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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

4.7
#1 of 5,734 in Things to do in Turkey
Marvel at one of the most significant artistic and architectural achievements in Turkey--and the world--at Hagia Sophia. Commissioned by the Byzantine emperor in 537, the church was converted into a mosque in the 15th century by Mehmet the Conqueror. Finally, Ataturk declared the site a museum in the 20th century. The transformation of this structure is symbolic of the transformation of the region and its people through centuries of changing empires and governments. This stunning architectural feat is most often noted for its well-preserved mosaics, featuring 30 million gold tiles, and its 6th-century dome. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Hagia Sophia and many more Istanbul attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Istanbul tour itinerary planner.
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Hagia Sophia reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
43,505 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This building is so old, and so massive, and still in use after all these years. It is almost a holy place to visit. Someone said we were there at a good time -- there was no internal scaffolding.  more »
  • It was a place filled with great enenrgy, and the history of this place is mind blowing! You have to visit it and take off your shoes while entering as you cant enter the place with shoes and there...  more »
  • Full of history,anyone will be amazed of the beauty of Hagia Sofia.It barely remember you of a Christian Church and being the second time transformed into a Mosque it add to it so much uniqueness.  more »
Google
  • Such a beautiful monument/museum with an even more incredible history. You can clearly see both Islamic and Christian influences in the architecture and designs. According to our guide there were even influences from other religions in the designs! The structure is huge and imposing. It is highly advisable to take a guided tour as there are a lot of snippets of information which will make the visit even more engaging. You will surely get stunning photos of the dome/ceiling and the gold gilded room in the corner. It is very accessible through the tram line.
  • This church is very unique. He has both Christianity and Islam. Here you can see the cross-shaped building representing Christianity. Here you can see the symbol of Allah representing Islam. High ceiling. There are very gorgeous decorations and murals ~ Both of these religions can be seen at the same time ~~ Although it is still invisible during maintenance ~ Very amazing ~
  • In awe at the grandeur of the place. It hard to imagine how the ancient people managed to build such a magnificent piece of artwork. Every aspect of the place just makes you go speechless. Don’t forget to head up to the second floor (about 5 stairways up) to check out the beautiful retains murals of Christ and Virgin Mother Mary.
  • This place is breathtaking. I have been to many sights in many countries in the world, but this beautiful museum cannot be compared to anywhere else. It is the meeting and visualization of cultures and religions from past to present time. Such a wonderful place with beautiful leftovers kept from history. This place is - unequivocally- a must-see sight that you have to visit in your life!!!!
  • Recommended. Do a bit of research before you go. You'll appreciate it more. It's more a conserved building than a 'museum', in that it lacks detail/that extra touch detailing the background and history of the building and it's contents. Which is shame, but you can still fully appreciate it. There were a few info panels. But without a audio guide (which wasn't the greatest in itself), or a paid for tour guide, you'll miss out on the greater fascinating insights and history. But it's a beautiful building, with a rich history. And quite unique. We visited on a Sunday. Busy, but not crowded. You'll easily spend a couple of hours here. Though I suspect a lot of folks will be in and out for photos within an hour.

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