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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

Travelers' Choice award winner
Fener & Balat
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Address: Kariye Camii Sokak,No:26 Edirnekapi, Istanbul 34087, Turkey
Phone Number: 90212 631 9241
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9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Closed now
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Thu - Tue 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Camii yahut Kilisesi — variously...

The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Camii yahut Kilisesi — variously the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. The church is situated in the western, Erdinekapı district of İstanbul. In the 16th century, the church was converted into a mosque by the Ottomon rulers, and it became a secularised museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes.

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  • 262
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Just Amazing!

The Chora Church might be under repair but it is still a definite not-to-miss sight in Istanbul for it's history and sheer beauty

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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4,770 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Chora Church might be under repair but it is still a definite not-to-miss sight in Istanbul for it's history and sheer beauty

Thank Fayyunus
Level Contributor
58 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is a bit out of the main tourist area but certainly worth the detour. The church is absolutely breathtaking.

Thank Maika-Laura
Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Lots of art to see and you have to love this beautiful old church&camii combine! Must visit if you are in Istanbul!

Thank Yoko I
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I love mosaics ... but there is something about the power of byzantine art. Icons are meant to reveal the holy and these do... Sadly part of Chora was being refurbished so I missed some mosaics, but what we saw was stunning. Chora is also located in the old neighbourhood of Balat, I think, and it was pleasant to walk... More 

Thank Peregrina50
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
106 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Chora Church, Kariye Museum, (Church of the Holy Savior Outside the Walls) was originally built by Constantine in the 4th century, the existing structure is from the 11th century. Interior decorations featuring mural drawings and Mosiacs are dated from 1320. The Mosiacs portraying the life of Jesus and Mary, Jesus's ministry and the frescoes portraying the theme of death... More 

Thank Susan M
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
59 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you are into Byzantine art and mosaics is your main interest, Chora church museum is a palace for mosaics. There is no other place where you can see the life of Christ in a chronology as it is here. also, the Dormition mosaic is one of my favorites. Such a great work.

Thank mesuthan
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We had no idea that this church existed. It was part of our tour package. The frescos we saw were every bit as beautiful and important to art history as any Giottos in Italy.

Thank PeacenikAlameda
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
137 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This ancient church/mosque is 17 centuries old. Visiting it should be on your Istanbul list. It is a small site, but the restoration of ancient mosaics is remarkable. The site is under restoration/construction now and they've wrapped the building in a canvas cover that makes it hard to appreciate the architecture from the outside. On the inside, about 1/2 of... More 

1 Thank PaulLMullen
Level Contributor
554 reviews
137 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 314 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Visited Chora museum recently. Unfortunately it is covered from outside for restoration works. Inside has to offer beautiful mosaics and it is one of the must do in Istanbul.

Thank winylake
Level Contributor
44 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Although it's not in the history-packed Sultanahmet area, it's worth the cab ride to get a look at these Orthodox-style mosaics covering the walls and ceilings of this church. It's not a large museum so it's easy to see in under an hour. If you go around lunch time take the opportunity to eat at the Asitane restaurant just up... More 

Thank Dorothy S

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Staying in Fener & Balat

Neighborhood Profile
Fener & Balat
This sleepy and rather socially conservative area of Istanbul hosts a small but thriving Jewish community, the patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some of the most beautiful churches and Christian art in the world. Much of what’s most interesting to witness in Fener and Balat sits between the surviving ancient city walls of Constantinople and the serene shores of the Golden Horn. Despite the many splendid sights, historic attractions, stunning vistas, and warm Turkish welcome, the area remains largely unperturbed by the tourist trade that characterizes the atmosphere in nearby Sultanahmet and around the Grand Bazaar. Travelers that like to explore off the beaten track will reap big rewards for making the effort to visit this low-key part of town.
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