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“Worth a detour”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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$107.90*
and up
Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch
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$69.53*
and up
Constantinople Half-Day Tour of Orthodox Religious Sites
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$100.00*
and up
Eyup, Pierre Loti Hill, and Kariye Museum: Guided Day Tour from Istanbul
Ranked #13 of 1,099 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

This church is decorated with exceptionally beautiful and well preserved Byzantine mosaics inside. It's not within walking distance of the other major sites in Istanbul, however, it's a short cab ride to get there and the taxi driver will either wait for you or there are some cabs usually parked outside the church so you won't be stranded.

Thank likemagic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,065 - 2,069 of 5,352 reviews

Reviewed April 1, 2013

One of the rare byzantine churches converted to mosques where the byzantine mosaics were not destroyed and are amazingly preserved. Located about 30 minutes walk uphill through a picturesque part of the city that provides a completely different "small-town" scenery.

Thank J K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

This is a gorgeous example of Byzantine Architecture. while it is a bit out of the way, a definite must see in Istanbul. Note that the easiest way to get to this location is by cab (about 15 TL each way). Nearby are the old city walls.

Thank megd80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

This former church is a bit out of the city centre but is worth the effort. The beautiful frescos and mosaics were in positions that were easy to photograph (no flash though). I had a Turkish coffee at the cafe behind the church afterward.

Thank JanaSLT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Entering the Kariye is like being transported back to the 14th century. The mosaics are remarkably well preserved, and really give an insight into how Christians worshipped around the time that the frescoes and mosaics were installed in the early 14th century. The original church on the site dates from the 5th century, and over the centuries upgrades and post-earthquake repairs resulted in the church you see today. Very much worth an hour and a half to two-hours of gawking at the gorgeous art lining the walls.

Thank bhensarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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