Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), Istanbul

4.4
#3 of 101 in Museums in Istanbul
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. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Kariye Museum (The Chora Church) by using our Istanbul online trip itinerary maker .
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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church) Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Do NOT miss this place. To describe the mosaics are amazing is an understatement. Of course, there are some depictions that may not be aligned with Roman Catholicism but if they're truths to some peop...  more »
  • The place is quite small, there are lots of very interesting mosaics but a real lack of detailed explanation about each one. It would have been much better if there was some information about each one...  more »
  • This church has beautiful mosaics and the colors are the most vivid I have seen in Istanbul. Currently a portion is closed off to the public for renovation but 2/3 to 3/4 is still open. It is also one...  more »
Google
  • Amazing and beautiful mosaics. It is small however, and you are most likely going out of your way to come here. It is in a residential area. Ask yourself if you are willing to make the trip here. Luckily, there is a castle nearby to make it worth the trip.
  • I can't really recommend this location - yet. There are some very beautiful mosiacs; this is the positive. Unfortunately, there is no information available: no pamphlet and no exhibit markers - in Turkish or English. Visitors also cannot see the exterior of the building, it is both roofed and covered with hangings. As a relatively isolated site, it best accessed by taxi or with a guide. I'm sure it will be well worth a visit after restoration is complete but this appears months, perhaps years from completion.
  • Still has several sections closed for repairs but we were still very happy that we made the trip to see it. You can also have a good look along the old city wall while walking back to the Metro. Certainly recommend people to make the time for a visit.
  • Visited in June 2019, and was under major renovation (with no imminent completion date, according to our guide). As a result, you can only visit about half of the church: so bear that in mind when you make the decision to trek out here and pay the entrance cost. It's a small church, really, and very little of the original decoration survives in the main room. But in the two ante-chambers by the entrance there are some impressive Byzantine mosaics (see attached photos), which are what you come to see. In short; not an essential visit if you're in Istanbul for only a few days. But if you have longer, it's worth a detour via car: we combined it with a visit to the city walls and Suleiman Mosque.
  • This museum is a little bit isolated and you need to take a taxi to get there. The museum in under renovation so the the facade is blocked by the scaffolding. The mosaics inside are really beautiful and cover the upper ceiling . one section which covers a third of the museum is closed for restoration. You pay 54 Turkish lira and you get to see 3 small sections which will probably take you about 20 minutes to see.
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