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Chora Museum, #ChoraMuseum #ChoraChurch #Istanbul

Chora Museum

Chora Museum is No Ordinary Museum!

The sights and sounds that are Istanbul are so difficult to explain, but I tried to show you this through my streets of Istanbul article. At first, I was so overwhelmed with the mass difference between the USA and Turkey that I had a hard time describing my thoughts about this capital city. It has taken me a while to get my thoughts into words, as Turkey is such a contrast and mix of places. Of course, when you visit,  there are things that you must see, and I will write about them. But the one thing that struck me more than any other place I visited was the Chora Museum.

Chora Museum Neighborhood

Chora Church

O, my God! Literally! Maybe it is because I am Christian and I was in a Muslim world and everything was so starkly different than what I am used to. But I have to tell you, as a Christian, there was no other place that was more mesmerizing than Chora Museum. Even the taxi ride over from our hotel on the Bosphorus to the Museum made my mind wander and my fingers click the camera every other second, as there was a great photographic shot on every corner. We were in the  Edirnekapı neighborhood. Sometimes, I felt like I could take that ride over and over again and never really describe the neighborhood up the mountain to the church.

Chora Church

The neighborhood near Chora Church

Chora Museum Arrival

Upon arrival, I was almost questioning as to whether or not this was really the place, as it didn’t seem like something special or spectacular could be up at the top of the neighborhood hill. But nothing could have been further from the truth. It was the highlight of the trip for me, a place I can recommend to visit, and a place not to miss on your trip to the indescribable Istanbul.

Chora Church

Outside of the Chora Museum – made of brick and mortar

Chora Church – My First Peek Inside

Of course, I enjoyed the vendors of traditional ceramics and Turkish souvenirs before the entry, but the outside looked like a normal, everyday church that could have been anywhere, with its dirty red brick and mortar. Small green shrubbery planted on the outside.

Honestly, I was stunned upon entry, as this is no ordinary church/museum.

Chora Museum, #ChoraMuseum #ChoraChurch #Istanbul

I was utterly speechless when I walked through the door. Mosaics and frescoes beyond anything you could ever dream about were covering the walls and the ceilings. The domed ceilings had mosaic pictures of God, Christ and his family, the disciples, and people from the Old Testament.


Chora Church Dome

The first dome I came across had the 12 disciples of Christ laid out in this pattern that was stunning with windows within the dome. Speechless, there really were no words to express the feelings I have for this place. I stood there in silence and in awe as if time stood still and tried to imagine the men who built this place so many years ago. The original church on this site was built in the early 5th century and stood outside of the 4th-century walls of Constantinople.

Come along with me as I explore Chora Church, One of the Most Beautiful Churches in the World

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Chora Museum Mosaics

I think looking at our past helps us to predict our future.

Inside the domed areas where the mosaics had come off the ceilings or walls, there were the under pieces of carved-out, old, red brick, with sharp edges. It was as if the caretakers of this place went to great care when the pieces of the mosaics had gotten destroyed or detached from the past.

Come along with me as I explore Chora Church, One of the Most Beautiful Churches in the World

Chora Museum – A Must Visit

Do not give up your opportunity to see this place, for me, it is THE reason to go to Istanbul. Of course, there is the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, which are both extraordinarily amazing! But make sure you add this place to your list as well.  It is not in the main area of Istanbul, where all the tourists are, so you will get a break from the crowds.

Come along with me as I explore Chora Church, One of the Most Beautiful Churches in the World

According to Wikipedia, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful surviving examples of a Byzantine (later Roman Empire) church and I would define it like that as well.

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Chora Museum, #ChoraMuseum #ChoraChurch #Istanbul #turkey


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