Kariye Museum (Kariye Müzesi) & Chora Church

The modern-day Kariye Museum was originally home to a Byzantine monastery complex dedicated to Jesus Christ. It was named Chora Church which literally translates to country church due to its location outside of Istanbul’s original city walls. After the Turks arrived in Istanbul the building was converted to a mosque, covering over the gorgeous and glowing original mosaics and frescos plastered on the ceilings throughout the building.  Once it was made a museum again during the 20th century, the brilliant mosaics started to be recovered to their original state.

Our Take: Definitely worth a visit if you are in Istanbul for more than 2 days. The mosaics being restored here are absolutely stunning though you will run into some construction and restoration throughout the building. Located outside of Istanbul’s Historical Peninsula, a visit here may be best combined with a bike tour of the Golden Horn.

Kariye Museum Essentials

Type: Museum
Entrance Fee: 15.00 Turkish Lira
Visiting Hours: Summer Between 09:00 – 19:00 Hours  / Winter Between 09:00 – 16:30 Hours
Closed Days: Every Wednesday (Open Days & Hours may change by Official & Public Holidays)

Website: Kariye Museum Website

Address: Avcibey Mahallesi, Kariye Turbesi Sokak (Street) No.16, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey


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