Hagia Sophia Guided Tour

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History of Hagia Sophia

Imagine a building that completely unites everyone from all dominant religions and sects in Anatolia. I believe the Hagia Sophia Guided Tour is something you definitely should make in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia Museum seen standing today is the third building built on the same spot with the same name. Two previous buildings were destroyed during the riots on 404 and 532.

Hagia Sophia Guided Tour

The current church is known as ”the Hagia Sophia” was built in 537. Hagia Sophia was constructed at a never-seen-before pace and speed. Emperor Justinian and his ten thousand men could finish the biggest building with the largest dome ever in five years, ten months, and four days.

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Meaning of Hagia Sophia’s Name

Mosaic of Jesus in Hagia Sophia

The meaning of the building’s name is ‘’Holy Wisdom’’. Hagia Sophia stayed as a church till the mid-1400s. It was the year 1453 when the Ottoman Empire occupied Istanbul (back then known as Constantinople) and converted the church into a mosque. During this conversion, most of the paintings, tiles, mosaics, and frescoes depicting human form were covered with plaster since it is forbidden in the Islamic religion to exhibit these figures. This was probably the best thing that ever could happen because this plaster protected the artwork for the upcoming centuries. Hagia Sophia’s final fate was decided in the year 1935, and it was declared as a museum by the great leader of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Hagia Sophia Today

Hagia Sophia’s Interior

Hagia Sophia Museum and the mosque today have a considerably small garden and a large interior with two floors. Toilets are located at the far end left-hand side of the garden and the entrance is on the right-hand side of the garden. Following the entrance, you will find yourself passing through the Emperor’s gate and the crushing weight of the floating dome will be above you. The dome had been the largest dome in the world for more than one thousand years till Saint Peter’s Basilica finished in the Vatican. The ramp going to the second floor is on the left-hand side of the entrance, and don’t forget a steep ramp will be waiting for you. The entrance of Hagia Sophia is 25 Euros at the moment I wrote this article.

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Hagia Sophia Guided Tour

Please tell me your wish to visit Hagia Sophia before we meet, so I can get tickets for you before. We can save up to one hour of waiting by doing this. Hagia Sophia is open every day except Monday, between, nine am to six pm. You can contact me to learn more about Hagia Sophia. See you soon!

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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