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Thursday 4 October 2007

Top Ten Sights in Istanbul – No. 2: Kariye Camii

Kariye Camii, also known as the Church of St. Saviour in Chora, is located along the old city wall west of Istanbul city centre. It was quite a hassle to find this place as it is hidden inside a small alley, not to mention the ghetto area that I had to pass through! A passerby even came up to warn me of keeping my camera out of sight as robbery on foreigners is a common thing around the ghetto.

Although the church doesn't have a very attractive appearance from the outside, it houses some of the finest Byzantine mosaics and frescoes within. The present church was built in the 11th century.

The outer appearance of the church or camii.

Mosaics and paintings on one of the domes at the outer narthex.

Paintings on the ceiling of the outer narthex.

Southern dome of the inner narthex with mosaics depicting Christ and his ancestors.

Painting on the ceiling of the inner narthex.

Another painting on the ceiling of the inner narthex.

The northern dome of the inner narthex showing Virgin Mary.

Mosaics of Virgin Mary carrying Jesus Christ.

Mosaic of one of the twelve apostles of Christ.

Another apostle of Christ on mosaics. This one must be St. Peter with the keys in his hand.

Fresco of Christ with the Holy Bible.

A fresco depicting the story from the bible.

Although Kariye Camii is just a small religious building, the treasures from the Byzantine period in this church are very well preserved until today. Kudos to the Turkish Government in preserving the Christianity artifacts and history.

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Istanbul, here are the links:-


Anonymous said...

did you use tripod for the ceiling shot? - Cyn

CK Ng said...

Tripod is not allowed, so I placed the back of my camera on the floor and used self-timer. :)

sultanahmet said...

I like this mosque.
It is like a miracle.

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