Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chora Museum

We bought a 72 hour museum pass during our visit to Istanbul which gave access to the Aya Sofia, the Topkapi Palace, the Archaeology Museum, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic arts, the Islamic mosaic museum and the Chora Museum. Most of these places are within the Sultanahmet area except for Chora Museum which was far out in the outskirts of the city.

We trotted down to the pier , pier 6 to be precise as pointed out by many Turkish people along the way but we couldn't see any beyond pier 5. So we trotted down to the bus station which had Bus 90 leaving in 30 minutes. We then sat in the sun and waited . After a whole morning of being quite lost, we finally took the bus but came down way too early (just one of those days). Eventually we walked, for around 4 kilometres till we saw a small church. Unimpressive from the outside but what a beautiful sight within -  unparalleled in Turkey and some say the world for its frescoes and mosaics which illustrates stories about Jesus and the old testament. When Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, the Chora Church was converted into the mosque Kariye Camii and the frescoes painted over. This probably saved them from further deterioration and with restoration, the beauty within has been revived.  It was definitely worth the trip ! 

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