Chora Church
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Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour

1. Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour

Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. A licensed guide will meet you in your hotel or port and work with you to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. Marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern on the first day. On day two, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and the spice market. Day three takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Chora Church to see the mosaics and frescoes.

Istanbul Full-Day Private Christian (Byzantium) Tour

2. Istanbul Full-Day Private Christian (Byzantium) Tour

Take a full-day tour of Istanbul and explore it from the perspective of the Byzantine Empire. See ruins of Byzantine churches, Byzantine stone houses, superb mosaics and frescoes at the Church of St. Saviour of Chora, the city’s underground cistern, and more. Traveling by air-conditioned coach, you will drive to the Church of St. Saviour in Chora. The Turkish word "Kariye" is derived from the ancient Greek word "Chora," meaning outside of the city. It is known that there was a chapel outside of the city before the 5th century when the city walls were erected. The first Chora Church was rebuilt by Justinianus and, in the era of Komnenoi, served as the court chapel for important religious ceremonies. Continue to the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the seat of Orthodox Christianity since Constantine the Great’s declaration of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. Visit Zeyrek Mosque, the former Pantokrator Church. Representing the most typical example of architecture of the Byzantine middle period in Constantinople, it is the second largest religious edifice built by the Byzantines still standing after Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia is your next stop. For centuries it was the largest church in the world, and it still boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul`s in London, St. Peter`s in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia, or “Divine Wisdom,” it is one of the greatest examples of Byzantine architecture in survival, and has been called “The 8th Wonder of the World” for its spectacular art and architecture. End your tour at the Basilica Cistern, or Yerebatan Sarayı ("Sunken Palace"), the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath Istanbul. Located 500 feet (150 meters) southwest of the Hagia Sophia, on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, the magical atmosphere of the underground palace dates back to the 6th century reign of Emperor Justinian I.

Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Museums Tour

3. Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Museums Tour

Your first stop will be the Suleymaniye Mosque, which was built on the order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan. The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1557. The mosque is modeled in part on the style of a Byzantine basilica, particularly the Hagia Sophia, which was perhaps a conscious move on the part of the sultan to create a continuity and a symbolic connection with the city's past. Driving along the city walls will end at one of the oldest and most important churches in the city, the Church of Chora, which has fascinating wall paintings telling the life of Christ in an historical order. Even though the building itself is small, the meaning was great for Byzantines as being found at the borders of the city and welcoming the visitors. Today the environment is restored and this is a good place to spend time with local artisans and wooden houses. After the church, you will have a tea and coffee break at one of the most splendid spots of Istanbul, with beautiful views over the Golden Horn and Pierre Loti Hill. Following this you will resuming driving along the shores of the Golden Horn through the towns Fener and Balat, which are the old Greek and Jewish living sites. Fener Orthodox Patriarchate is in this area as well.  Following lunch, your next destination will be the Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence of the Ottoman Sultans with 365 rooms and 22 saloons. Famous for the great collection of European antiquity, furniture, and a 4.5 ton chandelier. This will be your last stop, and after this visit you will be driven back to your hotel.

Istanbul Personalized Tour and Private Guide 1-3 Days

4. Istanbul Personalized Tour and Private Guide 1-3 Days

Discover the extraordinary sights of Istanbul according to your own itinerary with a private guide for 1-3 days. Straddling 2 continents on the Bosphorus Straits, Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire and later Ottoman Empire. Today it’s the largest city in Turkey, and one of the most populous cities in the world with about 15 million inhabitants. Choose the attractions you want to see according to your own schedule, and avoid getting lost in the crowd. Guides can be booked for 1, 2 or 3 days, with the option to add on private transportation to transfer you from location to location at speed. Must-see monuments include the iconic Blue Mosque, former mosque of the Hagia Sophia, and stunning subterranean Basilica Cistern. Soak up the exciting atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar, and the enticing aromas of the Spice Market. Learn the history of Istanbul at Ottoman palaces, such as Dolmabahce Palace, and the former residence of the sultans at Topkapi Palace. Go to the imperial Suleymaniye Mosque, or admire the 17th-century Yeni Cami (New Mosque). See the Medieval Galata Tower in the Karaköy quarter, or the Byzantine frescoes of the Chora Museum. Explore some of Istanbul’s fabled neighborhoods, such as Taksim, and wander down busy Istiklal Street. Enjoy picturesque views from Pierre Lottie Hill. Discover the remains of the old city walls, or go to the Archaeology Museum to see ancient Islamic art and Roman artifacts. These are just a few of the things you can do on your tour. A guide will be provided in the language of your choice. By request the guide can assist with pre-booking tickets to the most popular attractions.

Istanbul: Guided Byzantine Empire Churches Tour

5. Istanbul: Guided Byzantine Empire Churches Tour

Your tour will begin as your are picked up between 8:30AM and 9:00AM in a private air-conditioned and non-smoking van. Your professional and licensed guide will be waiting for you at your hotel lobby. The first stop on your tour will be Haigha Sophia, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. The Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) in Sultanahmet is easily one of Istanbul's most impressive sights, and it also has one of the most turbulent histories of any museum in the world. To find out why, it's best to delve back through its previous incarnations with your guide. Following the Haigha Sophia Museum, you will head to Chora Museum. This attraction is a church building that constitutes the center of the Chora Monastery, which was a great building complex in the Eastern Roman Empire period and was dedicated to Jesus Christ. Since it stood outside of the city walls built by Constantine, the building was called “Chora”, which means “in the country” or “outside of the city” in Greek. You can then eat lunch in any restaurant of your choosing, being able to ask your guide for the best food and restaurant recommendations. The last stop will be The Church of St. Mary of the Mongols. The Church of St. Mary of the Mongols is an Eastern Orthodox Church located in the Fatih District in the neighborhood of Fener. It stands on the summit of a slope, and overlooks the Golden Horn. The Church of St. Mary of the Mongols is the only surviving Byzantine Church of Constantinople, which the Ottomans never converted into a Mosque. It has always been open to the Greek Orthodox Christians, and its conversion into a mosque was saved by a personal decree of Mehmet the Conqueror. Your tour will then conclude, as your guide and van drop you anywhere in the city center .

Frequently asked questions about Chora Church Private Experiences

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What people are saying about Chora Church

Wowwwwwww i am blown away with this experience. Murat has been the best tour guide ive had in turkey and probably the best around the world. His knowledge is amazing, speaks Spanish perfect. His attention to details is amazing. He is so professional and well spoken. He treated us like family and never rush or nothing. He was very punctual in everything. I will miss turkey and my friend murat which we had for 3 days. This 3 days of turkey in spanish was a life long memory i will always cherish. Murat and turkey the best. Highly recommended. Do yourself a favor get this tour and ask for murat.

Outstanding 3 days with Semih as my guide to Istanbul, saw all the major sites, but also lots of places that I probably wouldn't have got to without a guide. Semih's had lots of information on each site, and I came away with a much better understanding of the history of the city. This was the best way to get to learn about the city

Excellent tour of Istanbul and also in the corners that you don't discover as a normal tourist. Definitely highly recommended!!!

An unforgettable, impressive experience. Tour guide Ayla is just SENSATIONAL .... I can only recommend it !!

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