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Kariye Museum

Chora Museum , Istanbul Overview

Chora Museum, also known as Kariye Museum, is located in Edirnekapı neighbourhood of Istanbul. It is popular as one of the most beautiful Byzantine churches of the 16th-century which was converted into a mosque and finally a museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered in stunning mosaics depicting the life of Christ and Mary. These mosaics can be followed like a graphic novel. For many, the importance of the Chora Museum is as great as Hagia Sophia. The best way to get to this part of town is to catch the Golden Horn ferry from Karaköy.

Must Know Before You Visit Chora Museum

How to Reach : Tram: Sultanahmet to Topkapi and then change Topkapi to Edirnekapi. Then walk for 10 mins.
Bus: 38E from Eminonu to Edirnekapi and then walk for 10 mins.

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History of Chora Museum

The Chora Church was built outside the city walls of Constantinople in the beginning of the 4th century. However under Theodosius II, the walls extended and the church came within the city walls. The church was severely damaged due to an earthquake in the early 12th century and rebuilt by Isaac Comnenus. The re-building took almost two centuries, and the final monument is what we see now. Between the years 1315 - 1321, Theodore Metochites who was a typical Byzantine further beautified the monument with the best of mosaics and frescoes the world had at that time. In the 16th century, the church was converted into a mosque by the Ottoman rulers that covered the mosaics and frescoes as it was against Islam. From 1948 to 1958, the church has gone through many series of restoration after which it was opened for public as a museum.

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