Church of Chora ‐ Parekklesion Frescoes


Chora Museum Guide, Church of Chora Book, Parekklesion Interactive Map



“...Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Matthew 25:34




Chora Church (Kariye Museum) parekklesion (Greek: Παρεκκλήσιον) is rectangular and single aisled, the funerary chapel houses fresco paintings, figural representations and portraits, lunettes, and four arched tombs or Arcosolia, vaults placed on each side of the central bays, two in the south wall and two in the north wall. Parekklesion was designed as a shelter for the tombs including the one of Metochites’ but was also used for the performance of the rituals related to death and burial as this is evident throughout with scenes of resurrection, afterlife, and saintly intercession.

Parekklesion is decorated with frescoes with major themes of redemptive powers of both Christ and the Virgin promising salvation to the faithful. With the Anastasis Christ is depicted as triumphant over Death with the resurrection of Adam and Eve and extended by each side covering the arch of the bema with resurrection miracles of Christ raising the dead. A theme of salvation is the composition of the Last Judgment or Christ’s Second Coming where Christ sits in judgment, triumphs over death and redeems the righteous.

On the western part of the chapel the theme of incarnation is evident in the medallion of the dodecagonal ribbed dome where Virgin and Child is surrounded by a host of angels and Byzantine hymnographers seated on the pendentives of the dome, writing hymns which were incorporated into the funeral services honoring the Virgin and emphasize her role in the process of salvation.

Parekklesion on its walls hosts a plethora of full-figure portraits of martyrs and warrior saints, holy persons recognized by the Byzantines as mediators to reach God. These depictions of Martyrs start from the southern wall to the west until the northeast.

Chora Church Parekklesion Frescoes

  • The Church Fathers on the Apse Wall
  • The Anastasis (Resurrection)
  • The Archangel Michael
  • The Rising of the Widow’s Son
  • The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus
  • The Last Judgement
  • The Virgin Eleousa
  • The Entry of the Elect into Paradise
  • The Bearing of the Ark of the Covenant
  • The Land and Sea Giving Up Their Dead
  • An Angel and A Soul
  • The Virgin & Child and the Attendant Angels
  • The Four Hymnographers
  • Jacob’s Ladder and Jacob Wresting the Angel
  • Moses and the Burning Bush
  • Moses Hides his Face
  • The Bearing of the Sacred Vessels
  • Solomon and All Israel
  • The Installation of the Ark
  • Aaron and his Sons Before the Altar
  • The Prophecy of Isaiah
  • Martyrs and Warrior Saints
  • Burial Recesses (Arcosolia)
  • Diakonikon

Chora Church Parekklesion Frescoes Photo Gallery