Taş Mektep Historic Building in Büyükada Renovations Completed and Set to Open

Home » News » Taş Mektep Historic Building in Büyükada Renovations Completed and Set to Open

Taş Mektep Historic building in Büyükada completes Renovations after two years of renovation and restoration works being done and maintaining its originality. Being a historical school building famously known as the Taş Mektep (Stone School) which is located in the Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands has eventually opened its doors for tourists and visitors to visit after having been abandoned for the last 45 years.

The cultural heritage team in conjunction with Istanbul Municipality Cultural Assets Directorate decided to initiate a project of restoration of Taş Mektep Historic building in August the year 2021. With the efforts of restoring it having come to an end, the building has already started to operate as one multipurpose cultural and arts complex. The building contains exhibition areas, one library and an open air amphitheater.

History of Taş Mektep Historic Building

The Taş Mektep, which is situated in Büyükada was constructed during the second half of the 19th century by Sofronios, a Greek Orthodox Patriarch. This made it derive its nickname “Sofronios Mansion,” as the building would serve summer residence for Patriarch Sofronios for quite a long time.

Also read:Ambitious Renovation Plans Unveiled for Cardiff’s Historic Central Market

In the year 1922 the building was bought by the Istanbul Municipality and they converted it into a school. Furthermore, known as the Köprülü Mehmed Paşa School, it became the very first Turkish school in Büyükada that consisted of mainly the Greek population during that time. The name of the school was later changed to Büyükada Elementary School in the year 1924. Commonly known as the “Old School” among the local residents, it got to serve as Büyükada Elementary School until the year 1967. Moreover, it also got serve as Büyükada Middle School for the Büyükada students. As a result of the risk of a fire outbreak, the building of the school was evacuated during the academic year of 1978-1979.

  Renovation Process of the Building

In August the year 2021, the heritage team of the municipality decided to partake on a restoration project journey for the revival of Taş Mektep which had been abandoned for quite several years and was facing the risk of collapsing.

After a series of projects that have been approved by a number of historians and experts, the team had to first remove the additional structures put in place in Taş Mektep historic building which were not in line with the originality of the building. The next phase of the renovations came with the renovation of the wooden frame roof construction and also the completion of the upper cover of the building.

Lastly,a number of strengthening measures were taken and put in place to ensure the Taş Mektep historic school building was resilient of the earthquakes in Istanbul.