Chora Museum, located in the Edirnekapı section of the Karagümrük district in Istanbul, is a historical building that was used as a church during the Byzantine Empire and as a mosque during the Ottoman Empire.

It was first converted to the mosque by Atik Ali Pasha, one of Sultan II  Bayezid's grand viziers in 1511, Chora Church, was turned into a museum in 1948 by being affiliated with the Museums Administration. Now it is turned into moque again, and  opened for worship by presidential decree.

Chora (Chora Hristos Sofiras) has a history dating back to the 6th century. Its current form is the result of the repairs it underwent during the Ottoman period and the second half of the 20th century.

The building was first built as a monastery by St. Theodius in 534 during the reign of Justinian I, and was later subjected to various repairs and arrangements.

The importance of the building increased when the imperial palace and state administration center of the Byzantine Empire was moved to the "Blackhernai Palace", located close to the walls on the shores of the Golden Horn.

Well-known tourist guide and writer Şerif Yenen shared informations about renowned museum/mosque which has been stayed closed for four years;

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"The Chora Museum was converted into a mosque on August 1, 2020. Restoration began afterward, leaving it closed for four years. We missed it dearly.

The Chora hashtag#Mosque reopened today (May 7), and I was there to witness it. I’m impressed with the current status of Chora. Entry buildings and facilities in the rear courtyard hint at a partial hashtag#museum reopening.

Currently, the Chora Mosque is open from dawn to nightfall with no entrance fee. A counting system prevents overcrowding. The naos is a prayer space with a small section near it for women. Men use the naos, and women use their section exclusively for prayer. Shoes are removed in prayer areas but not elsewhere. Three naos hashtag#mosaics are covered with curtains resembling marble panels.

All other sections can be toured with shoes on. Visits aren’t allowed during prayer times. The mosaics and hashtag#frescoes look fantastic after hashtag#restoration with improved lighting.

The Chora Mosque is small, and guided groups could cause crowding. Guides should summarize inside to improve visitor enjoyment."

Kariye Museum Converted imnto mosque

Editor: Haber Merkezi