Prinkipo Orphanage, known as Europe's largest multi-story wooden building, is also known as Büyükada Greek Orphanage. Büyükada Greek Orphanage, built by the French architect Alexandre Vallaury in 1898, was built entirely using wooden materials. The orphanage, which consists of three sections, the main and side sections, has six floors, and the main section has five floors. This building was designed and built to be operated as a hotel under the name "Prinkipo Palace". However, after the necessary permission was not obtained from the administration of the period, the building changed hands and was bought by a Greek woman named Eleni Zarifi.
For a long time, the facility, which began as a school for orphaned children, has also served as a seminary. There are 106 rooms, a large kitchen, a wonderful library, a primary school, and several trade schools on the premises. The orphanage has a staff of 15 individuals. Three Greek and two Turkish instructors teach at primary school. After graduating from primary school, orphaned children in the orphanage proceed to the art school in the same institution, where they are brought to life by gaining a profession.
During the First World War, children are transferred to another place for security purposes, and the building is used as a military. Afterward, Greek immigrants sent by the occupation forces took shelter here and burned the removable wooden parts of the building to warm up. After this event, the damage gradually grew and was perished.
The Büyükada Greek Orphanage was confiscated in the 1960s as a result of the Cyprus events. The 65-year-old structure has been decommissioned and transferred to the General Directorate of Foundations. It has been left to deteriorate since 1964. Prinkipo Orphanage was taken over by Fener Greek Patriarchate in 2010 when the Fener Greek Patriarchate won the case with appropriate documentation. Although some renovations have been ongoing for years, you should experience the tragic story of its history up close. Many experiences and names inscribed on the walls in the remaining portions of the aged construction remain.