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“Don't miss Chora Church. Well worth the effort.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
Kariye Camii Sokak,No:26 Edirnekapi, Istanbul 34087, Turkey
90212 631 9241
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Ranked #7 of 503 Attractions in Istanbul
Type: Art Museums, History Museums, Museums
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Owner description: 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.
Denver
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106 reviews 106 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“Don't miss Chora Church. Well worth the effort.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Don't miss Chora Church. Well worth the effort. One of the very few places in Istanbul where you can catch a glimpse of Byzantium.

Visited October 2012
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Adelaide, Australia
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63 reviews 63 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Unbelievably beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

The Chora or Keriya Museum certainly lives up to its reputation and the frescoes are just so beautiful and considering their age, most are in very good condition.The audio is very good although at times, I found it a little difficult to locate which fresco they were talking about. The frescoes are well lit and I was lucky to go when it wasn't to busy so could take the photos I wanted and stand and admire the wonderful artwork. Even if you are not religious, you would have to admire the artwork and appreciate the beauty.
After taking a tram to Topkapi and then a taxi (20TL from the tram station) we decided to walk up to the main street and take the bus back. Really enjoyed the ride which takes you to the University (close to the Grand Bazaar).

Visited October 2012
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Picton, Canada
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55 reviews 55 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“What a gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

There are at least two aspects of this church that will absolutely blow your mind, but you really need a guide or an audio guide or a good guide book. First of all the frescos and mosaics are of the highest artistic quality. Secondly, if you have never heard te story of Mary's life than you will learn a bit. Thirdly, the restoration of the art work was clearly painstaking and thorough. Not too be missed.

Visited October 2012
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Tampa, Florida
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74 reviews 74 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Pleasant Surprise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

While relatively unknown, this church has some of the best remaining examples of Byzantine church art in the world. However, because of its setting and relative anonymity, it's easy to visit without the hassle of long lines and masses of people. Another interesting aspect of this church is that it's in the most conservative part of Istanbul and it's not unusual to see women in this area walking in full chador and bearded men in baggy pants. All in all, definitely worth a look, especially if you're interested in Istanbul's Byzantine past.

Visited October 2012
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“An expensive visit”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

I don't know much about Byzantine art, and maybe if I did I would have been more amazed by what were, in fact, some very nice mosaics, but it was an expensive visit, between the taxi rides, admission fee, renting the audio guide, etc. Also, once we exited (almost by accident), we could not get back in to easily return the audio guides, or use the toilets! The place had the feel of a tourist trap, although I am sure it is much more than that. The crowds of tourists, being led by their guides, in what is a fairly cramped space, did not help either. Not sorry I went, but did not think this was the #2 attraction in Istanbul!!

Visited October 2012
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