Saint Antoine Church Istanbul
Sant'Antonio di Padova, alternatively known as S. Antonio di Padova, St. Antoine or St. Antuan, is the largest cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Istanbul. It is located on Istiklal Avenue in the Beyoglu district.
Along with the St. Esprit Cathedral (1846) in the Harbiye district, St. Louis of the French (1581) and Santa Maria Draperis in Beyoglu, Sts. Peter and Paul (1841) in Galata, Assumption Church in the Moda quarter of Kadikoy, St. Stephen in Yesilkoy and Bakirkoy Church in Bakirkoy, it is one of the most important Catholic churches in Istanbul, and among them has the largest community following its masses.
The original S. Antonio di Padova Cathedral was built in 1725 by the local Italian community of Istanbul, but was later demolished and replaced with the current building which was constructed on the same location. The current S. Antonio di Padova, along with its adjacent buildings (known as the St. Antoine Apartmanlari) on Istiklal Avenue, was built between 1906 and 1912 in the Venetian Neo-Gothic style, and was likewise edificed by the local Italian community of the city, mostly of Genoese and Venetian descent, who amounted to 40,000 people at the turn of the 20th century. The building was designed by the Istanbulite Levantino Italian architect Giulio Mongeri, who also designed many other important buildings in Istanbul and Ankara; such as the Macka Palas in Nisantasi and the Neo-Byzantine style Karakoy Palas bank building in Karakoy, Istanbul; as well as the first headquarters of Turkiye Is Bankasi in Ankara.
The cathedral is run by Italian priests. Saturday mass is in Italian and begins at 19, Sunday mass is in English and begins at 10, and Tuesday mass is in Turkish and begins at 11.
Pope Giovanni XXIII (John XXIII, 1958-1963) preached in this church for 10 years, when he was the Vatican's Ambassador to Turkey before being elected as Pope. He is known in Turkey with the nickname "The Turkish Pope" because of his fluent Turkish and his often expressed love for Turkey and the city of Istanbul.