Monday, November 22, 2010

Hagia Sophia, Turkey

Ayasofya or Hagia Sophia (Greek for "Holy Wisdom") is in İstanbul's Sultanahmet district near the Hippodrome and the Blue Mosque. It has been a church, a mosque and is now a museum.


It was dedicated in 360 and was the world's largest cathedral for a thousand years.

In 1204, Constantinople was sacked by the Latin Crusaders and the golden mosaics in Hagia Sophia were shipped off to Venice.

Then in 1453, the Ottoman Turks conquered the city and the building was converted to an imperial mosque.

The church bells, alter and other Christian paraphernalia were removed and replaced with a mihrab, minbar and four minarets.


Since Islam bans representational imagery, many of the church's mosaics were simply plastered over.

It remained a mosque until 1935 when it was converted in to a museum.

Turkish law now prohibits it from being used as a place of worship, either as a church or as a mosque.

Hagia Sophia is considered the greatest surviving example of Byzantine architecture, especially the dome.

2 comments:

  1. Maybe I missed it in your post, but have you seen the Yerebatan Cistern as well? It's absolutely amazing, I loved it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_Cistern

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  2. Well as a matter of fact The Islam does not allow to convert any worshiped place from one religion to an other religion therefore it was not good if the building belongs to any Church or else but when it was converted in Mosque it is not good at all that the the mosque turned into Museum. i really feel hurt all of these incidences. Therefore i humbly request if it is possible then please change this building from museum to Mosque as early as possible.

    Thnx a lot
    Qazi Zafar Uddin, Lahore Pakistan

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