It is not uncommon to see conservative Muslim women, wearing headscarves, visiting churches, lighting candles, and making wishes.

Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

One of the most visited Christmas Mass churches in Istanbul is the St. Anthony Catholic Church. Furthermore, it is the most beautifully and majestically decorated Christmas church in Istanbul, attracting many people on December 24th and 25th. During this time, Christmas carols are sung, and masses are held in four languages (English, Italian, Turkish, and Polish).

The Christmas of the St. Anthony Catholic Church is an international celebration.
Originally known as "Sant'Antonio di Padova," the St. Anthony Catholic Church (Sent Antuan Katolik Kilisesi) is located on the well-known İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2024.

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