Strengthening of an existing building consistent with the architectural decisions of the original design, is itself a challenging issue as a post-design intervention. However, the situation becomes more critical when it comes to the retrofitting of a historical building. Because of the document value of historical buildings, any intervention on these buildings is a difficult decision with many responsibilities. In this paper the significance of the structural retrofitting is emphasized within the case of strengthening of Church of The Redeemer in the City of Ani in North Eastern Turkey, which is almost structurally unstable, due to damages caused by various natural disasters. In order to demonstrate the structural behavior of partially collapsed church, three dimensional analytical models are developed and response spectrum analyses are carried out against future earthquakes. A conceptual strengthening technique is proposed by enfolding steel skeleton without disturbing historical character of the building. © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group.