You are now standing in a region that has existed since the antique times,in the garden of the Church of St. Pierre, and on the grounds of a school building from the 19th century. Welcome to Ecole St. Pierre Hotel.
This building once belonged to an elementary school which was a symbol of the French Ecole
It was the Collège des Frères St. Pierre Elementary School. Founded by the Catholic congregation Frères des Ecoles Chrétiennes (FEC) and started its journey as an educational institution back in 1842, under the administration of the Italian Dominican priests. Their first-ever student was from the Saint Benoit High School. The courses were taught in French, Ottoman Turkish was the secondary language. The Christian, Jewish and Muslim students coexisted and received their education all together.The school was on the brink of closing down due to World
War I breaking out in 1914, therefore, certain parts of the building were leased out in 1922. Sadly, the school shut down for good in 1935 due to the lack of pupils enrolled.
Gaspare Trajano Fossati
Architect Collège des Frères St. Pierre 1842-1843
With its historical traces dating back to the 13th century, our hotel’s main building has been home to religion, education and commerce.
From our hotel’s yard to its rooms, its restaurant to its neighboring constructions, you will experience the delicate traces of Galata’s history at every glance.
The Italian architect Fossati, born in 1809, arrived in Istanbul in 1837 after being tasked with the project of the Istanbul Russian embassy building. Having completed the construction of the Church of St. Pierre, Gaspare Fossati was then tasked by the Ottoman government to construct the Darülfünun building. Following this, in 1846, he started building the theater building residing in front of the Galata Tower. However, since the building burned down in 1870, what remains of that theater building now is known as Çiçek Pasajı. He also restored the Hagia Sophia. With his brother Guisseppe Fossati on his side, he carried out nearly 30 constructions and restorations along with a great number of housings in the Pera district.
1. Here is a document from the church archives regarding the renting of a portion of the convent garden to build the school. Architect Perpignani was assigned to estimate the value of the estate. The note “Dominican Father’s garden” is seen below the building on the measured plan in the archive where the land boundaries are drawn. 2. The contract made with Gaspare Fossati. 3. The contract made with Alfred Michelini who was responsible for the construction of the new monastery. 02.23.1928.
G. Fossati, The Church of SS Peter and Paul in Galata, 1841 Bellinzona Kanton Archives (Tessin)
A dinner date with history in IL CORTILE Ristorante Pizzeria
The Genoese had built city/defence walls between 1304-1317, after the construction of the Galata Tower in 443, intending to surround and protect the city. However, most of these Byzantine city/defence walls were demolished in 1863 with the decision of the first municipality. Only a few of them survived to this day, with some residing inside IL CORTILE Pizzeria.
IL CORTILE’s building was used by the church choir back in the Collège des Frères St. Pierre times, therefore, it had great importance for the church.
IL CORTILE gracefully carries traces of all the eras it has witnessed on its architecture, menu, and decor. As you enjoy a meal or a drink, IL CORTILE becomes a storyteller and tells tales of the past.
Student 1923 – 1927
Let us introduce you to a student of Collège des Frères St. Pierre.
We do not know much about the students who studied in and graduated from this school. One student, however, is an exception: George Mizzi.Born in 1916 as a French citizen, Mizzi received his education in Collège des Frères St. Pierre between the years of 1923 and 1927.He went on to become a teacher, or in other words, a Frère, for the school he graduated from. He spent a big part of his life in Les petites Soeurs des Pauvres in Şişli and passed away in 2014.
George Mizzi (3rd row, the first one from the left, who provided us with information), Father Pietro Gagnor (1st row, the fourth one from the left), Laurent Paralica (1st row, the first one from the left), Nicolavich (1st row, the second one from the left), Shauris (1st row, the third one from the left), Alexandre Paralica (3rd row, the first one from the left), Sait Jack (3rd row, the fourth one from the left), Terence Consoli (3rd row, the second one from the right). Written source: Historique de l’ecole Saint Pierre, page 3. Oral source: George Mizzi. Year: 1926.
One of the first tenants of the building, a young carpenter in love: Kostantin Yordanidis
After 1922, the ground floor of the building operated as a print house for a short while. The stone prints used in the workshop were preserved and they survived to this day, so you can view them in our reception.The succeeding tenant of the school, Kostantin Yordanidis, rented the ground floor overlooking the yard to create a workshop. Young Yordanidis fell in love with a girl in 1935. Her father, wanting to meet the groom to be, found himself in his carpentry workshop and realized the school was mostly empty. Later on, he ended up buying the whole building from the church. The building was given to Yordanidis as a wedding gift. After the wedding, the building became home to the new family.