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Little Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

4.6
Originally built as an octagonal church topped by a large central dome, Little Hagia Sophia inspired the design of Hagia Sophia. Legend has it that Byzantine Emperor Justinian commissioned the church in 527 to honor the patron saints of soldiers, Saints Sergius and Bacchus, who saved him from a death sentence. Take an all-encompassing view of the interior from the gallery. The white walls, once covered in golden mosaics, are now adorned with Arabic calligraphy. Notice the inscription in Greek around the central nave dedicated to the Emperor Justinian, his wife Theodora, and Saint Sergius. The outside court features a small garden, a fountain, several teahouses, bookshops, and calligraphy boutiques. A small cemetery north of the building houses the grave of Hüseyin Ağa, the 16th-century founder of the mosque. Put Little Hagia Sophia at the forefront of your travel plans using our Istanbul road trip app .
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Little Hagia Sophia Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
973 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Currently used as mosque, this building has a lot of Byzantine history inside. Do climb up the stairs inside, on the left side after entering the building, to have a closer look at the stone works and...  more »
  • It may be a little of the well worn tourist track, but do yourself a favour and seek out Kucuk Ayasofya Camii, also known as Little Aya Sofya. Once a Greek Eastern Orthodox church, this building was c...  more »
  • The structure of the Church of santa Sofia (later converted into a mosque and now a Museum) is a giant with his paintings and high ceilings. The entry is not very economical. Stuck to the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Square crossing
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  • This quaint little mosque is right down the hill from the Blue Mosque. IT is said to have been built 500AD. Previously a church but now a mosque. It has beautiful decorations and the floor is covered in a turquoise coloured carpet. Certainly, worth a visit if you want some peace and quiet.
  • Beautiful historical place. Entrance free of charge. Enjoy art and intricate decorations. Close to the other historical places in Istanbul.
  • I wish I could have given this place 5 stars, however my visit here was ruined by a one toothed scammer. This scam artist has been mentioned before and is still present at Little Hagia Sofia. He is a one toothed man wearing soiled clothing who hangs around the place. Once I entered the Mosque, this scam artist approached me and claimed he that was a volunteer and offered me a tour, which I refused. However, the man continued to follow me around the Mosque and tried to demand 80 lira for his tour, even though I was ignoring him and trying to avoid him. The man only left after I started to call the police. It seems that the staff at the Mosque are aware of him and are supporting him (given that he has been present for so many years). If you decide to go here and this man approaches you, promptly call the police.
  • Smaller version of Ayasofya. Walk a little bit from Sultanahmet square. Not a touristy spot. But I like the mosque so much. The interior is special.
  • The Küçük Aya Sofya Camii, or Little Hagia Sophia Mosque, just west of Cankurtaran, is not the only mosque or ex-mosque in Istanbul to have once been a Christian church. The same is true of the Arap Camii in Karaköy, and of course of the larger and more famous Hagia Sophia itself, now a museum. (The Church of the Chora likewise underwent the same transition from church to mosque to museum.) Nonetheless, the fact that Little Hagia Sophia is still a working mosque makes the visible remnants of its Byzantine heritage all the more striking.
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