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“Out of the way but worth the trip”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch
Ranked #13 of 1,051 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
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.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
591 reviews
261 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
“Out of the way but worth the trip”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

It's a bit out of the way if you are staying in the Sultanahmet or Taksim part of Istanbul. But the moscaics and frescoes are top notch and worth the extra time required to visit. I learned alot about how frescoes are done. More importantly, the frescoes in the newer part of this church are some of the earliest examples of perspective and 3-dimensionality in paintings; it may be argued that the renassiance in art started in Constantinople and was carried to other parts of Europe. I would put this on the short list of must sees, right after Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi palace

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Retinol13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
“Well worth the travel”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Excellently preserved frescoes very evocative of the Byzantine era This took us outside the main tourist area and gave us the chance to explore another historic part of Istanbul..

Visited September 2012
Thank Katharine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashtead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Amazing mosaics”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

The church at Chora is well worth the visit. The spectacular mosaics were simply beautiful. Try and visit early in the day as it gets busy.

Visited September 2012
Thank jfb22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“This was a surprise”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Hadn't known about this church, the mosaics are utterly wonderful and the space is more intimate than Hagia Sophia. The pictures focus on the life of Mary and the early Saints, they will take your breath away for their beauty.

Visited September 2012
Thank Belinda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hancock, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
79 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Out of the way, but worth it”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Beautiful mosaics in a rather small Byzantine-era church. The scale of the place makes it easier to appreciate the mosaics which depict the life of Christ.

Visited September 2012
Thank Stephen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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