Last Updated on July 15, 2021
Part of a monastery which dates back to the 6th century, the Chora Mosque (formerly Church-Museum), Kariye in Turkish, is one of the most impressive historical sites in Istanbul. Chora houses very beautiful examples of Byzantine mosaics and frescos.
“Chora” means “Rural Area” in Greek. According to the record, there had been a chapel outside the ramparts of the area. The first Chora Church was built in the 6th century in the era of Justinianos (527-565), and instead of this chapel.
Chora Church was used as the court chapel for the religious ceremonies during the Komnenos era.
Chora Church was rebuilt during the era of the Emperor Alexius I, by the end of the 11th century, and was destroyed during the Latin invasion by the years 1204-1261. After the damage, it was repaired again in the years 1282-1328.
Final church contains an annex to the north, an exonarthex to west and a chapel (Parecclesion) to the south that were appended to the church.
Chora Church was used as a church until 1511, and than converted into a mosque the Hadim Ali Pasha and after the establishment of Turkish Republic, it is converted to a museum in 1945.
The mosaics and frescos of the museum were revealed by the American Byzantine Institute between the years 1948-1958.
There are very good examples of mosaics and frescos at the Chora, belonging to the 14th century late East-Roman painting art.
Chora served as museum until 2020 and than converted to mosque.
How to Get to There?
Chora Museum is situated in the Edirnekapi neighborhood of Fatih district, within a walking distance from the Edirnekapi public bus stop. See the location map.
There are several transportation options for getting to Chora Museum.
- From the Asian side of Istanbul, you may take the Metrobus buses and get off at the Edirnekapi stop. And walk from there.
- You may find variety of public busses operating for Edirnekapi from Seyrantepe, Topkapi, Kadikoy, Levent, Beyazit, Mecidiyeköy and Taksim.
- You may see the public bus routes and timetables as well as make a route/station search from the Istanbul Municipality Public Busses website.
Address: Kariye Mahallesi, Kariye Camii Sokak No.18 Fatih, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 631 92 41