"Church of Saint Saviour in Chora (Kariye Müzesi)" Chora Church & Museum - Kariye Museum Tip by MM212

  The domes of Chora Church - Jan 2010
by MM212
  • The domes of Chora Church - Jan 2010 - Istanbul
      The domes of Chora Church - Jan 2010
    by MM212
  • Kariye Müzesi - Jan 2010 - Istanbul
      Kariye Müzesi - Jan 2010
    by MM212
  • Chora Church - Jan 2010 - Istanbul
      Chora Church - Jan 2010
    by MM212
  • The façade of Chora Church - Jan 2010 - Istanbul
      The façade of Chora Church - Jan 2010
    by MM212

Istanbul's most impressive Byzantine mosaics are found in this former church, once known as the Church of Saint Saviour in Chora. Its name, "in Chora", is Greek for "in the fields" in reference to the fact that the church was originally surrounded by fields outside the walls of Constantinople. This goes back to the first Chora church which was built in the 5th century AD, before the Theodosian walls enclosed it within the boundaries of the city. The church was rebuilt in the 11th century and heavily restored after a 13th century earthquake, but its mosaics and frescoes were only added in the early 14th century. After the Ottoman conquest, the church was converted into a mosque under a modified name, Kariye Camii, derived from "Chora", and the mosaics and frescoes were covered in plaster. Between 1948 and 1958, a restoration project turned the structure into a museum (Kariye Müsezi) and revealed the amazing frescoes and mosaics. Chora Church is one of the gems of Istanbul that should not be missed. It is located some distance from the city centre, so a taxi is necessary, but the visit can be combined with some of the other interesting sites in the same neighbourhood.

Note: If you visit this church near lunchtime, you should try the superb restaurant next door, Asitane.

Address: Kariye Camii Sokak, Edirnekapı
Phone: +90 212 631 9241
Website: http://www.choramuseum.com

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  • Updated Feb 24, 2010
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