An unknown chapel discovered in Istanbul

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A mysterious chapel was discovered underground in Bağcılar district of Istanbul.

From a distance, the structure, resembling a passage, has a school on top of it.

NTV reporter Sinan Kunter said that Archaeologist Ömer Faruk Yavaşçay, who answered his questions, stated that he noticed the historical structure while conducting research on city maps.

Archaeologist Yavaşçay points out that in some old maps, the building is indicated as “Ayazma,” which means holy water for Orthodox Christians.

greek chapel Istanbul
Photo: Sinan Kunter

Archaeologist Ömer Faruk Yavaşçay emphasizes that during the Ottoman era, there was a Greek village in the region, and he suggests that the structure was probably built by the people of the Greek village in the late 1800s.

Yavaşçay, who also spoke with the local community about the structure, learned that it was used as a fountain 25-30 years ago.

Ömer Faruk Yavaşçay suggests that in order to obtain more information, a detailed excavation work should be carried out in the region, and he emphasizes the need for maintenance and preservation of the chapel.

Photo: Sinan Kunter

Bağcılar district is the fourth most populous district of Istanbul Municipality. It took its name from the abundance of vineyards in the area. The name “Bağcılar” means “vineyard growers” in Turkish. The district was formerly known as “Yeşilbağ,” which means “green vineyard” in Turkish.

Photo: Sinan Kunter

When Bağcılar became a municipality, its name was changed to Yeşilbağ, and when it became a district, it was renamed Bağcılar again. During the Ottoman era, Bağcılar, which was predominantly inhabited by non-Muslims, had an old name, Çıfıtburgaz (Yahudburgaz).

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