In Istanbul’s Bagcılar district, Turkish archaeologists discovered an ancient structure that turned out to be a chapel. This discovery, made almost by accident, attracted the attention of scientists and aroused interest in the scientific community. It is not known when and by whom this mysterious chapel was built, but its appearance indicates that it was abandoned many years ago. Now archaeologists intend to obtain permission for a full-fledged excavation and reveal all its secrets.
Researchers identified the found structure as a chapel, but it is different from other similar objects. Workshops were found around it and a school was found above it. This indicates that the chapel may have played an important role in the life of the local community. Archaeologist Omer Faruk Yavaşçay, who discovered this historic structure, noticed it while studying archival maps of Istanbul. The building was labeled on old maps as “Ayazma,” which means “holy water” to the local Orthodox.
Yavaşçay also noted that there was a Greek village in the area during the Ottoman period. This suggests that the structure found was built by residents of that village in the late 1800s. Local residents with whom Yavashchai spoke told him that the mysterious structure was used as a fountain 25-30 years ago.
However, now that it has become clear that it is an ancient cult site, archaeologists are going to raise the issue of its state protection and restoration. Apparently, this structure may be unique in its architecture and of great historical value. Yavashchai emphasized the need for thorough excavations to get more information about the mysterious chapel and its historical significance.
Bağcılar, the fourth most populous neighborhood in Istanbul, got its name because of its abundance of vineyards. The word “Bagcılar” itself translates from Turkish as “vine growers.” Previously, the neighborhood was called Yeşilbag, meaning “green vineyard”. During the Ottoman period, Bağcılar was predominantly inhabited by Christians, which confirms the historical connection with the Greek village.
This discovery raises many questions and piques the interest of scholars and historians. What does this mysterious chapel hide? What role did it play in the life of the local community? What secrets can it reveal about the history of the Bagjilar neighborhood and its inhabitants? The answers to these questions can only be found through further research and excavation.