Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), Istanbul

4.5
#3 of 59 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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  • Very interesting to visit byzantine church accompanied by a guide, not everything is accessible as numerous and endless renovations underway, as often, but exceptional mosaics in a magical place
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  • If and when we went made rebuilds around the Church and was closed inside at some points, we paid 30 Lyres in person! We were left impressed by the pictures with the mosaics inside the Church, several pictures were well preserved! The positive was that the watch the Church ages haven't done enough damage inside, although the Turks were asbestwsei. be opwssdipote to go ...
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  • Long a travelled this far, but it was worth it. As soon as you come into the Museum, immediately plunge into a kind of hypnotic atmosphere, from Mosaic to Mosaic, you can walk for hours looking at them from different angles. Amazing place, very impressive. Sorry do not have a guide, then donated.
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  • Hugely underrated, this church/mosque is really a neat thing to see. Look up the history on it. I'd expect a taxi ride from Eminönü to be about 20-30 lira. I always suggest this place as an option after visiting Sultanahmet mosque and Hagia Sofia.
  • Potential visitors should be advised that at the time of my visit (April 2017) the building is under restoration and mostly closed. The parts that were open, however, were still very impressive.
  • Chora Museum is amazing museum. Built as a church then converted into mosque. Now it is museum. Interior covered by mosaics .
  • It is a true gem forgotten by many tourists just because it is out of the way of many other 'touristy' locations in Istanbul. If you have time take a cab and invest 30 minutes of your time to see this church. It is beautiful :) I doubt that the islamist govt cares at all but they should restore it to its glory days- not only due to respect to this structure but it will attract more tourist hence generate more money for the govt.
  • The Chora Museum is definitely worth the trek out to Faith. The interiors which showcase the Christian origins. The mosaics are absolutely brilliant.

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Where to stay in Istanbul

The bustling downtown core of old Istanbul is the popular choice among tourists wanting a short walking distance to the city's biggest attractions. Here you'll find hostel-style accommodations and reasonably priced and traditionally decorated hotels, as well as bed and breakfasts and inns with views overlooking the sea. Though often the most affordable, accommodations in the old city can be very overrun with tourists and street solicitors. If you seek a more relaxed stay, consider lodging near Taksim Square. This new, trendy neighborhood is a short 15-20 minute ride from the old city, but puts you closer to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Though the newer area of the city is a bit more upscale, you'll also find moderately priced hotels and some hostels. Look for luxury hotels in the western suburbs close to the airport, overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
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