CHORA MUSEUM WITH BEAUTIFUL MOSAICS
Located in Edirnekapi, Chora Museum is one of the historical beauties of Istanbul which is worth visiting. If you are interested in art, especially the art of mosaics and frescoes from Byzantine era, then you should definitely visit Chora Museum (Kariye Müzesi in Turkish). As well as the artistic traces it has, it has a long history.
The name ‘’Chora’’ comes from an Ancient Greek word meaning countryside that refers to the original chapel which was constructed outside the city walls in 5th Century. It was destroyed by Fourth Crusade invaders, later it was renovated in 13th and 14th Centuries and decorated with frescoes and beautiful mosaics that you can also see today. After 1453, when Ottoman took the city, it continued to serve as a church until 1500s. Later it was turned into a mosque. In the year of 1945, it was converted into a museum with some restorations.
Today, you can see the stunning mosaics and frescoes in Chora Museum. While many of them tell the story of the life of Christ and Mary, each of them tell us a different story. Almost all the frescoes and mosaics date back to 14th Century.
You can buy audio guide before your visit to Chora Museum which will help you to understand the meaning and the story of the mosaics and frescoes beyond.
The transportation to Chora Museum is not so easy, however it is certainly worth visiting. You can get 31E, 36K or 38E bus from Eminonu or you can get a taxi from Sultan Ahmed to Edirnekapi.
If you have a museum card, then you can visit Chora Museum for free. If you do not have one, then you should pay for the ticket at the gate. It is open all week from 9 am to 7 pm in summer, and 9 am to 4.30 pm in winter.