"Kariye Muzesi" Chora Church & Museum - Kariye Museum Tip by Hopkid

by Hopkid
  • Kariye Muzesi - Istanbul
  • Kariye Muzesi - Istanbul
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      Mary holding Jesus and the 12 attending angels
    by Hopkid
  • Kariye Muzesi - Istanbul
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The Kariye Muzesi, formerly the Chora Church and then the Kariye Camii, which was established in the 3rd century when it was literally out in the country. Chora means "country". However over time the city made its way out to the western areas and the city walls constructed by Theodosius in the early 5th century ensured that the church would forever more be "inside" the city and not in the country.

The current building was constructed in the late 11th century and what draws visitors to this fairly small former church (and mosque) are the fabulous mosaics and frescoes which depict the life of Christ. The mosaics and frescoes date from the early 14th century and are simply beautiful. It was fun to figure out what parts of Christ's life was being depicted in each scene. Luckily our guide book was pretty comprehensive in its listing of the mosaics/frescoes which was especially helpful to a couple of non-chuch goers although Rita has read the Bible.

This small museum is a must see when in Istanbul and is more than worth the effort to get out here from Sultanahmet or Taksim. The art is exquisite! I will have separate travelogues for the mosaics and frescoes because 5 photos per tip is not enough!

Address: Ali Kuscu Sokak, Edirnekapi
Directions: Take a bus on Sehzadebasi Caddesi near the Sahzade Mehmet Camii to Edirnekapi and get off before going through the city walls. Walk toward the northeast and ask the locals or get a good map. Or just take a taxi!
Phone: 212.631.92.41
Website: http://www.choramuseum.com

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 22, 2008
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