The Bedestan, is to be found immediately adjacent to the Selimiye Mosque and is an amalgamation of two churches. One dedicated to St. Nicholas of the English and the other dedicated to The Virgin Mary. It became the Orthodox Metropolitan cathedral, and during Ottoman rule was turned into a covered market.
For many years this building was closed and in a ruinous state, with its arches and columns propped up by scaffolding. A five year restoration programme has now been completed and part of the building has been given a new roof and a new lease of life. The southern side retains its beautiful Gothic arches that once separated the two aisles and these have been filled with large plate glass doors flooding the interior with light and creating an exhibition hall that can been used for conferences and seminars.
The restoration work was financed by a donation from the UN as part of the ongoing programme for the renovation of many old buildings in the Capital City.
The building is now open to the public except on bank holidays.