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Istanbul RECOMMENDATIONS See all

The Church of Chora

By JC, Germany, August 2011

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The Hagia Sophia is a highlight of any trip to Istanbul; no-one can remain unmoved by its vast scale, timeless artworks and the shafts of light which penetrate its holy gloom.

But if you want to witness a more intimate take on early Christian architecture, head for the church of Chora. It’s a little out of the way, in the Fatih district near Istanbul’s well-preserved Byzantine walls, but it’s well worth the effort. Like Hagia Sophia, Chora was commissioned by the emperor Justinian, and also later refashioned into a mosque. It’s a modestly-sized structure, no taller than the surrounding trees, but its impact rivals that of Hagia Sophia, or indeed other jewels of Byzantine architecture in Venice and Ravenna.

Editor's Note: This recommendation was taken from our Istanbul Things to Do blog. Visit the original post to continue reading the full post and to learn more about things to do in Istanbul. Photo courtesy of Gryffindor via Wikimedia Commons.

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