Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Turkey) - byzantine mosque
Location show on map
Istanbul (historically Constantinople), Turkey
Date of build
In 336 Emperor Constantine the Great built the first church on the site of the present-day Hagia Sophia, he called it "Meggale ekklesia", the great church. Two hundred years later the building burned down during the uprising. Emperor Justinian rebuilt the church, making it even bigger and more beautiful.
The building served as a Christian church and an Islamic mosque and now houses a museum.
This architectural wonder was built by the Byzantines as a church in the 6th century and then converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
In 1934, Turkish leader Mustaf Kemal Ataturk ordered its transformation into a museum and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The construction shows many additions and modifications, only the main dome remains from its original shape, which rises 56 meters above the church nave.
The building is covered with golden mosaics. Thousands of workers have endured all the valuables, the most beautiful marbles, the finest columns for six years.
The first structure partially collapsed after the earthquake and was replaced by a higher structure in 563.
The Hagia Sophia still serves as a model for many Eastern mosques today.
Opposite the "Church of the Holy Wisdom" or Hagia of Sophia is the Blue Mosque.
July 10, 2020, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. The decision was announced by the current president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after the court annulled the museum's status. The first Muslim prayers will start already on 24 July.
Official website: https://muze.gen.tr/muze-detay/ayasofya
"When the interior was ready there was a worry from all hearts, because the temple's sun shone with splendor ... When the first morning glimmer, darkening his dark shoulders, jumping from arch to bow, the voices of all the priests and people joined in prayer And when he got to the holy stations it seemed that the powerful arches of the dome had their origin in heaven." - Paulus Silentarius
"Religiosity and the art of interior decorating, color and shapes, light and legend swirl and mix here in an unmatched way" - prof. Dr. Nastainczyk - "As a building, it explicitly reveals the Eucharistic transparency of all the inhabitants of the Earth, in its history an eschatological coincidence of lived faith."