Chora Museum / Kariye Museum

Walking around in circles, I knew I was not far away from the stunning building that I was searching for. Istanbul is indeed a treasure hunt. This building is considered as one of the most beautiful surviving example of Byzantine (Roman Empire) Church. This was built in the 5th century, later destroyed by earthquakes and then re-built in 11th century. In the 16th century it was converted into a mosque and in 1948 it became a museum. Sounds familiar to the Hagia Sophia right?


The church was originally built in the early 5th century outside the first wall of Constantinople, as the name Chora means “countryside” in Greek. Though the church was converted to a mosque by the Ottomans in the 16th century, the mosaics and frescos remained untouched. Be ready to walk around the museum with head tilted up seeing the amazing and stunning view describing the life of the Jesus and Mother Mary.

On the day I went, the museum opened at 11:am, reading the reviews I expected a hand full of people but to my surprise there was already a big queue in place. The museum is small so expect a lot of camera clicks and you hear a lot of awe and wow’s 🙂 No usage of flash and tripod. The museum is undergoing a restoration at the moment.

Just a few minutes on foot from the museum you will see the city wall.

If you ever plan to visit Istanbul, don’t miss this amazing museum which happens to have the best art that Istanbul has to offer.

A few photos taken here 🙂 Have a fantastic weekend.

Keep Travelling, Keep Learning

Entrance to the Museum

Entrance to the Museum


Journey to Bethlehem


The Last Judgment


Christ is depicted saving Adam and Eve by redirecting them from their sarcophagi.


Theodore Metochites presenting a model of the Chora church to Christ


Virgin Mary and twelve angels


Virgin Mary praying


Joseph and Mary and the enrollment for the census for taxation



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7 thoughts on “Chora Museum / Kariye Museum

  1. The murals are amazing here! Sometimes I think it is impressive how Turkey still preserve this as one of its jewel heritage places 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this Jackson! Have a lovely weekend!!

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