Monday, April 8, 2013

byzantine beauty

Another great thing apart from the obvious goodness of having family in town, is that you get to play tourist. Yesterday, we went to the Chora Museum with Pedro's sister and brother-in-law. I haven't been to the Chora, known in Turkish as the Kariye Camii, for about ten years or so, and vaguely remembered it as being home to some of the most exquisite examples of Byzantine art.

The Chora Museum was once the Chora Church, a Byzantine beauty which went through a series of reconstructions since its earliest form in the 6th century. It wasn't until the 14th century, towards the end of the Byzantine era, that this humble building was covered in its finely detailed frescoes and mosaics. After the Ottoman invasion, the Chora Church became the Kariye Mosque, and in 1945, a museum.

While the Hagia Sophia is sure to impress by its sheer size, this much smaller church will astound you with its colourful artwork.


rosanominae said...

Thank you for this. These are some of my favourite icons ever. In fact, they are some of the most copied ones, because whoever made them set a really high standard.

jiwaki said...

Wonderful post Samantha!

szaza said...

You are most welcome, Rosanominae— the Chora is also one my favourites in the Byzantine world. The artwork is just incredible.

Thank you jiwaki!