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“Don´t miss” 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 #8 of 642 attractions in Istanbul
Type: Art Museums, History Museums
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Attraction Details
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.
São Paulo/Brazil
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116 reviews 116 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Don´t miss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Very small but very beautiful place. Its a must and I liked very much.It is located in a pacific place, with a good coffee nearby.

Visited July 2013
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“My favourite highlight in Istanbul!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

This church was a one of the best surprises during my stay in Istanbul. Usually people go for the most popular historical sites – Haghia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque, and The Cora Church easily could be missed. It is included in the Museum Pass Istanbul for 72 hours which costs 72 TL with a single entry to 9 museums - Haghia Sophia, Topkapi Palace plus the Harem Apartments, Archaeological Museum, Mosaics Museum, Museum for the history of Science & Technology in Islam and Museum of Islam Arts. When using this card, bear in mind that The Cora Church is closed on Wednesdays.

The church is a bit far from the main attractions but is still very reachable. To get to the church we took a taxi from Sultanahmet which cost 25TL and we asked the taxi driver for the price in advance so that we avoided some unpleasant surprises when it came time for payment. The journey was about 20 minutes and it was also an excellent way to see the walls that ringed old Constantinople.

All images from the mosaics and frescoes are amazing and it is difficult to have a favourite here. They also are very unusual such as the one with the Virgin Mary with the little Christ in her tummy, or seeing Christ dragging Adam and Eve out of their tombs. Notice that all works are from almost exactly the same date as the work of Giotto in Italy, and as one of the guide books says, they have the same spirit of life and reality, so typical of the dawn of the Renaissance.

The audio guide (10TL) was quite good. The artists of this church were storytellers; there are amazing stories to follow around and it is important to have an audio guide with you. To me personally, the story of the childhood of Virgin Mary as well as her parents, Anne and Joachim, is the most beautiful story here. The mosaics with the motives of The Virgin first seven steps as well as the Virgin caressed by her parents are fascinating: these images of the three of them as a family are superb and can hardly be seen in other churches’ walls.

Visited June 2013
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Towson, Maryland
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6 reviews 6 reviews
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Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Amazing mosaics”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This small out of the way church has some of the most fabulous mosaics I've ever seen. Grab a book that explains the scenes in the mosaics, and be astounded.

Visited April 2013
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Lafayette
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9 reviews 9 reviews
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10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“History of Jesus”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

The story of Jesus told in mosaics is out of this world.
Don't miss Asitane restaurant next door.it serves original ottoman dishes that are memorable, especially their stuffed quince.

Visited June 2013
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Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Worth the Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

My favorite historic site in the Istanbul area (which says a great deal). Magnificent, well-preserved frescoes, and a great audio tour. Definitely worth the cab ride from old Sultanahmet. I think we paid 20 lira for the ride - make sure you settle on the price up-front. Try to go around lunch time and enjoy excellent dining at Asitane next door - an historic experience in itself.

Visited March 2013
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