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“Little Gem”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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$40.70*
and up
Golden Horn Half Day Morning Tour in Istanbul
Ranked #31 of 1,162 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 July 23, 2013

A lot of tourists miss it because it is out of the way, but combine it with the Theodosian Walls ( a good restored section a short walk up the hill) and you've got it. These are some of the best mosaics anywhere and it is absolutely beautiful. Don't go to Istanbul and miss this.

Thank Gary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful mosaics"
in 198 reviews
"byzantine art"
in 103 reviews
"old city walls"
in 55 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 108 reviews
"under restoration"
in 85 reviews
"virgin mary"
in 77 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 48 reviews
"audio guide"
in 132 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 162 reviews
"museum pass"
in 80 reviews
"golden horn"
in 82 reviews
"turkey"
in 67 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 31 reviews
"bible"
in 68 reviews
"fresco"
in 50 reviews
"nave"
in 57 reviews
"christ"
in 97 reviews
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1,902 - 1,906 of 5,640 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

It was a fine Byzantine church, but really not worth the effort to get out there. It certainly does not deserve to be the best ranked in Istanbul. Only takes about 30 minutes.

If you do go, the pink pavilion across the way as good food/prices.

Thank brandasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

This was a perfect last stop for us on a long day of sightseeing, with very few other visitors making it more peaceful and easier to observe all the wonderful mosaics, construction, and setting. There is an open-air restaurant next door which is also a good stop for lunch or refreshment.

Thank Cali_BAB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

This church features in every handbook on Byzatine art as it is one of the most important monuments of the period. It was commissioned by Theodore Metochites, one of the top officials of the Byzatine Empire, and features some of the finest mosaics after Aghia Sophia. The fresco of Chirst's descent into the Underworld is easily the best surviving Byzatine painting.
The best way to reach this church is by taxi. Other sights within walking distance include the Great Wall and Sinan's Mihrimah Mosque.

Thank Olga P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

Please make time in your trip to head out to this church. It's out of the way from the other main tourist attractions (we took a combination of buses/trolleys to get out there), but it's worth your time. It was originally constructed back in the 4th century and has some amazing frescoes on the interior that are very well preserved. It's not very large, but it is one of the best Byzantine churches I have seen. Because it is so far out of the way, it's not usually very crowded, so you have plenty of time to browse the mosaics. I would definitely bring a guide book as there aren't guided tours or brochures explaining what you're seeing.

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

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