Although it is one of the unique historical heritages of Istanbul, one of the lesser known values is the Kariye Museum. The history of the museum dates back to 500 years. First constructed as a monastery, the building underwent several repairs and renovations, and its present condition was restored by Teodor Metokhites in the late 1300s.
The church, which had some impressive examples from the last works of Byzantine art, continued to be used as a church for a long time after the conquest of Istanbul. The church, which was decided to be transformed into a mosque by Atik Ali Pasha in 1511, has long been known as Atik Ali Pasha Mosque.
No frescoes were damaged in the church during the transformation, only the plaster was covered on art. For this reason, with the restoration work that started in 1948, it was possible to reach these frescoes with almost as the first day. The museum opened its doors to its guests in 1954 and has had a unique place among the memories of many locals and foreigners from that day to this day.
There is so much detail in the frescoes of the story of Jesus and Mary, that the museum should be visited at least with an electronic guide. There are also interesting details not resolved, such as an Arabic text in a fresco in the museum and a fossil remains dating back millions of years.
Where and How to Go to Kariye Museum?
Kariye Museum is in Fatih-Edirnekapı. There are many different alternatives to transport to the Kariye Museum, but you may need to change a few means of transport to get to the museum’s door.
It is possible to come to Edirnekapı with Metrobus to go to the Kariye Museum from the Anatolian side and reach the museum in a 15-minute walk from here. Likewise, those who will come from Edirne direction can come to Edirnekapı by using Metrobus. If they do not want to walk after Edirnekapı, they can go to the museum by minibuses or buses going to Suriçi from here.
The following lines can be used to go to Kariye Museum by bus. In addition to these lines, any bus that goes up to Edirnekapı can be made before Edirnekapı and then Suriçi.
1ST Seyrantepe – Topkapi
41AT Ayazağaköyü-Davutpaşa Yıldız Technical University
75M Beyazıt – Mecidiyeköy
93M Zeytinburnu – Mecidiyeköy
Kariye Museum Visiting Times and Days
The museum is closed on Wednesdays. Other than that, visit times for weekdays and weekends are the same.
Kariye Museum Visiting Times (Summer): 9: 00-19: 00
Kariye Museum Visiting Times (Winter): 9: 00-16: 30
Kariye Museum Entrance and Ticket Fees
The only price for entrance to the museum is 15 TL, but you can visit museums free of charge if you have museum card.