Strolling From Pierre Loti to Chora (Kariye Museum), Istanbul January, 2018

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Early in the morning we leave to go to Pierre Loti and start the morning at the Golden Horn. We are so lucky to watch the sun rising while sitting in our ropeway up to Eyup.

There are 3 different theories where the name of the Golden Horn comes from:

1- In the ancient times the Golden Horn was full of fishes. The people living there were very rich selling these fishes to Europe. So the horn was like a treasury for them.

2- When the sun is rising, it gives the Golden Horn its golden shine.

3- It is said that people from the ancient Byzantine times who were forced to leave the city were throwing their gold and precious belongings into the Golden Horn, mark the location and plan to come back one day to get their treasures back.

For this reason people believe that quite some treasure is lying at the ground of the Golden Horn.

Arriving at Pierre Loti we get our cheese “pogaca” and apple tea and watch out the nice scenery and then leave for Edirnekapi to see the famous Chora, The Kariye Museum which is located very close to the ancient city walls of Istanbul.

The Chora, built in the 5th Century by the Emperor Justinianus in the Byzantine Empire, means ” Provincial Area ” and the reason was that this area where the Chora is located was outside the city and far away from the civilization.

It was first used as a little chapel, later became the church of the Ancient Tekfur Palace which is located very close by and then renovated by the famous Theodoros  Metokhites in the 13th century where the mosaics and frescos were added.

Then under the Ottoman Empire it became a mosque for a while and was renovated in 1948 and became a museum in its original version as it looks today.

The Chora, the Kariye Museum, is a unique place for its highly precious golden mosaics and frescos which are well preserved through the ages.

The mosaics and frescos have a chronological order and tell us about the stories in the Bible.

It starts with the life of St Mary’s mother and father, the birth and the life of St Mary and her relation to the angels.

Then she meets Joseph and they move to Bethlehem ,close to Jerusalem ,to give birth to Jesus Christ.

In the next mosaics you see stories from Jesus’ life and then you move to the frescos which are in the 2nd part of the building where you can also see  different scenes from the Bible , especially  the scene of the Anastasis ( Rebirth ) at the end of the building .

The Chora, The Kariye Museum, is definitely a place that everybody needs to see.

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