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“Pretty Amazing”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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$73.24*
and up
Constantinople Half-Day Tour of Orthodox Religious Sites
Ranked #13 of 1,115 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 August 27, 2014 via mobile

The church is ticked in a residential neighborhood, so it's a bit tricky to find, but it's definitely worth the trip! The mosaics and frescos are far beyond anything you will see at St./Aya Sophia. Yes, the main church was closed for renovation, but better see some than none. Don't miss!

Thank kevin f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful mosaics"
in 195 reviews
"byzantine art"
in 102 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 104 reviews
"virgin mary"
in 79 reviews
"under restoration"
in 76 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 46 reviews
"audio guide"
in 131 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 160 reviews
"museum pass"
in 75 reviews
"public transportation"
in 33 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 43 reviews
"golden horn"
in 80 reviews
"tour groups"
in 30 reviews
"old city"
in 83 reviews
"turkey"
in 63 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 31 reviews
"asitane"
in 95 reviews
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1,180 - 1,184 of 5,420 reviews

Reviewed August 27, 2014

The church of St Saviour in Chora is not in the main tourist area (Sultanahmet) but is well worth a visit for its glittering Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. Although the staff at our hotel advised us to travel there by taxi, we decided to try and get there under our own steam at a fraction of the cost. We took the T1 tramline from Sultanahmet as far as Topkapi. At Topkapi we followed the signs to the T4 tramline and took the tram as far as Edirnekape. At Edirnekapi we walked across the road to the city wall and, turned left keeping the city wall on our left. We used the map in our guidebook and a bit of common sense to determine when to turn right to the church but for greater accuracy you can check out street names on Google maps. The walk to the church took about 10 minutes. You will need four tram tokens per individual to get there and back from Sultanahmet. At the church, we hired an audio guide which helped to a certain extent but also confused us a couple of times when we couldn't find the mosaics to which the audio was referring!

Thank 485racheld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2014

One of the great treasures of Istanbul and less visited than other major sites. The intimate setting and the preservation of these mosaics make for a most beguiling experience. Follow the sequence of scenes around walls and ceilings of the various rooms close up. They were all made in a short period around 1320 (the time of Giotto) and exude a foretaste of the coming renaissance. Although the Nave (the main domed room) was closed for renovation at the time of my visit just to experience a small part of one of these mosaic cycles is a privilege. Go!

Thank StuartL105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2014

This church dates back to 300-500 AD and has been modified in the years after. I heard quite some good stories about this church and the photo's looked really cool. Although it is a bit further away from the city center we decided to go to this church. One big hall was being renovated but I think the other parts were truly amazing as well. The amazing paintings and mosaics decorate the whole cealing and large parts of the walls. A must see in Istanbul and maybe even THE highlight of my trip to Istanbul.

1  Thank MarkSNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 24, 2014

Some of the stories represented in the mosaics and frescos are easily identified, but some taken from popular (at the time) apocryphal gospels not included in the standard New Testament editions and therefore a detailed guidebook or audio guide is a must.

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

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