Where is the kariye mosque? Where is the chora church? What is the history of chora church? What is the history of kariye mosque?
The word “khora” means “the rural areas, countryside” in Greek. For this reason, the name Kariye is given to this mosque.
It is known that there was a small chapel outside the city walls during the 5th century. Chora Church was built by Justinianus (between 527- 565) in place of this chapel.
Because it was close to the Blachernae Palace, for a while, it was used as the palace chapel for the important religious ceremonies. The church that was rebuilt towards the end of 11th century was destroyed during the Latin invasion (1204- 1261).
The church was restored again in the time of the Andronikos II (1282- 1328) and was decorated with mosaics and frescoes.
Kariye was continued to be used as a church after the conquest. In 1511, Grand Vizier Hadım Atik Ali Pasha plastered over the mosaics and transformed the church into a mosque by building a minaret.
The mosque was transformed into a museum in 1945, and by means of the works of the Byzantine Institute of America, the plaster was peeled off and the mosaics and frescos were brought into the daylight. This old church differs from the others by these ornamentations. It is one of the oldest churches decorated most with mosaics.
One can visit the Kariye Mosque every day except Wednesday between 09:00 a.m. – 16:30 p.m.