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Logo duscityguides

Your trip-tipp from Düsseldorf Airport

ph_topten
von https://www.flickr.com/photos/erikkristensen/13935700112
Erik Cleves Kristensen

Opening hours:

15 April-1 November: daily 09.00-19.00; 1 November-15 April: daily except Tue 09.00-17.00

Address:

Ayasofya Meydani, Sultanahmet Fatih

Transport:

Tram Gülhane

E-Mail:

topkapisarayimuzesi@kulturturizm.gov.tr

Phone:

+90 212 522 1750

Rates and features:

25 TL

Attraction

Hagia Sophia

The original Hagia Sophia was constructed in the 6th century by the Byzantine Romans, one of the oldest Christian churches in Europe. The domed basilica towered over the Golden Horn well before the construction of the many mosques that now dominate Istanbul's skyline. The church was also used for coronations and thus had an important political function for the eastern Romans. A number of mosaics from the Byzantine period have been preserved, despite the destruction of many others, during the iconoclastic period. As such, depictions of people and animals are rare in the Hagia Sophia. However, there are a small number of mosaics of Jesus, and an image of Mary and baby Jesus is visible on one of the arches.
The history of Byzantine Constantinople came to an abrupt end on May 27th, 1453. Sultan Mehmed II and his troops stormed the city and brought the Hagia Sophia, the political and religious centerpiece of the Eastern empire, under Ottoman control. As a demonstration of power, the sultan transformed the church into a mosque, erecting minarets around the basilica. Christian icons and wall paintings were removed and crosses were replaced by crescents. It was Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who finally converted the Hagia Sophia into a museum, where visitors can admire the artistic and religious history of Constantinople up close.