Visit the Historic Hagia Sophia Masjid: A Must-See Istanbul Landmark

Visit the Historic Hagia Sophia Masjid: A Must-See Istanbul Landmark

Hagia Sophia Masjid is a historic mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. It was originally built as a Greek Orthodox Christian basilica in the 6th century CE, and was converted into an Ottoman imperial mosque in the 15th century. Today, the mosque is a museum, open to visitors from all around the world.

History of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia was constructed between 532 and 537 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. It was designed by two architects, Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus, and was considered a revolutionary achievement in architecture. Hagia Sophia is renowned for its massive dome, which is considered to be the largest and most complex dome in the world. The church served as the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople and was a major pilgrimage site for the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was the largest church in the world for nearly 1,000 years.

In 1453, the city of Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire and the church was converted into a mosque. The Ottomans added four minarets, as well as Islamic architectural elements such as mihrabs and minbar. The mosque served as the principal mosque of Istanbul for nearly 500 years.

Recent History of Hagia Sophia

In 1935, the mosque was secularized by the Republic of Turkey and turned into a museum. It has since been visited by millions of tourists from around the world. In 2020, the mosque was converted back into a mosque, and is now open for Islamic worship. The conversion was controversial, with many arguing that it should remain a museum. However, the Turkish government argued that the conversion was in line with the country’s secular laws.

Architecture of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is an architectural marvel. It features a large central dome that is 56 meters in diameter and 55 meters in height. The dome is supported by four large piers, which are connected by four massive arches. The interior is decorated with intricate mosaics and marble columns. The mosque also features a number of mihrabs and minbars, which are used for Islamic prayer.


The interior of Hagia Sophia is decorated with a number of stunning mosaics, many of which date back to the Byzantine period. These mosaics depict religious scenes, such as the Virgin Mary and Jesus, as well as other figures from the Bible. Some of the mosaics have been covered up or destroyed over the centuries, but many are still visible today.

Marble Columns

The mosque also features a number of marble columns, which were added by the Ottomans. These columns are intricately carved and feature a variety of motifs, such as foliage, geometric patterns, and Islamic calligraphy. The columns are made from a variety of different stones, including marble, granite, and porphyry.

Hagia Sophia Today

Hagia Sophia is now open to visitors from all around the world. It is a popular tourist destination and is renowned for its stunning architecture and mosaics. The mosque is a symbol of the rich history of Istanbul and serves as a reminder of the city’s past as a center of both Christianity and Islam.

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