Istanbul is clearly a city with a thousand mosques, but you have to be in Istanbul to experience the grandeur and magnificence of this place. Remnants of the Ottoman empire can be seen in the architecture here. Many mosques were built in the Byzantine era, but they were converted into the beautiful structures we see today by the Ottomans.
The Arap mosque is one of the most famous such architectures that was once a church built by the Byzantines, and when the Ottomans took over the reins of Turkey, it was converted into a mosque with some changes in the architecture to suit the purpose of a mosque. So, what was once Dominican Church of Saint Paul is now known as the Arap Mosque.
The Roman Catholics of Constantinople were responsible for the construction of the monument. It was formally initiated into the mainstream of the Roman Catholic aura in Constantinople at one time by the Dominican priests of that era. The typical long windows and the bell tower were the distinctive features of the church. Merely a wall remains as a reminder of the era.
The transformation of the church to the mosque was completed in 1475 during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Mohammed II. The Galata Mosque came into being. The reins of Galata mosque were handed over to Muslims in 1492 fleeing from Spanish invasion. The name was thence changed to Arap Camii or the Arap Mosque.
The mosque was renovated by the government in Turkey. Restoration work was initiated in the early days of 2010 and completed in 2013.