Hagia Sophia - Church of the Divine Wisdom, also called the Great Church was the most important temple in the Byzantine Empire, a place of prayer and for crowning of emperors. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, it was transformed into a mosque. All Christian symbols have been painted over then minarets and a mihrab indicating the direction of Mecca have been built, and a minbar - the pulpit.
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey became a secular republic. At that time, in 1934 on the orders of Ataturk, the temple, which was used for 916 years by Christians and Muslims for 481 years, was transformed into a museum.
Here you will have one of the few opportunities to see the mosque from the inside without being a follower of Islam. The interiors of Hagia Sopia are decorated with beautiful mosaics.
Hagia Sophia is considered to be the greatest architectural and construction of the whole millennium of our era. In 1985 it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Ayasofya Meydanı Sultanahmet Fatih, TurkeyGallery:
Open daily except Mondays, from 15 April to 1 November 9:00-19:00, from 2 November to 14 April 9:00-17:00, last entry one hour before closingTickets adults:
- Children under 12 years enter free of charge
- Turkish citizens - children and young people up to 18 years and those over 65 years - free admission