Chora Museum (Kariye Muzesi)

Known also as St. Saviour, this church (now a museum) is famous for its mosaics. It is located in Edirnekapi, Fatih. After Hagia Sophia, the second most important Byzantine church in Istanbul, has beautiful frescoes with the theme of death and resurrection.

The word Chora, in Turkish 'Kariye', means 'countryside'. It was called Chora because the structure was firstly built outside the city walls in 5th century as a chapel. It was dedicated to Jesus Christ. After the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans, it was turned into a mosque and now it serves as a museum. The current building is not the original one, it was rebuilt in 11th century by Justinianus. With its beautiful frescoes and mosaics illustrating scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary, it perfectly reflects the Byzantine painting art. While it looks very ordinary from outside, it is spectacular inside.

Chora Museum is open everyday between 9.00am and 4.30pm, except Wednesdays. The entrance is 15tl (~7 euros).

You may go to Edirnekapi by tram from Sultanahmet. Or by bus No 87 from Taksim and get off at Edirnekapi station.It is 2-3 minutes to walk the museum from this station.

Although it is not among the most popular tourist destinations, it is really worth seeing for its mosaics and frescoes.

Chora Museum on Istanbul Map