ISTANBUL CHORA MUSEUM, INDISPENSABLE TO THE WORLD OF PAINTING
THE HOUSE OF WORLD-FAMOUS MOSAICS AND FRESCOES
The Chora museum is renowned worldwide for its well-preserved mosaics and frescoes. It presents important and beautiful examples of East Roman painting in its last period. The idea of depth in mosaics and the moving style in figures are of outstanding artistic significance in the Middle Ages, foretelling the Renaissance period.
The name “Kariye” originated from ancient Greek word “Khora “which means countryside and changed into a Turkish word because the old church and monastery remained outside the walls of Constantinople. Chora Museum, was built during the reign of Emperor Iustinianos in the 5th century. Repairs and additions have changed the original plan considerably. Today's building is from the 14th century.
LOOK AT JESUS CHRIST AND MOTHER MARY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THESE MOSAICS
Chora Church which was used as a palace church and a chapel in important religious ceremonies, continued to function as a church for a while. In 1511, it was converted into a mosque by Atik Ali Pasha, the grand vizier of Bayezid II. Details of that period consist of the minaret in the southwest corner and the niche to the east of the main room. It was converted into a museum in 1945. It was restored in 1948 and 1958 and the restoration work that started in 2013 is still ongoing.
The museum owes its admirable 14th century-made frescoes and mosaics to Theodoros Metokhites who was in charge of treasury. In the outer narthex (generally western entrance section in eastern Roman basilica and churches), there are mosaics about the life of Jesus Christ and in the inner narthex about the life of Virgin Mary's.
Frescos with a vivid narrative depict important scenes from the Christian theology. The colorful and high-quality marble decorations on the floor and wall surfaces of the museum deserve attention.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE
As Çelik Gülersoy, who devoted his life to Istanbul, carried out restoration work around Chora Museum, the region has a lovely atmosphere. There are wooden houses great to be photographed and neighborhood cafes to have a rest when you are tired.