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Hagia Sophia Museum Istanbul check_circle

Byzantine basilica museum with mosaics
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome. It was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture”.
From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935. It remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.


The #HagiaSophia Museum is the only place boastig a mosaic ‘tughra’ (stylized signature in Arabic characters) of an #Ottoman sultan (Sultan Abdulmejid). This mosaic tughra is very important in terms of the material used reflects the East Roman period and the design reflecting the Ottoman period.

Did you know that the largest fountain (şadırvan) in #Ottomanarchitecture is in the courtyard of Hagia Sophia?

#HagiaSophia fountain’s taps are tulip-shape bronze banners containing the scripture of “We have created everything from water” (Surah Al-Anbya 21:30) on the upper part of the joining section of sliced bronze water mains over the taps.

Did you know that there are 104 pillars in total on the lower floor and in galleries of #HagiaSophia? Pillar heads of Hagia Sophia are the most characteristic and significant classical 6th Century East Roman specimens of the whole building and there are monograms of Emperor Justinian and Empress Zoe in the middle.. The deeply carved marbles, a characteristic of their period, reveal a beautiful light and shade play. The antique porphyry pillars in the corners, middle pillars made of green Thessaloniki marble and the heads of all pillars made of white marble with rich decorations; all take the visitor back to old days.

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  • Sam 2 weeks ago
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  • Murat Polat 4 weeks ago
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    Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (NeviKlima ce ZoXol.dov). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain. Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

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