Hg2 : The Hedonist

Church of Christ in the Chora

Truly jewel-like, the modestly-sized Church of Christ in the Chora is a visual delight, adorned with what are possibly the finest remaining examples of Byzantine art in the world. The church’s name is explained by a mosaic above the entrance that depicts the Virgin Mary shown with Christ in the womb. Inscribed are the words, ‘container [chora] of the uncontainable’. The theme of the containers is taken up with gusto in mosaic scenes of miracles such as the turning of water into wine and the Feeding of the Five Thousand in which jugs of wine and baskets of bread take pride of place, all of which cast Tupperware in a new light. There is a mosaic depicting the Enrolment for Taxation, which one historian describes as possibly ‘the greatest glorification of tax collection in the history of art’. The 14th-century art inadvertently owes its preservation to the Muslims who converted the place to a mosque, covering and thus protecting the frescoes and mosaics with plaster. Next door to this spellbinding museum is the Kariye Hotel, with its famed Ottoman restaurant Asitane. A few minutes away are Istanbul’s ancient city walls. 

Address
Kariye Camii Sohak 26,
Edirnekapi
Telephone
+90 212 631 9241
Opening Times
9am-7pm (until 5pm in winter). Closed Wednesdays.
Price
Explore this venue in our app

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep you up-to-date with what's really going on around the world, from the hottest new restaurants and mind-blowingly beautiful hotels, to thumping underground clubs and world-class art galleries. Sign up to learn more - we promise you it'll be worth it...

X

Follow Us