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Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)

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Address: Kariye Camii Sokak,No:26 Edirnekapi, Istanbul 34087, Turkey
Phone Number:
+90 212 631 9241
09:00 - 16:30
Open 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 5 198 reviews
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  • 539
    Very good
  • 177
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  • 20
My favorite place to visit!

The tiles in this church are beautiful! The story of Mary from birth onward is noteworthy. Just walking into the building gives a sense of being in the presence of the Divine

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Sebastian, Florida
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5 198 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,886: English reviews
Sebastian, Florida
Level Contributor
69 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The tiles in this church are beautiful! The story of Mary from birth onward is noteworthy. Just walking into the building gives a sense of being in the presence of the Divine

Thank ib2qtpie
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Everywhere is gold or golden pictures and this place has magnefique style of high ceiling style. I felt that silence and wisdom in their vibes.

Thank teriyakiss
Chengdu, China
Level Contributor
1 003 reviews
568 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The Chora Museum is a stunning medieval church which is located in the Western Districts of Istanbul. The surrounding neighborhood is full of timber Ottoman houses which set a nice backdrop. However, in the midst of this traditional Muslim neighborhood is a Byzantine church which is a repository of beatiful frescoes and mosaics which rate as one of the artistic... More 

Thank Raymond W
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This has stunning mosaics, but is under long term renovation and so parts are closed off (currently the nave). Note that the Kariye is in the Fener area, and is about 2 miles from the tourist centre of Sultanahmet in the middle of a residential area, so best reached by taxi or bus.

Thank Sean L
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
891 reviews
581 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 484 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Chora Church is a short bus ride from Sultanahment or about a half hour walk but it is utterly captivating and well wroth the visit. I would go so far as to say that it was my favourite attraction along with the Hagia Sofiya. The Byzantine mosaics are breathtaking, so vibrant and so incredibly well preserved. The original church dates... More 

Thank Bozeman-Dublin
Level Contributor
67 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I really enjoyed seeing this beautiful little church. The artwork on the ceilings and walls are amazing, glad we took time out on our way back t the airport. Would highly recommend

Thank Joaniemelonie
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Don't forget your camera! You will need it. In my opinion you must take a guided tour. you will see wonderful mosaics from the bible. If there is someone who will explain them that will be grate. after your visit if you have a time you can have a wonderfull lunch at Asitane Restaurant where is you can find delicious... More 

Thank 7668sevdak
Level Contributor
55 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This might be better once it is fully open and you can see the whole thing, but as the main room was closed for restoration when I went, I felt a bit cheated.

Thank yasf
Tehran Province, Iran
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It was an ancient church. the wall paintings were almost ruined. there was no other visitors at the time were there, but it was a new experience to me and I enjoyed it.

1 Thank farnoosh_bel
Level Contributor
56 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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

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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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