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“More human scale than Hagia Sophia”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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Eyup, Pierre Loti Hill, and Kariye Museum: Guided Day Tour from Istanbul
Ranked #13 of 1,071 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.
Level 6 Contributor
43 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“More human scale than Hagia Sophia”
Reviewed 24 November 2013

If you like mosaics, then this church is for you.
We had a private guide for the day and spent the afternoon slowly walking through this church and viewing the mosaics tha covered ceiling , walls etc.
this church is not be be missed.

Visited November 2013
Thank Azulann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Athens, Greece
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Don't miss this amazing church”
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Originally Church of the Holy Saviour Outside the Walls, then a mosque and now a museum, the Chora Church has the most amazing mosaics and fresco paintings, dating from the fourteenth century, which cover most of the interior. They tell the Christian story in vivid and beautiful detail. You need a guidebook to list the subjects depicted - the Lonely Planet guide has this on its last pages. The most powerful image is that of the Anastasis or Resurrection, a fresco in the side chapel, which brings Stanley Spencer to mind. Well worth the walk up. The Museum is included in the Museum card scheme: cost TL15. It is best to go at 9am or at lunchtime when the tour groups have gone to eat, otherwise it can be very crowded. The Pink Cafe opposite is good value, and afterwards you can walk along the Theodosian city walls and see the ruins of Constantine's palace.

Visited November 2013
Thank Gail N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“A must see”
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Great mosaics. It was a Christian church transformed into a mosque.
Part of it was closed due to restoration work :(

Visited November 2013
Thank marcelc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toledo, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Well Worth It...!”
Reviewed 21 November 2013

I have reservations when my significant other suggested walking to The Choral Church, through Istanbul streets and up on a hill mind you. But I admit it... I was wrong. This was well worth the effort (and sweat), of navigating the haphazard streets to find The Choral Church. It has an interesting and ancient history. The interior's mosaics are a bit breath-taking.

There is also a small craft / souvenir stalls near by. Prices seem slightly higher (not by much) compared to the streets of Istanbul (excluding of course the Grand Bazaar which start much higher). The advantage of the Choral Church crafts are that they are far less pushy and seem accepting of people browsing.

Visited November 2013
Thank MysticYears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Extremely interesting”
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Wonderful little church with incredible mosaics. You can couple a visit with a walk along the old City walls

Visited November 2013
Thank Fortheus N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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