The discovery took place in the mid-20th century. Apparently, the structure that is now the Karieye Museum used to be a Byzantine church decorated with vividly luminous frescoes and mosaics depicting Biblical scenes. In the 16th century, the city’s new Ottoman masters converted the church into a mosque, plastering over the frescoes and adding minarets. The church also suffered from the pillage of Christian Crusaders. In 1958, the place reopened as a museum.