Kariye Mosque (Chora Church)

The Kariye mosque in Chora was once the Church of the Holy Saviour, a medieval Greek Orthodox church that was originally part of a 4th century monastery. The name Chora is derived from the Greek word Chora, which means ‘outside land,’ a reference to the fact that the monastery was located outside the city walls of Constantinople. The mosaics and frescoes in the Chora are the most beautiful examples dating from the last period of Byzantine painting (14th century). The church was damaged and restored many times in its long history, including by Emperor Justinian I, who built the Hagia Sophia. In 1511, it was converted to a mosque by Vizier Hadim Ali Pasha, and then converted into a museum in 1945.


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