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hagia sophia

Hagia Sophia Istanbul visit, its history

The Hagia Sophia Istanbul also known as Ayasofya is a true jewel of Byzantine architecture, built in 532 during the reign of Emperor Justinian – Hagia Sophia Istanbul visit

The physicist Isidore de Millet and the mathematician Anthémios de TRALLES carried out the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch “Hagia Sophia Constantinople“.

This impressive creation has been brought to life in just 5 years and 10 months and has beenproduced by 10,000 artist-workers who by their talent brought out from the ground a gigantic monument of 7,540m2. The creation always coming from the influence of elsewhere, this fabulous building was inspired by the pantheon of Rome and primitive western art.

This sacred place will be the main home for imperial ceremonies, the coronation of emperors.

On December 27, 537 the divine child the Saint Sophia Basilica of Istanbul was born. “Hagia Sophia (in Greek) means divine wisdom”.

Hagia Sofia Istanbul is as wonderful by night or during the day

For 916 years, the magnificent has been dressed in the church costume, then for 482 years she was a mosque and finally for 80 years the museum dress is worn by the beautiful, deploying all its assets to conquer hearts visitors.

The history of the Hagia Sophia Istanbul

It was during 1000 years the largest church in the world (born in 532 in Constantinople / built in 5 years and 10 months).

At the present time it is ranked 4 th. Her sisters on the podium are in number:

  1. Saint Peter of Rome (born in 1626 in ITALY / built in 110 years)
  2. Seville Cathedral (born in 1507 in Spain / built in 105 years)
  3. The Dome De Milan (born in 1965 in Italy / built in 600 years).

The Prophet Muhammad had wished to take the Basilica (a symbol for Christians) to transform it into a place of prayer for Muslims.

The city was attacked three times by the Arabs, who were unable to cross the ramparts. Those are the Turks who after conquering the city of Constantinople transformed it into a Mosque in 1453.

Anecdote: MEHMET II

At the capture of the city, Sultan Mehmet had forbidden all soldiers and viziers to return to the Basilica, wishing to be the first to introduce it into the basilica, thus entering history. All the inhabitants of the city, refugees in the Basilica, thinking that their end was near, had the great surprise to hear from MEHMET II that certain Christian religious buildings would always be accessible to continue their practice. Promise kept today since the center of orthodoxy is again and always in Istanbul in the district of Fener (Balat) frequented by orthodoxes from all over the world coming to baptize their children.

Mosaics and frescoes conservation – Hagia Sophia Istanbul visit

Hagia Sophia Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Istanbul

16,000m2 of fabulous decoration, frescoes and mosaics have survived time thanks to the very surprising decision of Sultan MEHMET II, given his Islamic religion, which prohibits all representations of drawings and images.

Art lover and respectful of religions, MEHMET II decided to have all these pure works of wall art in the Basilica covered with plaster and wood, without thinking that one day (562 years later) various travelers would come visit this place filled with crisp stories and anecdotes.

Various biblical scenes will have remained hidden behind their protection for 481 years, to review the day in 1934 at the transformation of the mosque into a museum, decided by President MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK.

For the most part, in a very good state of conservation, the Biblical scenes adorn the walls of today’s Basilica, blending harmoniously with the Islamic symbols of the old mosque.

It is composed of a dominant dome 56.71 meters high and 30/31 meters in diameter, placed on a square plane using four pendants, It is the FIRST example of this kind in the history of architecture.

Pure challenge: How to keep a cupola of this size, at a similar height given its weight. The answer is simple: the talented and ingenious master builders used two half-domes, several pillars and a variety of 107 columns, some of which come from various ROMAN temples, mostly dating from the second century (4th century before the creation of the Hagia Sofia Istanbul).

Some of them are up to 20 meters high (the equivalent of a 6/7 storey building)

This gives a massive exterior appearance, making the visitor perplexed and admiring while entering the dazzling and extraordinary.

Where is the Hagia Sophia Istanbul?

It is located on the European shore, in the Sultanahmet district opposite the Blue Mosque, near the Topkapi Palace, next to The Basilica Cistern.

The address of the Hagia Sophia Istanbul:

Ayasofya Meydanı Sultanamet fatih ISTANBUL

phone: 0212 522 17 50

Summer: April 15 – October 01 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Winter: October 1 – April 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The closing days of the Hagia Sophia Istanbul

Hagia sophia istanbul is closed the first days of the month of Ramadan and the feast of the sacrifice.

If not it is open every day of the week.

How much does the entrance cost to Hagia Sophia Istanbul?

Entrance ticket 100 TL / child under 8 years FREE (a child’s identity card must be presented).

Possible access with ISTANBUL MUSEUM PASS

To participate in an excursion to Istanbul, I invite you to consult the “excursion” section of toutistanbul.com

Enjoy Hagia Sophia Istanbul visit!

It is one of the wonders of Istanbul!