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“wonderful place”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch
Ranked #12 of 1,033 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.
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“wonderful place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

I was in Istanbul last year and visited Chora Museum. This is one of the wonderful places which I strongly recommend to see for everyone traveling to Istanbul. The mosaics and frescoes from the last period of the Byzantine painting (14th century) are beautiful.

Visited September 2012
4 Thank Minatas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,228 reviews from our community

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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
45 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Beautiful !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

Take the time to go here.....you won't regret it. Beautiful...ethereal, and breathtaking. There was a guy posing as a security guy hassling a tourist...the museum guys immediately wrestled him down & the police were there within minutes.....Just made you feel so safe...........and most importantly...the mosaics are incredible

Visited November 2012
Thank ruch69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
São Paulo/Brazil
Level Contributor
161 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Don´t miss”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Thank tzanoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
249 reviews
182 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 391 helpful votes
“My favourite highlight in Istanbul!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 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
1 Thank niki101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Towson, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing mosaics”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
1 Thank Adrienne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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