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The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Kariye Camii, or Kariye Kilisesi — the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful surviving examples of a Byzantine church.

exterior facade of the church. The apse has been supported by a flying buttress.

The Chora Church was originally built as part of a monastery complex outside the walls of Constantinople, to the south of the Golden Horn. Literally translated, the church's full name was the Church of the Holy Saviour in the Country: although "The Church of the Holy Redeemer in the Fields" would be a more natural rendering of the name in English. The last part of that name, Chora, referring to its location originally outside of the walls, became the shortened name of the church. The original church on this site was built in the early 5th century, and stood outside of the 4th century walls of Constantinople. However, when Theodosius II built his formidable land walls in 413–414, the church became incorporated within the city's defences, but retained the name Chora. The name must have carried symbolic meaning, as the mosaics in the narthex describe Christ as the Land of the Living and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the Container of the Uncontainable. In the 16th century, during the Ottoman era, the church was converted into a mosque and, finally, it became a museum in 1948 (source: Wiki).

fresco in the apse showing Anastasis (resurrection). Christ is in the centre, after he has descended into the underworld to free the Old Testament prophets from Satan. Here, he is shown pulling towards him. Adam on his right (left of picture) and Eve (in red gown) from their graves. Behind Jesus is John the Baptist who is pointing towards Jesus.


Entrance to Chora

extra facade of church showing the main dome or naos

facade of church with flying buttress on the left. The early-period remains of the church is seem on the bottom of the photo

flying buttress to support the wall.

Christ Pantocrator is above the entrance. Christ is shown holding a gospels in his left hand and showing the sign of blessing in his right.

healing of a young man with withered hand (Mark 3:1-5)

general view of the arches and domes of the inner narthex

Mary offering up a prayer for purification of the sins of humanity to Christ who is in the centre

mosaic of St Paul at entrance to naos. He holds a book in his left hand, possibly his epistles and makes a gesture of blessing with his left

scene representing the death of the Virgin above the main entrance of the naos

fine marble with wooden cover. May be site for religious services

the naos with the mosaic of the death of the virgin in the centre

closer view of the dome

fine marble dome in the naos

display of various beautiful coloured marble on the walls and floors

patterned marble

more patterned marble

ceiling windows and roof with features of different eras of construction methods

Mary with the Christ Child in her hands. Mary has a thoughtful look on her face and lowers her head to look at the child.

Genealogy of the Virgin at the crown of the inner narthrex's northern dome.

another view of the genealogy of Mary with her ancestors

the birth of the Virgin

Joachim and Anne, sitting down and caressing the infant Mary. In the scene are two servants.

right upper corner: Joachim praying on the mountain for a child.

Joachim and Anne embracing with joy at the news that they will have a child.

lower right corner: Joachim bring the baby Mary to be blessed by the priests.

Zaccharias the priest with his left hand on Mary extend a flowering rod to Joseph thus choosing Joseph over other suitors for Mary

Left side: Joseph bringing Mary to his house to be his wife.Upper right corner: the Annunciation to the Virgin. Mary was standing at a well.

Joseph saying goodbye to Mary as he leaves for work. Behind Joseph stands his son with carpentry tools.

view of Mary with her parents (right) and Joachim bring baby Mary to the priest (right)

Joseph's dream (left) and the journey to Bethlehem (centre and right). In his dream Joseph is told to accept Mary who is pregnant.

Roman census. Cyrenius, governor of Syria and Palestine on throne to the right. Mary in the centre. Joseph with his sons to the right.

The Nativity

Saint Andronikos

John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Temptation of Christ

Temptation of Christ (right)

left side, Christ with John the Baptist


Saint Tarakhos

Return of the Holy Family from Egypt

Multiplication of Loaves. Upper left, baskets are empty, centre, Jesus giving bread to his two disciples, right, hungry unhappy people.

Multiplication of Loaves. 12 baskets full of bread to feed 5,000 people.

Christ Pantocrator

Transformation of water into wine

Christ healing a blind and dumb man

Christ healing a blind and dumb man

The bleeding woman seeks healing

The bleeding woman seeks healing

Healing of a leper

Christ healing two blind men

The healing of Peter's mother-in-law

The Anastasis (Greek for resurrection). Jesus descend to Hades and pull Adam and Eve from their sarcophagi.

Archangel Michael in a medallion overlooking the scene.

Below Jesus is a dark abyss with pieces of broken doors and locks

The entry of the elect into paradise

The Last Judgement

another view of the Last Judgement

another view of Last Judgement and entry into paradise

The Parekklesion or side chapel

Burial recess in southwestern arcosolium

The Virgin and Child and attendant angels

St.Peter. In his right hand he holds a scroll while in his left hand he holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

The three magi with King Herod

The Massacre of the Innocents. King Herod on throne at left. Soldiers killing babies on right.

scene about the massacre of the innocents

killing of childen


click on photo to enlarge

18 June 2013

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