Bulgarian St. Stephen Church

These days we're accustomed to kit homes and assemble-yourself furniture from Ikea, but back in 1871, when this Gothic Revival–style church was constructed from cast-iron pieces shipped down the Danube and across the Black Sea from Vienna on 100 barges, the idea was extremely novel.

The building's interior features screens, a balcony and columns all cast from iron; it is extremely beautiful, with the gilded iron glinting in the hazy light that filters in through stained-glass windows.

The congregation are members of the Bulgarian Orthodox Exarchate (Bulgarian Orthodox Church), which broke away from the Greek Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate in 1872. This is the church's ?stanbul base.

The building was closed for restoration at the time of research.

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