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The History of Hagia Sophia

Mystery of Ayasofya: Hagia Sophia is a legendary structure that was used as a church until the conquest of Istanbul in 1453 and then converted into a mosque. Considered by some as the 8th wonder of the world, Hagia Sophia stands out for its architecture and mystical atmosphere. It’s a place that captures attention due to its unique structure and historical significance. Wouldn’t you also want to visit Hagia Sophia, a must-see for almost every local and foreign visitor to Istanbul? This sacred place evokes unique emotions and history that are worth experiencing. Here’s what you need to know about Hagia Sophia!

Hagia Sophia

The word ‘Hagia Sophia,’ meaning ‘Holy Wisdom,’ is a basilica-style cathedral constructed between 532 and 537 on the historic peninsula of Istanbul. Built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, Hagia Sophia has suffered damage from catastrophes like fires throughout history, but various construction and restoration efforts have enabled it to survive to the present day. In 1453, following the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul under Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s leadership, Hagia Sophia entered a new era. Converted into a mosque, it served as a place of worship from 1453 to 1934, being the city’s largest mosque. In 1934, it was converted into a museum by a new decree, maintaining that status until 2020. Subsequently, it resumed functioning as Hagia Sophia Mosque and continues to be a sacred place in the present day.


Architecture of Hagia Sophia

While bearing the distinction of being one of Istanbul’s most significant structures, Hagia Sophia holds notable architectural characteristics. Reflecting the Byzantine culture in an extraordinary manner, it acquired an entirely new aspect through touches of Ottoman architectural approach. Particularly, the motifs and icons carved into the walls beautifully exhibit the Byzantine architectural style, while the additions made during its conversion into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul are also noteworthy. Every facet of Hagia Sophia’s architecture has successfully placed it among Istanbul’s most unique architectural edifices, encapsulating elements of both Islamic and Christian cultures, which is another remarkable aspect.

Are you eager to explore Istanbul and relish a flawless experience? Then, by all means, include Hagia Sophia in your itinerary and begin to appreciate the must-see sights of Istanbul. Moreover, allow your journey to be integrated with comfort and quality during this delightful exploration.

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