Santa Maria Draperis Church
Address: İstiklal Caddesi No. 429 Beyoğlu
Phone: (0212) 244 0243
Working Hours: Every day
The first Santa Maria Draperis Roman Catholic Church was established in Tophane in 1584, as a donation from Mrs. Clara Bertola Draperis to the local Franciscan Friars. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the entire church in 1660. It was rebuilt in its present location, yet suffered from a series of other fires and earthquakes. The current structure dates back to 1769.
The interior of the Church contains four paintings, three of which belong to the Venetian School. Close to the entrance, the first painting on the right portrays the Virgin Mary with two Franciscan saints. The second painting illustrates a scene on Mount Verna in which sacred stigmata are impressed upon the body of Saint Francis of Assisi. On the left, the painting closest to the entrance portrays Saint Roch, the protector against the Plague. The second painting on the left is of Saint Joseph upon his death with Jesus and Mary accompany him.
Since 1874, the church vault has been decorated with tombstones that memorialize distinguished families, benefactors of the church, and bishops from around the world. The ceiling of the nave reflects a magnificent array of shapes and designs, steeped in royal blue and golden hues. A grand chandelier hangs suspended in front of the main altar, which is made of pink marble from Carrara, Italy.
Besides the church, Mrs. Draperis donated an Icon of the Virgin Mary to the Franciscan Friars. The devastating fire that erupted in 1660 destroyed the entire church - except the Icon. Mrs. Draperis’ Icon is still housed within the Church today.
Visitors are welcome to attend mass at Santa Maria Draperis. Services are offered in Italian at 8 am daily and at 9 am and 11:30 am on Sundays. Services in Italian are also offered at 6:30 pm on Saturdays April thru September and at 5 pm October thru March. They are also offered in Spanish on Sundays at 5 pm October thru March and at 6:30 pm April thru September.
Take a moment to absorb the dramatic stairway leading from Istiklal Caddesi to the doors of the church. Santa Maria Draperis maintains a lower elevation than other buildings due to a former law that forbade non-Muslim religious buildings to impose themselves on the skyline.