Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Turkey  /  Istanbul  /  Museums  /  Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), Istanbul

(5,000+ reviews on the web)
Art Museum
See one of the best examples of Byzantine design in the region with a trip to Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), whose interior is entirely covered in fine mosaics and frescoes. Originally built by Constantine the Great, this church has been reconstructed five times. Most significantly, Ottoman rulers converted the structure into a mosque in the 16th century. A bit off the beaten path, you have to travel to Istanbul's Western Erdinekapı neighborhood to find this building, which opened as a secular museum in 1948. However, the masterful and aesthetically stunning interior makes this trip worthwhile. Use our Istanbul vacation planner to visit Kariye Museum (The Chora Church) on your trip to Istanbul, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Saint Saviour in Chora is an absolute masterpiece, both for its mosaics, sublime, as for its wonderful frescoes and should not leave Istanbul without visiting this Summit of the Byzantine art. Unfortunately, the restoration work dragged on, fault, probably means and above all, enthusiasm, as evidenced by the filthy and discolored tarps that envelop this old church converted into a mosque, then a museum. The nave is inaccessible, but the two narthex are admirable. One wonders what the local authorities in charge of the heritage in the face of a guilty negligence.
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  • I had bad luck, I've taken a long way for me to reach this church. The mosaics were uncovered again until 7 years ago and based on the reviews and the Guide, I wanted to admire it necessarily. Unfortunately the Church of a building site and many areas are not to visit. So the Church with the illustrations sure 5 points deserved on the basis of existing but more renovations, I rather advise against the visit.
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  • A very good place for the story of the Bible. Mosaics, etc. very clear and Nice. Some of it has been destroyed at least enjoyed together with a good book, a museum that can be completed in half a day.
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Google
  • One of Istanbul's must-see attractions. Mary's mosaics, which are rarely seen in similar churches or museums of the world, increase this value even more. Moreover, it is an interesting place to visit and photograph, not only the museum but also the surrounding area.
  • Kariye Museum originally formed the center of a Byzantine monastery complex. Only the church section, which was dedicated to Jesus Christ the Savior, has survived. After the arrival of the Turks in Istanbul, this building, like the Hagia Sophia, was converted into a mosque. In 1948 it was made a museum leaving no Islamic element in the building except the 19C minaret outside in the corner. “Kariye” is the Turkish adaptation of an ancient Greek word “Chora” which refers to countryside. Considering the perimeter of the walls of Constantine (4C AD) the building was located out of the city. If this theory is correct Chora Monastery should have been from the 4C. But unfortunately according to sources, the existence of Chora Monastery before the 8C is not certain.
  • This is one the spectacular ancient Church. Chora Church is very important for Christian history and New testament. It's my favorite attraction place in Istanbul. I highly recommend you guys to visit this beautiful church.
  • It is a bit expensive for a small museum. 30 Liras per person and 20 Liras for students. Frescoes looks amazing. It is under construction nowadays. Better to check well before you go.
  • Would give 5 stars but it was being renovated. Renovation is good, but full price during renovation is not. What little was available was beautiful, but I would recommend waiting until the repairs are finished.