We made a spontaneous visit to Fethiye Museum when we passed it on the way to Chora Church. Fifteen minutes from our house, and next to no other sites, or even easy public transit, it is a quiet place with few visitors. Built as a Greek Orthodox Church in 1261, late in the Byzantine period, it served as the seat of the Patriarchate (the Greek Orthodox Vatican) before it was transformed into a mosque during the Ottoman period. Most of the building is still an active mosque, but the narthex, the area that had been the entrance to the church, has been sealed off from the rest of the building, deconsecrated as a place of Muslim worship, and converted into this lovely little museum. Deconsecration allowed restorers to uncover the fourteenth century mosaics. These mosaics are from the same time period as those in the famous and very popular Chora Church. We left Fethiye and continued to walk another twenty minutes to Chora Church. It was wonderful to see both of these museums on the same morning. The busloads of tourists packing Chora made us all the more appreciative of the quiet little gem that is the Fethiye Museum.
The Fethiye Museum.