Church of San Paolo

June 23, 2010 01:37 by haci

Arap Mosque, (name in Turkish: Arap Camii), is a mosque in Istanbul, based upon a former Roman Catholic church devoted to Saint Paul (Italian: San Paolo) and Saint Dominic (Italian: San Domenico). Although the structure was altered during the Ottoman period, it represents the most typical example of Gothic Architecture in Constantinople still extant.

The building lies in Istanbul, in the district of Beyoglu, in the neighborhood of Karaköy (ancient Galata), on Galata Mahkemesi Sokak, not far from the northern shores of the Golden Horn. It is surrounded by artisan shops.

During the sixth century a Byzantine church, possibly dedicated to Saint Irene, was built here. Of this building, only part of a wall survives today.The tradition which affirms that a mosque was built on this place during the Arab Siege of 717-18 by Maslama ibn Abdal Malik (a commander and cousin of Caliph Umar ibn AbdulAziz) must be considered a legend.

In 1233, during the Latin domination after the Fourth Crusade, this church was replaced with a new one, dedicated to Saint Paul (San Paolo) and given to the Dominicans. The building must have been opened to the order shortly before 1260, a date which is found on a tombstone found in the church.