Breathtaking for 1500 years…
Hagia Sophia dates back to 360 but the building that you see today was erected in 532. It’s a marvel of vision, engineering, and aesthetics.
This building has seen it all: it was first as an Orthodox cathedral, then was converted to a Catholic Cathedral during the Latin occupation, then converted back to being an Orthodox Cathedral until Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul and declared it a Mosque. Since 1935 Hagia Sophia serves as a museum.
It is believed that more than ten thousand people were employed for the construction. Over the years, the building has survived many wars, riots, fires and earthquakes. And its giant dome has benefited a lot from the structural support built by Sinan, the famous Ottoman Architect, who also built two additional large minarets at the western end.
Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest examples of the Byzantine architecture. Justinian, proud of having built such as structure, is known to have said, “Solomon, I have outdone you”. Go and see it for yourself.
Open 9:30am to 4:30pm. Closed on Mondays.
We like: Everything about this building.