Kariye Museum - Istanbul

Kariye Museum

Istanbul Kariye Museum which is located in Edirnekapi in Istanbul was originally built as a church of Khora Monastery. While it is known to exist in the 8th century, the monastery is claimed to have been built in the 4th century.

Kariye Mosque which has a kiboion section, whose dome is held by four arches, had a very desolate state during the Latin Invasion in 1204-1261. Towards the turn of 1313, during the period of Andronikos the 2nd (1282-1328), a leading figure of the era, Theodoros Metochites who was a literarian, poet and minister of treasury, commissioned for the repairs of the church and added an appendix to the north, an exonartex to the western, and a chapel (paraecclesion) to the south sides. The paraecclesion, which is a single sided chapel stretching along the south front was built on a cellar.

The above part was partially covered with a dome and the other parts were covered with vault. The building which was used for some time as a church after the conquest of Istanbul, was turned into a mosque by covering the mosaics with whitewashing and by adding of a minaret. At the end of a study carried out by American Byzantine Institute between 1948 and 1958, all mosaics and fresques were revealed and the building was turned intoa museum. Today the mosaic depictions of Jesus and St. Mary decorating the walls of Kariye Museum are what most attract the visitors’ attention. These fresques also have the quality of being the only frescos surviving till today in best condition.

Istanbul Kariye Museum Address:

Kariye Museum, Edirnekapi / Istanbul
Phone: (212) 523 30 09
Open every day except Wednesday.

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