Phanar Greek Orthodox College is one of the best examples of 19th century architecture. The school is still the most magnificent structure of the Golden Horn with its magnificence about 140 years ago.
The period of innovation in Ottoman, which started with the reformist sultan Mahmut II, continued with his son Abdülmecid, who came to the throne right after. The Tanzimat Edict (Edict of Gülhane) declared in 1839 and the Reform Edict in 1856 also proves them. These two edicts are also a symbol of the extension of the rights of the minorities in the country, together with the efforts to bring the Ottoman to the west and get up.
Here, the enormous structure on the ridges of the Golden Horn, which many people think of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and that many people are not even aware of its existence, has been the result of innovation efforts in the Ottoman Empire, though indirectly. Although the history of the school dates back to 1454, Phanar Greek Orthodox College was built between 1881-1883, in the architecture of Konstantinos Dimadis, who loved the castle architecture very much and even built castle-like structures in Yassıada on behalf of the British Ambassador of the time, Henry Bulwer.
Applying the eclectic castle architecture, which became popular in Europe in the 19th century, Dimadis has suffered from the fact that a permanent building of the school he graduated could not be found in this magnificent work dominating the Golden Horn. However the school continued its education in Mavrokordatos Mansion in Kuruçeşme for a period in the beginning of the 19th century and then in Haci Hanannon House. With the completion of the school construction in 1883, the Great School moves to its current building.
The bricks brought from Marseille specially formed the basic structure of the building. The intensive use of bricks caused the school to be referred to as the Red School. The biggest share in bringing firebricks from Marseille to Istanbul is Yorgo Zarifi, one of the famous bankers of the period. At the end of the 19th century, it was the Zarifi, which gave the greatest support to the minority institution, which suffered financial difficulties in parallel with the economic difficulties the Ottoman was in. He is also known as the person who played a role in the acceleration of the flow of building materials with the commercial relations he established in Marseille in previous years.
The school, which has a small garden overlooking the Golden Horn and has two symmetrical staircases, a very pleasant entrance, has a four-storey building with a basement, ground and two floors, as well as a two-storey tower. Unlike its imposing stance, which is visible from outside, classes, lecture theaters, halls and laboratories are relatively narrow. The architectural plan has a total of 11 classrooms, laboratory, laboratory amphitheater, chemistry and biology halls, and the back of the tower of the school has the signature of Architect Dimadis. During his construction, it started its education as a male high school. However, afterwards, Yuvakimyon Girls High School was closed from the lack of students at the nearby and it went to mixed education. There are not many students in the school lately. Although the number of students varies each semester, The Red School has been trying to continue its education with an average of 40 students in recent years.
The Red School, which raised many statesmen to the Ottoman Empire, is still one of the most important structures of the Golden Horn. Although it is far from its old magnificent days, the building reflects the 19th century architecture in the most beautiful way. It still protects Phanar, one of the most important districts of Golden Horn, with its grandeur.
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