The Chora Museum, also known as the Chora Mosque or Chora Church, is a beautiful surviving example of Byzantine art and architecture. Originally built as a church by Saint Theodius under the command of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 534, it was later rebuilt by Maria Doukaina, the mother-in-law of Emperor Alexios, in the 11th century. However, it was later devastated during the Latin Invasion between 1204-1261 and was repaired by the architect Theodoros Metokhites in the 14th century, who added the narthex and paracclesion and incorporated Renaissance architectural elements. After the Ottoman Sultan Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s conquest of Istanbul, the repaired church was turned into a mosque by the visier Ali Hadim Pasha, similar to the Hagia Sophia church. Now, it serves as a museum.
In addition to its rich history, the Chora Museum’s architecture is also a highlight. Its aesthetic beauty draws visitors in as soon as they step inside. The chapel is adorned with stunning frescoes and mosaics, and the walls feature depictions of Bible stories, including the history of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, as well as other religious subjects. Derived from the ancient Greek word “Chora” which means “outside of the city”, the museum is located in the district of Edirnekapi, Istanbul. The structure holds many secrets that are waiting to be discovered.
The Chora Museum, also known as the Chora Church or Chora Mosque, not only offers a cultural center and extraordinary aesthetic beauty, but it also holds many secrets waiting to be discovered.One of the first secrets is the marble plate located in the side wall called the Apsis. This plate astonishes visitors as it contains a fossil of a necton, a creature that lived many years ago. This fossilization on the marble is a rare sight and considered a supernatural case.
Another secret is the use of marbles from Egypt and Thessalia to cover the building of the museum. One of these marbles is particularly interesting as it is in the shape of a four-leaf clover.
Located in the first entrance of the museum’s salon, there is a mosaic depicting a wedding ceremony that displays Arabic numbers. The code of this history has not yet been solved.
Lastly, in the part of the Chapel, there are two mosaics featuring figures in black clothing. This is interesting as the black dress reflects the puritan community, which is seen later in the 16th century. However, these figures belong to the 13th century, showing that there was a first step into the puritan world.
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Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience Byzantine art and architecture and uncover the secrets of the Chora Museum. Book your tour with Tour Maker Turkey today and explore the Chora Museum in Istanbul with our experienced guides.