The Chora Museum (Turkish: Kariye Müzesi) is in the Chora Church, which in old Greek means “countryside”, a reference of the church’s location outside the old city walls. With a history dating back to the 4th century, it was built by Emperor Justinian, however today’s church is not the same as the first structure built outside the city walls.
The building standing today was built in the 11th century and was used for important religious celebrations. In the course of its history, it was restored many times. A number of chapels were added over time and its interior walls were decorated with mosaics and frescoes.
After the conquest of Istanbul the church was converted into a mosque, later in 1945, into a museum. The museum, is definitely worth a visit posessing some of the most magnificent Byzantine mosaics and frescoes in the city.