Sunday, April 8, 2018


Karaköy, Beyoğlu - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'29.9"N 28°58'35.6"E / 41.024972, 28.976556


This school has a bell tower that dates back to 1427 when Benedictine monks founded the church of St. Benoit (Benedict) here and in 1583 Jesuit missionaries established a school for Greek and Jewish boys. In 1773 after the Jesuit order was abolished a Lazarist sect took over and in 1839 a girls school was added to the complex, and today these are now merged into a co-educational school. Although the chapel here contains tombs of early French ambassadors to the Ottomans, it is rarely open to the public.

Saint Benoit (French: Saint Benoît; Turkish: Saint Benoit Latin Katolik Kilisesi; also Italian: Santa Maria della Cisterna) is a Roman Catholic Church in Istanbul, Turkey, important for historical reasons. Established in 1427, the shrine is the oldest Catholic church of Istanbul. The church was never one of the Roman Catholic Parishes of the Frankish quarter of Istanbul, but is the oldest Catholic church in Istanbul still in use.

In 1427 Benedictine monks founded the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Benoit and the Monastery of Virgin Mary (Sancta Maria de Misericordia). In 1583 the Jesuits opened a school at the monastery. After the Jesuit Order was prohibited in 1783 the complex was handed over to the French Lazarists. After the French Revolution, in 1804 the monks restored the church and turned into Saint Benoit High School that still exists and is considered to be one of the most prestigious high schools in Istanbul.

After the Suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, in 1783 French Lazarists friars took over the complex. At the end of the eighteenth century a chapel dedicated to St. Anne was built. After  problems during the French Revolution, in 1804 the friars restored the church, and transformed the existing school into the "Lycée Saint Benoît d'Istanbul" (Turkish: Özel Saint-
Benoît Fransız Lisesi) which exists still today and is one of the most prestigious private schools in Istanbul.

In 1839, nuns belonging to the Soeurs de la Charité (Daughters of Charity) society came from France and founded the female section of the school. In 1840 the school was moved to Bebek, but after the demolition of part of the Genoese ramparts of Galata, the school moved back here. In 1865  part of the left aisle and the atrium with several inscriptions burned. This part of the church was coarsely restored in 1871. In 1867 the complex was enlarged with the erection of the "Maison de la  providence" complex, comprising, among others, an orphanage, an hospital and a seminary.

In 1839 nuns of the Sisters of Charity arrived in Istanbul from France to start teaching girls at the high school. In 1840 the school was moved to Bebek neighborhood, but soon after part of Genoese walls of Galata were demolished, the school returned to its original place. In 1867 the high school was expanded : Maison de la Providence complex was added that comprised a shelter for the poor, a hospital and a theological seminary. The teaching here is in French and Turkish. The buildings of the high school and the church belong to the French Consulate in Istanbul.

The buildings around it were purchased in 1880 with the assistance of France when it was established in today's building. Even today it has 1650 students being educated in Turkish and French culture. One of the school's most important purposes has been preparing its students for success in their professional life and teaching the young people to adhere to the republic and democracy and to be cultured.

Saint Benoît with a long history, a unique heritage, alumni who are experts in their fields. A prestigious brand ! An international dimension due to numerous educational projects that present a diversity of activities in sciences, languages, sports, art and culture. Vast appropriate and adapted spaces : 4 large yards that give students the possibility to be physically active and get fresh air.

On the other hand, Saint Benoît High School is always proud to be close to its students ! It constructs together with the families and the students a project of individualised and personal educational support.


WEB SITE : Saint- Benoit French High School

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 212 244 1026
Fax : +90 212 245 6895

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