Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), Istanbul

4.4
#3 of 99 in Museums in Istanbul
See one of the best examples of Byzantine design in the region with a trip to Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), whose interior is entirely covered in fine mosaics and frescoes. Originally built by Constantine the Great, this church has been reconstructed five times. Most significantly, Ottoman rulers converted the structure into a mosque in the 16th century. A bit off the beaten path, you have to travel to Istanbul's Western Erdinekap─▒ neighborhood to find this building, which opened as a secular museum in 1948. However, the masterful and aesthetically stunning interior makes this trip worthwhile. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Kariye Museum (The Chora Church) by using our Istanbul online trip itinerary maker .
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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church) Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
5,778 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Unfortunately some of the Chora Museum was still under restoration. Therefore I was unable to look at the building in the entirety (hence the four score not five). Once it is finished I would love to ...  more »
  • The beautiful church and the interesting mosaics. It is worth continuing along the land walls that begin nearby.
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  • Impressive former Byzantine church & mosque, now a museum. The mosaics of the original church are incredibly well preserved, telling important stories from the Bible symbolically. Although not free, I highly recommend purchasing the audioguide from the ticket booth outside. There are about 12 chapters, about 2-4 min each, that explain the history, architecture, and significance of the mosaics.
  • Beautiful, but I'm looking forward to the restoration being done. Restoration work has recently begun again so hopefully the end is in sight. Unfortunately the nicest parts are now closed and the main dome, which is missing its mosaics, is open.
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