Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), Istanbul

4.7
#1 of 5,262 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 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. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and many more Istanbul attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Istanbul tour itinerary planner .
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Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) Reviews
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  • For those not knowing the history and significance of Aya Sophia: negotiate a decent price for a guide who will most certainly approach whilst waiting in the ticket queue. For those not needing guidan...  more »
  • If you enjoy the great history, the Byzantine stories and more contemporary, this place is for you... it is almost essential to have an official guide on site (highly recommended)
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  • That's certainly the cycling-at different times, it was the center of various religions. Be sure to visit during walks or trips on the udivljajushhemu tourists to the city.
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  • Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction. 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 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.Wonder of the world.The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. A must see.
  • Great museum, was built as a Church, converted to mosque and then to a museum later. It reflects the religious harmony as you can witness symbols of Christianity and Islam here. Being one the most visiting attraction in town it pulls a lot of crowed so hire a professional guide to avoid long ques and enjoy the history in details. It would be great to do a little research n read a little its history of before visiting.Must go place in Istanbul. Highly recommended.
  • The most magnificent building i have ever been too. This building is absolutely amazing. It is so beautiful. The art work and history of the building is mind blowing. To think such a building was made without modern technology is astonishing. Everyone should visit Hagia Sofia once in their life.
  • Magnificent piece of architecture to visit if you are in Istanbul. Make no mistakes: despite not as tall as the nearby blue mosque, its dome is one of the largest in the world and bare in mind it was first used as Christian orthodox cathedral. That tells you the richness of the culture and diversity that went through the capital. Strongly recommend !
  • Was a Greek Orthodox church that was turned into a Mosque and now its a museum! An iconic landmark that must be visited in Istanbul! Tickets prices are reasonable. Two religions under one roof. I had this place on my bucket list and I'm so happy I got to visit it.

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Where to stay in Istanbul

The bustling downtown core of old Istanbul is the popular choice among tourists wanting a short walking distance to the city's biggest attractions. Here you'll find hostel-style accommodations and reasonably priced and traditionally decorated hotels, as well as bed and breakfasts and inns with views overlooking the sea. Though often the most affordable, accommodations in the old city can be very overrun with tourists and street solicitors. If you seek a more relaxed stay, consider lodging near Taksim Square. This new, trendy neighborhood is a short 15-20 minute ride from the old city, but puts you closer to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Though the newer area of the city is a bit more upscale, you'll also find moderately priced hotels and some hostels. Look for luxury hotels in the western suburbs close to the airport, overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
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