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Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

It is one of the main Catholic churches in the city of Istanbul and has been visited by four popes in the last forty years. Reason enough to visit the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit during a trip to Istanbul.

The history of the cathedral

The church is called Kutsal Ruh Katedrali in Turkish and was completed in 1846. The leading architect was the Swiss Guiseppe Fossati. He was inspired by famous Roman church buildings such as the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls or the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is a neo-baroque three-nave basilica with marble columns and beautiful coffered ceilings. In the crypt of the church is the tomb of the Italian composer Guiseppe Donazetti. He was the chief court musician of the Ottoman Empire and instrumental in spreading Western art music in Turkey.

In the courtyard of the church is a statue of Pope Benedict XV. In 1909, Pope Pius XV granted the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit the rank of basilica minor during a visit, and Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII was vicar apostolic here from 1935 to 1944. The German Pope Pius XVI visited the church in 2007 during a visit to Istanbul. In the Caritas Centre belonging to the church, the convent of the Salesians of Don Bosco takes care of refugee aid.

Where is the Church of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul?

It is located in the Şişli district, the former Harbyie, at Harbiye Mahallesi Cumhuriyet Caddesi No: 127 B, about 15 minutes walk from Taksim Square. From Sultanahmed, it is best to take the M 2 metro to Taksim Square or the T 1 tram to Laleli/Üniversite. The church is open daily for visitors. Every morning at 6.00 o’clock there is a service. On Sundays there are services at 8.30, 10.00 and 11.15 in Aramaic, English and French.