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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

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Fener & Balat
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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 5 227 reviews
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Great wall mosaics

Originally built as a church. It has very nice religious wall mosaics, comarable to those in Ravena , Italy.

Reviewed yesterday
Athens, Greece
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5 227 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,905: English reviews
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed yesterday NEW

Originally built as a church. It has very nice religious wall mosaics, comarable to those in Ravena , Italy.

Thank ceasar2017
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
184 reviews
137 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Love this small church. I took local bus under the hill and walked up to the hill. It's small but you can see the probably the best arts on the wall. GOLD and other brilliant colours. If you have the chance, come see this. not easy to get to but taking taxi is no problem!!

Thank lifecity
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Chora Church and its mosaics are stunning. It was in the process of being preserved and its mosaics cleaned when we visited so the sanctuary was not accessible. However, even what we did see was well worth the visit so when the rest of it is open again it will be even better. Often overlooked because it is small... More 

Thank Todd B
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

A little bit out of the way but worth the trip. Church turned mosque turned museum. Beautiful mosaics that are a stunning shining gold. There are also frescoes but they are not as visually attractive as the mosaics. Under restoration so only a small part is open for viewing.

Thank hsammour
Level Contributor
1 014 reviews
465 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 384 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Until repairs are complete, you can only see the front two halls and the side passage with frescos. The mosaics in the first two halls are still spectacular and much more complete than in other places. You can get here with a bus heading west, just get off close to the city walls.

Thank mrdom
southern Idaho
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Also called the Kariye Museum, this is a very scenic fresco-laden church with interesting mosaics. This church dates back to before the 6th century, and definitely worth an hour or two visit.

Thank rteecher
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2 332 reviews
1 609 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 438 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Kariye Museum is better known as the Chora Chuch. After the fall of Byzanitium in 1453, the Church was converted into a mosque. Due to the Islamic prohibition against representational art, the magnficent mosaics and frescos were plastered over. When the plaster was removed in 1948, it revealed some of the best preserved art remaining from the Easern Roman... More 

1 Thank Jeffry B
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

every scnes of mosaic telling the holy bible. mosaics and icons are in a very good conditions. with a tour guide you can visit there half day. amazing place

1 Thank Gözde E
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Nothing special. I came here because i got the istanbul visitor museum pass so i wanted to maximise the utilisation of the card. Furthermore, i wouldn't recommend a solo female to come here walking as the museum is quite farfrom the main street and the neighbourhood is a bit orthodox and not many tourist

Thank Iman S
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

it is like a comic book of bible. it has so many beautiful mosaics depicting the life of Maria. I would recommend it to the mosaic lovers.

Thank idil i

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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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