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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

Travellers' Choice award winner
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Address: Kariye Camii Sokak,No:26 Edirnekapi, Istanbul 34087, Turkey
Phone Number:
+90 212 631 9241
09:00 - 16:30
Closed now
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Thu - Tue 09:00 - 16:30
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Camii yahut Kilisesi — variously...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 5,183 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2104
  • 538
    Very good
  • 175
  • 41
  • 20
Hard to find, but worth the effort

If you like Byzantine art and history, this is a great place to visit. As much as possible, they have restored the Byzantine-era mosaics and frescoes. It is a very interesting... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
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5,183 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,878: English reviews
Level Contributor
53 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

If you like Byzantine art and history, this is a great place to visit. As much as possible, they have restored the Byzantine-era mosaics and frescoes. It is a very interesting look into the religious beliefs and sentiments of the time.

1 Thank Airfrere
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
63 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The mosaics are from the era when Byzantine masters were at the absolute top of their skills. Unfortunately during my visit the nave was closed for renovations but there is still a lot to see.

Thank Tania S
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I've spent three summers now in Istanbul, walking all over the city and seeing all the historical sites, and this church is by far my favorite! It's not one of the more famous sites in the city, but in many ways a hidden jewel. It has some of the best preserved mosaics in the city, depicting scenes from much of... More 

Thank Gregory C
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I was really exciting to visit this place and after I spent long time and distance to reach there I was shocked because the church was fully covered by sheets and most of the space inside were not ready to receive the visitors, maybe it was under renovation by that time but nothing mentioned in their website

Thank Jeddah-expert
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Amazing. Turkey was the most amazing trip I have traveled. This place is life changing. People are so wonderful kind and perfect. Beautiful when you see it with your eyes.

Thank Aundrea D
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

30 Turkish Lira tickets and 2/3 was closed for restoration. But oh, the part that was open, the 1500 year old mosaics were breath-taking of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God they were covered and not destroyed like in the other mosques.

Thank walterfg2016
Chandigarh, India
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2017

please check before buying the tickets if it is under restoration or not, we ended up buying tickets and almost 80% of the building was closed for restoration.

2 Thank chitwan138
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2017

We had read about this church and were curious about the frescoes that were still remaining. We enjoyed this church and the history it still holds for Christianity, the frescoes and mosaics were spectacular and we enjoyed walking around for hours.

Thank luvtravel98
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2017

Absolutely recommended. This is the best example of Byzantine architecture and art in Istanbul. On the way to the museum you can also discover typical traditional wood houses.

Thank Talenti
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

Some very beautiful mosaics and paintings. Unfortunately under main church room is under restoration, so could not visit the whole church.

Thank Andreas Ø

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Staying in Fener & Balat

Neighbourhood Profile
Fener & Balat
This sleepy and rather socially conservative area of Istanbul hosts a small but thriving Jewish community, the patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some of the most beautiful churches and Christian art in the world. Much of what’s most interesting to witness in Fener and Balat sits between the surviving ancient city walls of Constantinople and the serene shores of the Golden Horn. Despite the many splendid sights, historic attractions, stunning vistas, and warm Turkish welcome, the area remains largely unperturbed by the tourist trade that characterizes the atmosphere in nearby Sultanahmet and around the Grand Bazaar. Travelers that like to explore off the beaten track will reap big rewards for making the effort to visit this low-key part of town.
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