This famous basilica was constructed in the 360 A.D. It is often described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture. It was dedicated to Hagia Sophia which means Divine Wisdom, an attribute of Christ. Once the Church of Holy Wisdom, Christendom’s crowning glory, then converted to a mosque when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople. It remained a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Today, the Hagia Sophia is the fourth largest building constructed as a church in the world.
When touring the Hagia Sophia it is great to have a guide or to use the voice recorded guide you can rent after you go through the entrance. If you hire a guide, make sure they are licensed by TURSAB (Turkish Travel Assoication). The Hagia Sophia has a rich history that is worth taking the time to listen to from someone who knows what they are talking about.
The Hagia Sophia is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9:30am – 4:30pm. The museum is closed on Monday.
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