Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), Istanbul
Categories: Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Museums, Tourist Spots
Marvel at one of the most significant artistic and architectural achievements in Turkey--and the world--at Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya). 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. Plan to visit Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Istanbul attractions using our Istanbul trip itinerary maker.
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It is really a tale of two religions. A must see for all tourists. I could easily visit Ayasophia over and over again
Amazing architect and recall of constantinople ,church and mosque in one building now it is museum, Tickets for entrance availablle at the gate, right behind it archeological museum
One of the major tourist attraction. One should visit and should not miss for any reasons. Has some timing constraint so please check and plan accordingly.
Absolutely amazing and a must see we walked across from the Blue Mosque the gardens that surround these areas are just amazing and definitely worth some of your time to just take photos and enjoy. There is a book shop and coffee shop just outside the entrance so that was a bonus to sit and enjoy a coffee in the morning sunshine after another history lesson in the Hagia Sophia. Once inside you can really see the ancient history in this building it is just amazing we had a tour guide and the history that goes with all these buildings are amazing and it was worth the money having a guide for the day to go through all the history of all the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and Hagia Spohia but you will need a whole day as there is so much to see and take in but we did manage to squeeze in the Grand Bazaar as well.
Pretty amazing history behind this place. I suggest you do some light reading about it just before heading out it'll make for some more awesome context. The ticket costs 40 TRY. They let our 10yo sister go without a ticket. We had a lot of fun exploring the place and the contrast between the two religions. There was a huge structure obstructing huge part of the inside for maintenance and excavation. It was a bit sore to see but if you ignore it you'll enjoy yourself. There's an audio tour in many languages if you're interested. Check out the big stone balls at the entrance of the museum, these are the original cannon balls Mehmed fired to conquer Constantinople. Also the rueins around the church are from the 2nd Aya Sofia that was destroyed during a riot.
The interior holds a mixture of works inspired by two Faiths; which is currently represented in a form of a museum. Originally a classic Byzantine built Architecture and its ingenuity speaks for itself. Later on becoming inspired by the Ottoman Empire. What I particularly found rather beautiful is that it held an atmosphere which gave out an aroma of travelling back in time! What has helped to create this is the mixture of the Faiths that occupied this building, as aforementioned and the current restoration work in progress. The rawness was present, and the historical pictogram, pictures and mosaics really is rather educational. You could easily spend a good few hours there, and a museum pass is certainly recommended! Especially If you have family with you.
Must see museum, old church, mosque, divine building. Burnt down partially and rebuilt many times all through the ages, the building has many lovely stories. Be sure to get a guide or a book before you enter. Dont miss out the miracle column where you should insert and turn your thimb 360 degrees while making a wish. Upstairs younwill see some very famous mosaics. You will see that one of the couples, the king's face looks uneven, that is because the queen married many times that they had to remake the face of the king many times. Upstair is the door to heaven and hell. Wiking Grafitti on the side bars. It is even rumoured that the Holy Grail is hidden within this building. At the central dome you will see 4 angels who are said to carry Gods throne. The church was changed into a mosque when Ottoman conquered Istanbul. Than Ataturk changed it into a museum when Turkish republic was formed.
Walks in Istanbul
Hagia Sophia alone justifies a visit to Istanbul. It's an awe inspiring site and a must see for anyone visiting the city. Please remember to go up the gallery and see the mosaics, generally people tend to stay on the first floor only. It's closed on Mondays and expect long lines in high season.
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