Chora Church ‐ Outer Narthex


Kariye Museum (Chora Church) in Istanbul, Interactive Map Outer Narthex Mosaics



“Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people” Luke 2:10




Chora Church (Kariye Museum) outer narthex (Greek: Εξωνάρθηκας) contain narrative images from the Cycle of Infancy of Christ represented in the lunettes. Joseph’s Dream in which an angel assures him of the Virgin’s miraculous conception followed by the Journey to Bethlehem, the Enrollment for Taxation, the Flight of Elizabeth and John, the Birth of Christ, the Return of the Holy Family from Egypt, and Christ taken to Jerusalem.

The stories of the Journey of the Magi in front of the enthroned King Herod telling him that they have discovered the coming birth of Christ from the stars. and the Massacre of the Innocents where King Herod commands to execute all male children, are represented in multiple scenes.

Outer narthex hosts numerous of scenes of the miracles of Christ with the Transformation of Water into Wine Jesus’s first public miracle, the Multiplication of Loaves, an episode from the Miraculous Feeding of the Five Thousand, the Samaritan Woman, Christ healing the paralytic at Capernaum, and the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda.

The southern second vault of the outer narthex is divided by two scenes, John the Baptist baptizing Christ and the Temptation of Christ in the other half showing four episodes of Christ being confronted and challenged by the Devil to prove his divinity.

Chora Church Outer Narthex

  • Joseph’s Dream and the Journey to Bethlehem
  • Enrollment for Taxation
  • Christ Taken to Jerusalem for Passover
  • The Nativity
  • The Return of the Holy Family from Egypt
  • The Baptism of Jesus
  • The Temptation of Christ
  • The Miracle at Cana
  • The Transformation of Water into Wine
  • The Multiplication of Loaves
  • The Three Magi Before King Herod
  • Christ Healing a Leper
  • The Flight of Elizabeth and John
  • Herod’s Inquiry
  • Grieving Mothers
  • The Samaritan Woman
  • Christ Heals the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda
  • The Massacre of the Innocents
  • Christ Healing the Paralytic at Capernaum
  • Flight into Egypt
  • Christ Calling Zacchaeus
  • The Return of the Magi to the East
  • Tombs A, B, C

Chora Church Outer Narthex Photo Gallery