Saint Polycarp is a sacred person of Izmir City, a name dedicated to this church. This church is the oldest church in Izmir. Building progress started in 1625 in Suleiman the Magnificent era. The church was built by courtesy of Suleiman.
Saint Polycarp Catholic Church is located on Konak, Akdeniz Street. In 1690, the church and abbey were rebuilt because of the earthquake. After that in 1742, a big fire came out but fortunately, neither church nor the French street which is located near didn’t take any damage. They think that miracle happened thanks to Saint Polycarp, but in 1763 another fire broke out that fire affected the church really badly called The Great Fire of Symrna.
Inside the Saint Polycarp Church, we can see a marble plate built in honor of the French King Louis the 13th. In 1898 they made lots of frescoes about the Saint Polycarp’s life and he also was martyred we can see those scenes in the frescoes. Those elements were made by the French artist, architect and painter Raymond Charles Pere, he was also the builder of the Izmir Clock Tower which is a symbol of Izmir.
Saint Polycarp Church is made out of mostly stone and brick in a rectangular shape and similar Basilica model. On the south side of the church there is an octagonal bell tower located.
The story is, Saint Polycarp is one of the disciples of St. John the Apostle. Polycarp was very active in the religion and gathering people, giving information about the religion, and preaching.
At the same time, Roman Kings were worshipping the idols. In February 155, Saint Polycarp was martyred in the Acropolis of Izmir, Roman Stadium. They tried to burn him but he escaped at first, executioner wounded him and burn to death. But Christians believe that, the bones are more valuable than the gold. Polycarp was not only a teacher but also a martyr and hero.