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Hagia Sophia

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Hagia Sophia

Red, shimmering Hagia Sofia is an inseparable part of the Istanbul skyline. A late antique Christian church was at this location even in the days of the Roman Emperor Constantine, but fell victim to a fire. Emperor Justinian called for the construction of a new main church for his Byzantine empire. The architects used an entirely new building method, by which the load of the main dome was spread over several smaller side domes and the four buttresses were concealed. This principle served as an example for churches and mosques in the centuries to come. After only six years of construction, the Colossus was opened in December 537 -- its daring, 100-foot-wide dome proved to be too ambitious at first, falling a year later after some minor earthquakes. The buttresses were then amplified and the curvature increased -- Emperor Justinian witnessed the inauguration of the new dome, which has remained intact to this day. Broken up by the light from cornice, the dome seems to float above the vast nave and, together with the shimmering gold mosaics from the Byzantine period, creates the stunning effect of the interior.

In 1453 Constantinople was conquered by Sultan Mehmed II, bringing an end to the 1,000-year-long Byzantine Empire. On the day of the conquest Mehmed called for prayers in the Hagia Sophia -- soon afterward, it was declared the primary mosque of the Ottoman Empire and provided with minarets. The current facilities of the holy site/museum, even though all preserved Byzantine traces were exposed and restored, are still determined largely by the building's function as a mosque. Particularly striking are the giant, calligraphic wooden signs at the height of the galleries -- they carry the eight most sacred names of Islam.

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Latest Hagia Sophia reviews (11)

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  • Celcus Libray, located in Ephesus Square and the most beautiful london airport taxi structure of the ancient city. The Celsus Libray is situated in the harbor and is a work of art with spectacular architecture. From the far east of Ephesus and the Arabian peninsula, the caravans go to Greece and then to Italy with the ships and spread all over Europe. Ephesus is known as the port city and the capital of the continent where commerce is very intense. Ephesus has a very nice theater and show center. This place was used as an arena and recently very special concerts and shows are held here. very special sound and light si https://www.tranigo.com/en/london
    a couple of months ago report abuse
  • Celcus Libray, located in Ephesus Square and the most beautiful london airport taxi structure of the ancient city. The Celsus Libray is situated in the harbor and is a work of art with spectacular architecture. From the far east of Ephesus and the Arabian peninsula, the caravans go to Greece and then to Italy with the ships and spread all over Europe. Ephesus is known as the port city and the capital of the continent where commerce is very intense. Ephesus has a very nice theater and show center. This place was used as an arena and recently very special concerts and shows are held here. very special sound and light si
    a couple of months ago report abuse
  • The museum is open between 09:00 - 16:30 (except on Mondays as of 2017), with longer opening hours during the summer months.Aya Sofya Müzesi Sultanahmet - Istanbul Tel: (+90 212) 522 17 50 and 528 45 00 Admission: 40 TL
    more than a year ago report abuse
  • einfach nur schön.
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • zu viele Touristen
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • The Hagia Sophia was highly influential for both, Byzantine churches and Islamic mosques of the following centuries. However, the first dome collapsed soon after its construction. Note the massive counterforts on the outside of the building - they conduce to the statics of the existing dome.
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • Istanbul’s history on the fault line between East and West is well demonstrated by this massive church-turned-mosque-turned-museum. You will be amazed by its sheer size.
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • Easily Istanbul's best-known attraction, the Byzantine Hagia Sophia was originally a church, later a mosque, an now an attraction. The interiors are absolutely gorgeous, and the inner domes and pillars are beautifully adorned with both Christian and Islamic art.
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • This review was translated. See the original review here.
    Entrance fee is 20 tl, Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9.00 to 17.00, sultanahmet t1
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • This review was translated. See the original review here.
    I can also recommend the Chora Church (also call Kariye-Camii). It's interesting to find out more about the palynological Renaissance.
    about a decade ago report abuse
  • This review was translated. See the original review here.
    Very pretty, right across the Blue Mosque! Still being renovated but possible to visit and open to the public
    about a decade ago report abuse

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