Chora Museum/Chora Church/Chora Mosque


Chora Museum/Chora Church/Chora Mosque

Chora Monastery Attractions

Chora was a church dedicated to Jesus, forming the center of the Chora Monastery, which was a large building complex during the Eastern Roman Empire. Since it is outside the city walls of Istanbul (Konstantinos), the name Chora, which means outside the city and rural area in Greek, was deemed appropriate for the building. Turkish language calls it Kariye Mosque

As we are end of January 2023, the current status of the Chora Church It has been closed to visitors since 2022 due to restoration

You may want to have a wonderful sightseeing tour of the unique structures of Istanbul in the most efficient way, and rent a car with a driver from Cab Istanbul right away. If you are staying in historical Istanbul, book a private transfer service now.

Chora Museum

Blachernae Palace (The Palaces of the Blachernae)

Although the exact date of construction is unknown, it is known that it was rebuilt on the site of a ruined chapel outside the city by Emperor Justinian (527-565) in the 6th century. During the Kommenos period, the church was used as a palace chapel for important religious ceremonies as it was near the Blachernae Palace. The building, which was destroyed by the destruction of the monastic buildings outside Chora, draws attention to Eastern Roman art with its architecture, mosaics, and frescoes that have survived to the present day.

After The Conquest of Istanbul Chora Church Become Kariye Mosque

Chora church was kept well during the conquest of Istanbul,  and it was converted into a mosque in 1511 by the Grand Vizier Atik Ali Pasha. Also, Sultan Bayezid added a madrasah next to it. Kariye Mosque has become a museum in 1945 as a Hagia Sophia.

Mosaic of Marriage at Cana/ Jesus Turned Water into Wine

Kariye Mosque

Kariye Mosque or formerly Sainte Savior Chora Church, a former medieval Greek Orthodox church it was used as a museum long time,  located in Edirnekapı of Fatih district in Istanbul. About a hundred meters standing from Theodosius Walls, the building was the center of the Chora Monastery, which was a large building complex during the Eastern Roman Empire. After the Conquest of Istanbul, it continued to function as a church for fifty-eight years. Kariye Mosque is famous for its mosaics, the church began to be used as a mosque in 1511. The building was declared a national monument in 1945 and was turned into a museum affiliated with the Museum's Administration in 1948 with the decision of the Council of Ministers. Today Kariye Mosque is one of the most visited mosques and museums in Turkey.

Worldwide well-preserved mosaics and frescoes from all Christian world. After converting from a church to a mosque, the Christian symbols, inscriptions, frescoes, and mosaics were covered with thin paint and lime whitewash without destroying the building, so it has survived to the present day.

 In Christianity, religious buildings were decorated with mosaics and frescoes depicting religious scenes in order to visually convey religious subjects to illiterate Christians, enrich the interiors of the buildings, and add splendor. Kariye Mosque is also adorned with mosaics and paintings containing scenes from Portraits, Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocryphal Gospels. The structure is often compared by art historians with the Arena Chapel in the Arena Chapel in Padova, Italy, in terms of its decorations, made by Giotto, the pioneer of Renaissance painting, around the same time. 

Both feature scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary's mother, Anna, her father, Johakim, Mary herself, and Jesus. Religious scenes and faces, which have been depicted in the same dull and lifeless way for centuries, have begun to be depicted differently in these two structures. It was returned to antiquity in a pictorial style. The scenes in the Arena Chapel are arranged chronologically; In Chora, the scenes were arranged in chronological order, as well as depicting similar subjects in common areas. In compositions, the backgrounds are like stage props and are full of details such as fabric and plants. Figures are seen not looking at the audience but communicating with other figures in the scene. The Arap Mosque in Istanbul and the Fethiye Mosque show stylistic similarities. Fresco Technique is a decoration technique used in Chora. In particular, the entire Pareklesion is covered with frescoes. The "Descent to Hell", that is, the "resurrection" (anastasis) scene seen in the apse is a work of art that has survived with very little damage. The "last judgment" scene above it is shown here. At the top of the ceiling, the universe is depicted as a spiral, resembling a snail. It is known that the niches seen on the right and left walls of the pareklesion are tombs. Mary and Child Jesus are seen in the middle of the pareklesion dome, and 12 angels are seen in the slices. The fresco technique was also used in the tomb niches in the outer narthex, as well as in the pareklesion.

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