Hagia Sophia is one of Istanbuls most popular landmarks.
The Hagia Sophia was originally built as a church. Then later it was converted to a mosque, it remained this way for five centuries until Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Turkeys first president) transformed the building into a museum in1935.
Hagia Sophia, meaning “holy wisdom,” was originally built as a cathedral in the sixth century A.D. becoming one of the biggest churches ever built and taking less than six years to complete.
The Hagia Sophia is a beautiful piece of architecture and history, which attracts thousands of visitors each year from around the world.
This modern day museum is over 1,400 years old.
The architectural marvel of the Hagia Sophia displays more than 30 million gold tiles throughout its interior and is richly decorated with mosaics. The impressive gold dome was a bold engineering feat at the time.
Beneath the dome are many large windows, which radiate sunlight through them, creating breathtaking views of the interior and irradiating the gold mosaics.
The Hagia Sophia has two levels, the ground floor and a gallery above. The presence of the two levels may mean that people were organized according to gender and class when services were held at the cathedral.
The Hagia Sophia is located near to the blue mosque and the grand bazaar.
Entrance fee: 25tl Visitors are advised to take an audio guide with them.