The Kariye Mosque originally named Khora Church which is located in the neighbourhood of Edirnekapı is famous for the artistic value of its mosaics rather than its architectural characteristics. The church is a part of a run down monastery. There are no remains of the original structure which was modified between the 5th and 9th century left to the present day. At the end of 11th century Maria Dukaina, the mother in law of Emperor Alexi I had it rebuild . The name “Chora” originally means “outside the city” or “rural”. The name which was given to a small church which probably dates back to earlier dates than the construction of the Romam city walls in the 5 th century, has been the name of other churches which were constructed here. There are rumours that in the 8th century some ecclesiastics and politicians were burried and sanctified here after having been executed. Besides the vivacious interior architecture, the inner mosaics and frescoes are masterpieces which are deemed the renaissance of the Byzantine Art. These and the additions to the church were commissioned by Theodor Metohides . In the inner and outer narthexes at the entrance the lives of Virgin Mary and Jesus have been depicted with mosaics in the same chronological sequence as in the Bible. In the grave chapel added to the building, religious matters have been depicted with frescoes. Among the themes figures of eminent persons from the church and the court are displayed as well. The mosaics and frescoes which were covered after the church was turned into a mosque by Sadrazam Atik Ali Paşa early 16th century have been uncovered by the American Byzantine Institute as from 1950. The frescoes are works of a group of artists. The mosaics on the upper parts of the central space could not survive up to the present day. It is congruous with the drawing concept of the Paleologos period. Another particularity of the Byzantine painting art is that monograms and inscriptions are added next to the figures. Two unecclesiastic portraits accompanying five graves depict the privilege of the mortals with the immortals. The Chora mosaics and frescoes are the most beautiful examples of the last period of Byzantine ( 14th century) art. They show a striking similarity. The monotonous background of the former period is not seen here. The concept of depth, the recognition of the plasticity and movement of the figures and the elongation in the figures are the characteristics of this style. In the outer narthex scenes from the life of Jesus are given while in the inner narthex scenes from the life of Madonna are displayed. On the portal of the door joining the outer narthex to the inner there is Christ the Pantocrator. On the left scenes depicting the birth of Jesus, population census carried out in front of Governor Cyrinus, the angel telling Joseph to leave taking Mary with him , the multiplication of loaves of bread, water turning to wine; and on the right side scenes depicting messanger kings informing about the birth of Christ, healing of the stroke victims and the massacre of children. The most beautiful mosaic in the inner narthex is Deisis. There is Jesus in the center with Mary on the left , below Mary Isaac Commenus and a nun on the right of Jesus. This woman is the daughter of the Mikhael Palaiologos VIII. She was married to the Mongolian Prince Abaka Khan and following the death of her husband she returned to Istanbul and became a nun. In this section , under the dome there is Jesus and his ancestors are shown in segments. On the portal of the church there is Christ in the middle and on the left Theodoros Metochites who has restored the church and adorned it with the mosaics presenting a model of the church. The life story of Mary which is not included in the bible is taken from subjects based on Apostles. At the inner narthex the scenes about Mary depicting her birth, her first steps , Gabriel telling her that she shall have a child , Mary buying wool for the tebernacle etc. are seen. In the inner part of the main church there is the mosaic depicting the death of the Virgin, Madonna bearing the child Jesus and a Saint. Parekklesion is totally decorated with frescoes. The rebirth (Anastasia) scene on the abscissa is a masterpeace. The last judgement above it is shown here in full. It is known that the niche on the right and left sides of the Parekklesion are graves. On the dome of the Parekklesion there is Mary and the child Jesus and 12 angels in the segments. Kariye Museum is open to public daily except Wednesdays between 09.00 and 16.00.