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“Beautiful and historic”

Kariye Museum (The Chora Church)
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US$ 72.54*
and up
Constantinople Half-Day Tour of Orthodox...
Ranked #37 of 1,123 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.
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Well worth going to see. Somewhat complicated to get to by bus, but a taxi can get you there. Be sure to get the fare settled in advance, especially on the way back! The church itself is lovely, with ancient murals and frescos on the walls, and a sweet little garden area surrounding it.

Thank dsnewtime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (5,433)
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"beautiful mosaics"
in 195 reviews
"byzantine art"
in 102 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 104 reviews
"virgin mary"
in 79 reviews
"under restoration"
in 76 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 46 reviews
"audio guide"
in 131 reviews
"hagia sophia"
in 160 reviews
"museum pass"
in 75 reviews
"public transportation"
in 33 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 43 reviews
"golden horn"
in 80 reviews
"tour groups"
in 30 reviews
"old city"
in 83 reviews
in 63 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 31 reviews
in 95 reviews

2,760 - 2,764 of 5,433 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2012

There are so many pictures to see.
All byzantine icons from before the Ottoman conquest

2  Thank ClausLiisbergKamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2012

when you will go to this place .
you feel history and
many many years ago people live there


Thank raskol n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2012

It's not the easiest place to reach, but it's worth the walk through Fatih neighborhood. Its mosaics are just wonderful and well preserved/restored, and the place has an authentic flavour. The surrounding area is a bit run down but safe. I found this place really inspiring. Try not to miss it during your stay in Istanbul, even though you might have to get things organized on your own. You could also take a walk in the neighborhood and see a less touristic side of the city.

Thank giorgiaistanbul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 February 2012

Though situated a little bit away from usual touristic sites of the city, Kariye Museum is definitely a must see in Istanbul: once you step in, you are carried away from the present and you are really amazed of the environment thanks to beautiful mosaics and frescoes dating back from the 10th and 11th century. This place which is a museum today, used to be a church first, then was converted into a mosque during Ottoman Empire days and since the establishment of Turkish Republic, serves as a museum. There are a total of 90 mosaics and frescoes inside, on the walls and in the ceilings. Each of them signifies and symbolises important messages. Without knowing those meanings, touring the museum will be a mere contemplation of art work and that will be too limited. Therefore, I recommend you go there with a knowledgeable guide or make the tour with audio guides available at the entrance. The museum shop, though small, offers not only souvenirs but also good books about Istanbul and history and arts. Beware: once you enter the museum, you can use your electronic ticket again for the same place only after 3 hours: as at the exit, there is a cafe, many visitors would like to take a break there and continue but this 3 hours limit create a problem for them. Next to this museum, there is also one of the best Ottoman restaurants of the highest quality (Asitane), so, you can combine a lunch or dinner for after the visit as well.

2  Thank TubaKoseogluOkcu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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