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Researched and compiled by Andrew Simes and Forum members, 2010-11
This is an ongoing research to catalogue former churches of Smyrna of all denominations, including finding and photographing their relicts where they exist.
Translation from Greek courtesy of George Poulimenos of papers by Aleka Karadimou-Gerolymbou:
In general, of the 21 churches functioning in 1922, 16 were built in the 19th century, humble at first and often richer afterwards, while 5 date from older times (amid them was St. Paraskevi, which was destroyed during the Greek Revolution). Older than the 19th century is considerede the ancient St. John the Theologian in the Smyrna Upper Town, which was last reconstructed in 1804. The other church of the Upper Town, St. Voukolos, was founded in 1866 on the site of an ancient Christian church. Both were located in the older Greek quarters, and they were spared the fire of 1922.
In the older churches are included: St. Photini, the best known church of Smyrna (cathedral since the 17th century, when it replaced St. Paraskevi), whose very impressive belfry was built in 1856 by the architect Xenophon Latris, and St. George, probably on the site of St. George Out of the Castle, a dependency of the Lemvon Monastery. It was built in 1623 and repaired many times (1772, 1792, 1856 etc.)
The remainder of the churches mark the construction of the newer city quarters.
St. John Prodromos is mentioned since 1818 in the quarter Schoinadika (Rope makers), just before Punta. It was rebuilt in 1856-57 by 300 poor workers who lived in the quarter.
The construction of St. Demetrius started in 1833, in the vicinity of the Greek Hospital, and in same year St. Charalambos was built within the precinct of the same hospital.
The church of Prophet Elias was built between 1844 and 1846 near the old aqueduct (Kamares, Arches).
In 1857 St. Ekaterini was erected of wood, and was rebuilt in 1898 on plans of the architect X. Latris. It became the biggest church in Smyrna.
In the quarter Mortakia a church was built in 1860, extended in 1878. It was dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ and in 1908 it became the parish church.
In 1861 St. Constantine was built in the quarter Chiotika (Tepecik), by Chians who escaped to Smyrna after the massacre of 1822. This church is the third which did not suffer from the fire of 1922.
In 1867 the church of Evangelistria is built in the Cay quarter, at first as a small wooden church and later rebuilt on plans of architect Vasilios Lyttis. It was located between the St. Demetrius and St. Nicolas quarters.
In 1871 the church of the Assumption was built on the first parellel road to the quais.
In the Greek Orthodox cemetery (just east of the Aydın railway station), bulit in 1865, the church of Michael Archon was erected in 1878 on plans of the architect X. Latris.
In 1884 St. Nicolas was erected in the Cay quarter, on plans of architect I. Christodoulou.
In 1885 the dependency of the Birthday of Mary was converted to parish church of the Fassoula quarter.
In 1887 the construction of St. Tryphon began in the quarter which beared its name. The church was ready in 1894.
The Myrtidiotissa church was built wooden in the Mersinli quarter in 1891 and rebuilt in 1903 on plans of the architect Constantinidis, supervised by architect G. Petrokokkinos.
In 1908 the St. Markella church was erected by Chians in the parish Daragach, which begun after Punta and ended at Halka Pinar. In the vicinity there was also the church of St. Kyriaki. Lastly, in 1910 St. John of Alygaria was built in the quarter of the same name, just beside the Smyrna-Aydin railway line.
1 Source: Karabet Hadjerian, Izmir 1922, in its Greek edition (the name means Resurrection)
2 Source: 100 yıl önce Turkiyede Ermeniler [The Armenians of Turkey 100 years ago] - Editor Osman Köker -Bir zamanlar yayıncılık - Surp Asdvadzadzin equates to Theotokos or Mother of God.
3 Also known as the church of the Taxiarchon.
4 According to the book Küllerden doğan sehir, Izmir 1922 - Murat Köylü, 2010 [City born out of ashes, Izmir 1922].
The Latin Churches and Chapels of Smyrna in 1876, according to the Greek guide:
Imerologion ke Odigos Smirnis tu Visektu Etous 1876, by Th. K. and S. K.
1) St. Maria (Cathedral)
2) St. Polycarpe, Capuchins
3) Sacred Heart, Lazarites
4) St. Peter & Paul, Dominicans
5) St. Ludovico Gonzaga, chapel of the Propagande School, Jesuits
6) Birth of Virgin Mary [Yenniseos tu Theotoku], chapel in the School of the Mechitarists
7) St. John the Baptist, chapel of the French Hospital
8) St. Antoine, chapel of the Austrian Hospital
9) St. Joseph, chapel of the Freres School
10) [Sillipseos], private chapel belonging to the Eleus Brothers
11) [Kimiseos] (Assumption ?), private chapel belonging to the Braggiotti Family, Kapellas Sokak, Panteloglu Yolu, open to the public.
In the Annuaire des Commerçants of 1893, are mentioned also (as culte catholique);
12) Chapel of the St. Roch Hospital
13) St. Anne Chapel in the St. Anne Valley (Catholic Cemetery)
14) St. Roch Chapel, Mortakia
15) Private Chapel of the Archbishop
16) Private Chapel of the Charity Sisters (Providence)
17) Private Chapel of the Sion Sisters
18) Private Chapel of the Ivrea Sisters
(The actual Chapel of the Ivrea Sisters was built in 1958,).
From the Indicateur des professions commerciales et industrielles de Smyrne of 1895:
In Göztepe there is a private (Catholic) chapel belonging to the Braggiotti Family, the Orthodox St. Pantaleon Church, built 2 years ago (1893) and an Armenian Church.
In Cordelio, there are 2 Orthodox, 1 Armenian Church, and a Catholic church dedicated to St. Helen and built by the De Cramer family.
In Narliköy, a church dedicated to the St. Trinity and a Greek church.
In Karataş, 1 Greek and 1 Armenian Church.
In Bornova, 1 Protestant church (property of Mr. Whittall), 1 Armenian church, 1 Greek Church, and 2 Catholic churches: Nativity of the Holy Virgin and St. Michael.
In Buca, 1 Catholic church: St. John the Evangelist, and 1 Greek Church.
Explanation to the names of the neighbourhoods:
The old names of the quarters were used as the documents pertaining to these records are mostly from archives written in Greek - below their correspondence to modern names:
Basmane: Agias Vuklas
Bornova: Bournabat, Akropedon, Pirino Barys
Bostanlı: Papa Skala, Papaz Iskelesi
Buca: Kohl, Boudja
Darağaç: Cerenage / Daragatsi
Fuar: Fasoula, Agias Photini
Gaziemir: Imerion / Kazaemir
Güzelyalı, Kokaryalı, Üçkuyular: Myracti, Mirakti
Havra Sokağı, Keçeçiler, İkiçeşmelik: Juderia
İkinci Kordonboyu: Paralelli
İnciraltı: Nea Kastro / Sikies
Karataş, Mithatpasa: Melantia / Karatasi
Kızılçullu, Şirinyer: Paradeiso
Susuz Dede: Ayos Agopi
Semikler, Kara Bostanlısı: Tomaza
Tepecik: Kintus, Qintus
Turan: Agia Triada, Teganion
Yamanlar: Sipvlos, Amanara
Yazıbaşı Köyü: Fortuna
These marble slabs are at the garden of the old Dutch chapel, nowadays the Agia Photini. I can decipher St. Nicholas on one slab, and St. Dimitris on the other along with the date 1869. According to my previous research (see above), the only Agios Nikolos was built in Punta in 1884. So from elsewhere or an earlier church in the city? In addition the date on the slab of the St. Dimitris does not match the year of the church of St. Dimitris of Izmir - further analysis of the top slab Nikos Petalotis:
Central Smyrna neighbourhoods pre-1922 and the fire zone.
Pre-1922 aerial photo (full sized) of Smyrna (source: Greek Pyrsos encyclopedia, courtesy of the Monk Nikolaos Avlonitis) with locations of churches indicated:
1. St. George church (certain)
2. St. Catherine church (certain)
3. St. Stephen Armenian church (certain)
4. St. Paraskevi dependency (almost certain, see Bon map)
5. St. John Prodoromos in Alygaria (certain, because of its location in relation to the railway lines)
6. Evangelistria church (certain, as it is in the correct location and has the correct shape. The axis of the Evangelistria church, as seen in all photos, was not east-west but, probably because of the plot shape, southeast-northwest, while the sanctuary diverged to the north and the main entrance was to the south)
8. St. Voukolos church (almost certain, shape and location fits)
9. Bell Tower of the church of St. John the Theologian in Apano Mahala (certain, shape, location and proportions of bell tower fit)
10. St. Constantine church (almost certain, its location resulted from calculations. The church must be the left building inside the cirle)
11. St. Markella in Daragatch (almost certain)
12. St. Demetrius church (almost certain, location, size, orientation and style fit. In a book by Kartsonakis the church is described as not having a dome or bell tower)
31. Punta railway station and the railway line to Aydin (orange, certain)
32. Basmahane railway station and the railway line to Kasaba (violet, certain. The location of the station building was confirmed by calculation)
41. Armenian Hospital (almost certain. Location and size of the building fit)
42. Hadji-Antonios School, Greek (almost certain. It is described as a large building bordering the south side of the St. Demetrius yard)
43. Armenian Archdiocese (almost certain, this is the location indicated in the Armenian Quarter map)
44. St. Mesrop Boys School, Armenian (almost certain, location taken from the same Armenian Quarter map)
The identification process continues and some things may change if new data arise or new suggestions (always welcome) are made - some post-1922 aerial photos of the fire zone.
Gümrük Area of Alsancak
Google Earth view of Alsancak, near the Hilton Hotel area (the large building in the top left hand corner) - lower left the Santa Maria Church, top left St Polycarp Church, both still standing. The Greek Orthodox churches of Agios Giorgos (top right) and Agia Photini (lower right) were lost in the 1922 fire. Locations pinpointed with reference to the 1905 Goad fire insurance map.
1- St. Polycarpe Church, 2- Orthodox Convent, 3- Agia Fotini Church (St. Photini), 4- Küçük Vezir Han, 5- Aya Yorgi Church (St. George), 6- Küpecioğlu Han, 7- Büyük Vezir Han, 8- Gazi Osman Paşa Boulevard, 9- Kazım Dirik Caddesi, 10- Gazi Boulevard, 11- Mimar Kemalettin Caddesi, 12- Fevzi Paşa Boulevard, 13- Necatibey Boulevard, 14- Halit Ziya Boulevard, 15- Sehit Fethi Bey Caddesi, 16- Cumhuriyet Boulevard (Rue Paralelle), 17- Atatürk Caddesi (Kordon - Quais), 18- Archbishopric (Eveché), 19- Greek Evangelical School (Ecole Grecque Evangelique), 20- Balık Pazari Mosque, 21- Sevili Han. (the white portion of this building is the only one to survive till today, as the boulevard cut through it). The island just to the left of island no: 8 is currently occupied by the Swiss and Büyük Efes Hotels. Image and analysis courtesy of Yaşar Ürük.
Note: Click here to view contents of a British Consular report of 1903 detailing that nations own possessions in the city.
Fair Area of Alsancak
A composite based on multiple archive maps for the location of former churches in and around the Izmir fair site. Five old maps were used: the Lamec Saad map of 1876, two versions of the Ernest Bon map of 1913, the Belediye [Municipality] map of 1923 and a map published ca. 1930 in a Greek newspaper, the Giaour Smyrni map, which is based on the Bon map. All maps were scaled and overlayed on a modern Izmir Google map, using as reference points the Punta tip, the old harbour breakwater and the railway lines crossing. The maps were shifted about 30 meters to the northeast, to let the St. Jean Cathedral of the maps coincide with the same building shown on the Google map. Then the outlines of the churches and some other buildings from the old maps were drawn on the modern map. Buildings from the Lamec Saad are drawn in red, from the Bon in yellow and orange, from the Belediye in green, and blocks (not buildings) from the Greek map in blue. On the resulting map, buildings from the old maps fall not too far one from the other, except the Evangelistria church, whose location on the Bon map doesnt coincide with the other maps. One interesting result is the location of current Agia Photini, the old Dutch chapel, which is inside the rectangle marked cemetery, at the left side. This cemetery is on the Lamec Saad map adjacent to the Dutch hospital, just to its east. The chapel itself is not depicted on any map, but its current location indicates (proves?) that it actually belonged to the Dutch hospital complex - image and analysis courtesy of George Poulimenos, 2012 - click image for larger view.