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Little Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

4.7
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
1,016 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • It runs through my fast and worth seeing. It has mosaics and fresh Catholics and Muslims. It is important to buy tickets before you arrive
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  • One of the prettiest religious buildings in all of Istanbul, this church converted to mosque requires women to don monks cloaks with hoods provided at the door before they enter the mosque. From what ...  more »
  • The sign outside suggests it is open from 9:30 but the door was firmly locked at 10 o'clock on a Sunday. Access was granted for a short time before the midday prayers. Be prepared to come back a few t...  more »
Google
  • The old man, who's been said to be a scammer was present. But at this point you can say who's real traveller and who's an ordinary tourist. If you're latter - you might find him disturbing, but if you're really into history of Istanbul, you will take his tour and give him a reward. I was here for an hour and heard much of the stories which bears this small Hagia Sophia mosque. Be openminded and you can still hear good and verified history facts and if you do not feel to hear his guidance, just say you will not be able to pay for the guided tour. I think he will understand.
  • This Byzantine building with a central dome plan was erected in the sixth century by Justinian, likely was a model for Hagia Sophia ("Holy Wisdom"), and is one of the most important early Byzantine buildings in Istanbul. It was recognized at the time as an adornment to the entire city, and a modern historian of the East Roman Empire has written that the church, "by the originality of its architecture and the sumptuousness of its carved decoration, ranks in Constantinople second only to St. Sophia itself".
  • 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.
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