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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

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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

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

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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Must visit

Many Istanbul visitors skips this church, mainly because it’s a little far from the center and the main attractions. But try to visit this church and considering it as one of the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed October 5, 2015
Mexico City

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Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Level Contributor
32 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2015 NEW

1) Little outside the Sultanahmet area. Cost about 35TL by taxi from Sultanahmet. 2) Currently (Oct-2015), renovation is on-going, so you wont be able to see half of it. 3) Beautiful Mosaic work on walls and ceilings. 4) Consider spending about 30 mins to an hour. 5) Audio guide is a little steep but worth it.

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Mexico City
Level Contributor
188 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2015 NEW

Many Istanbul visitors skips this church, mainly because it’s a little far from the center and the main attractions. But try to visit this church and considering it as one of the main attractions. In fact it is. The byzantine paintings of this small church are the best of the whole city. Hire a guide as there is a lot... More 

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Level Contributor
180 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2015 NEW

Awesome. If you like Byzantine afrescos and mosaics, this is the place. It's a small building but erery wall and ceiling is covered with images of Jesus, Mary and imporatnt Gospel narratives

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Level Contributor
94 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2015 NEW

The mosaics are fantastic, and well preserved. Don't miss this little church!! Hope more of it will be open soon. go early long lines but worth it!!!

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Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015 NEW

Could see historical fresco which has original color and picture. Beautiful itself. Not easy go to and back from Kariye. Edimekapi station (from Topaki, or walk from Topaki to Kariye along side with Wall) to Kariye by walk, after that visit to Surlar which is a part of local people's residential area not feel like travel area. I went to... More 

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Dorset, England
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313 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2015 NEW

It's quite small, it's some way out of the centre, but this church turned museum was very high on the list of great things in Istanbul. The fairly well preserved mosaics, telling the story of Mary, and the frescoes are just stunning. Sadly, the centre of the church is currently closed for restoration, but it doesn't detract from the experience.... More 

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Atlanta, Georgia
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8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2015 NEW

Lovely museum featuring ancient mosaics. The highlight was the story of Mary told through various mosaics.

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Lancaster, United Kingdom
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55 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2015 NEW

I visited this place during a one week stay in istanbul. This church has some of the best mosaiques in town. Need to buy audio guide otherwise difficult to understand. Also brought monoscope to view ceiling mosaiques which was a good idea. Parts of the church currently closed for conservation but that doesnt matter as all important works accessible. A... More 

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Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2015 NEW

A little out of the way, but if you have any interest in Byzantine history, it is well worth a visit. While many of the old Byzantine churches have lost most of their mosaics, the ones here are plentiful and are still in excellent condition.

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Bedford, United Kingdom
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80 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2015 NEW

This church was unfortunately undergoing restoration when I visited, which meant the main body of the church was closed. It is still very much worth a visit, however, as the mosaics are spectacular and the frescoes are also wonderful. This church has the only representations of the life of the Virgin Mary as told in the Apocrypha in the world.... More 

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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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