Chora Church

Chora Church is a stunning Greek Orthodox church, originally built to be part of a monastery complex that was outside of the city walls south of the Golden Horn. The name ‘Chora’ describes its location, originally outside the city. The original name was ‘Church of the Holy Saviour in the Country’ in the original language it ended with the word ‘chora’. After the expansion in 413-414 by Theodosius it became part of cities walls defences.

Smaller than other Byzantine churches that have survived, however, it is unique due to the interior decoration is mostly still intact. Stunning mosaics on the walls and ceilings depict parts of the Christian religion or the history of the church. Some of the frescos are found floor to ceiling.

Fifty years after the fall of the city to the Ottoman Empire the Grand Vizier for Sultan Bayezid II ordered the church to be converted into a mosque. During this period there was a prohibition against images in Islam, which led to the frescos were covered until 1958 when it was restored and opened as a museum.

Related Destinations

BOSPHORUS CRUISE SILE RUSTEM PASHA MOSQUE PRINCESS ISLANDS CAMLICA HILL FENER RUMELI FORTRESS GRAND BAZAAR MUSEUM OF MODER ART TOPKAPI PALACE HIPPODROME AND OBELISK BOSPHORUS BRIDGE