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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
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Open 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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 5,044 reviews
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  • 2056
  • 527
    Very good
  • 172
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a hidden treasure

I just discovered by luck. you will see unique frescos and the scene of genesis. its history goes back to 6th century.

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Istanbul, Turkey
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5,044 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,813: English reviews
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I just discovered by luck. you will see unique frescos and the scene of genesis. its history goes back to 6th century.

Thank AliAyazIstanbul
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Often overlooked in Istanbul, but boy what a treasure of Byzantine mosaics and frescos. It challenges anything you can see in Ravenna. We came I. The morning and had the church to ourselves on the way to the airport. One of the best stopovers ever.

Thank Jan_van_Londen_96
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

My visit was on 23/8/2016 Place closed the visit doesn't Worth the 30 TL fee entry unless you can enter with other method

Thank Amer A
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Wait until they finish restoration. Currently the long trip is not worth the 10 minutes you'll spend inside the church.

Thank Terry L
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Kariye Museum is under refurbishment at present and it is a bit out of town. It is still absolutely worth it. The mosaics are so intense and rival only Ravenna for their beuty and sophistication. The advantage of Kariye is that the mosaics are up close and intimate and after the Hagia Sophia, the best place to image how... More 

Thank cathyh162
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is an interesting church with the most exquisite Byzantine mosaics. However, be aware that the nave of this former church has been under restoration for a few years, so you only can see the mosaics in the outer narthexes. In this case the 30 lire charge is expensive when compared to other major sites such as Aya Sofia and... More 

Thank Tony M
Millburn, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Spectacular mosaics with detailed depictions of Christian scenes. We were there with our wonderful private guide, Viktor so we had wonderful explanations. Would make sure there is a way to get the information when visit.

Thank JillinJersey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Chora name became a name of a style in mosaic Decoration world. That shows how nice mosaic panels you can see at Chora. Quite small church whic later converted in to a mosque with Ottomans. But lots of well preserved Mosaic panels where you can see life of Virgin Mary and life of Jesus Chris

Thank Walking IStanbu... T
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Chora church was built before 3rd version of Hagia Sofia and has some of the best mosaics in the world! This is more important to visit than Blue Mosque! Make sure you get the audio guide or have a pictorial guide on the meaning behind these beautiful mosaics. The church/museum is undergoing restoration and the main section was closed however... More 

1 Thank AngelIoannou
Paris, France
Level Contributor
67 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Church under refurbishement. Price to visit this church just went from 15TL to 30TL. There is no information at all so you have to take audio guide or guide (add minimum 30TL). Inside is very small but looks very interesting. Very nice mosaique and paintings

1 Thank 123_David_R_123456

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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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