Hagia Sophia Church, Mosque and Museum

Updated: Aug 17

Hagia Sophia Church, Mosque and Museum

Turkey is a country of ancient civilization and original history, and the first destination for tourists from all over the world, Turkey is famous for the beauty of its nature, where green forests with huge and perennial trees, rivers and lakes with fresh water, and coasts with golden sandy beaches and clear blue seas.

In addition to its historical and archaeological attractions, such as palaces, castles, fortresses, mosques and museums that tell the history and culture of the civilizations which it was established in it and the empires that passed through it .

Istanbul is one of the most famous and most important tourist cities in Istanbul and the world where it is famous for its charming green nature and its historical and archaeological monuments with its long history,

The city of Istanbul includes many of historical and archeological Ottoman museums and mosques, which are famous for their ancient history and their wonderful architectural construction in the old Ottoman style.

the Ottoman sultans mastered in building mosques and palaces, so you cannot visit Istanbul without visiting its mosques and museums, wandering around it and enjoying the beauty of it building .

Today in our article we will talk about the most important historical and archaeological monuments in Istanbul, the Aya Sofia Museum, which is considered one of the most beautiful and oldest historical and archaeological monuments in the city of Istanbul, which had many transformations where the museum was built as a church and then turned into a mosque and finally into a museum

Aya Sofia is located in Istanbul on the European side of the city, in the center of the old city in Sultanahmet Square overlooking the Bosphorus, near Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Gul Hanna Park and Topkapi Palace

Aya Sofia overlooks the Bosphorus strait, standing lofty with its high dome and minarets that correspond to the minarets of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in unparalleled harmony, and its unique huge construction that blended between Byzantine and Ottoman architecture

Aya Sofia that was one day the largest church in the world holds among its walls and arcades many stories, secrets and events that it witnessed on it.

A glimpse into the history of Hagia Sophia

Aya Sofia is considered one of the oldest monuments in Istanbul, where its history dates back to more than 1600 years, it was established as the largest cathedral in the world and has recently turned into the most famous museums in the world.

Hagia Sophia Church

Hagia Sofia was built by the Roman emperor Justinian in 532 on the ruins of an older church, where the emperor commissioned the most famous architects of the era at that time Isidros and Antimius to build the church, where it took 5 years to build , it built in the vaulted Basque style by a huge unparalleled dome that seemed like hang in the air, the attention of the architects was primarily directed towards the decoration of the church building from the inside, which was covered with colors and multiple types of marble panels, and the ceilings were decorated with fresco inscription And mosaic.

The Building of the church with that beauty and grandeur was evidence of the ability to innovate what is new and the experience and vast knowledge of Byzantine engineers, where the emperor called it the Hagia Sophia, which means (Holy wisdom(

Aya Sofia, one of the oldest and most famous Christian churches, remained in Istanbul for about 915 years, until it turned into a mosque after the Ottomans opened the city of Constantinople.

Hagia Sophia Mosque

When the Ottomans conquered the city of Constantinople under the leadership of the Ottoman Sultan Mohamed Al-Fatah, there was no mosque for the Friday prayers that followed the conquest and there was no time to build a mosque, so the Ottoman Sultan Mohamed Al-Fatah converted the Hagia Sophia to a mosque in 1453 AD , after He bought it with money, and he ordered to covered the drawings that was inside it and not remove it in order to preserve the feelings of Christians,

The Sultan Al-Fatah performed the first prayer in it, which is two kneeling , to thank God for this great conquest, and four minarets were added around it to add beauty to its beauty,

The walls of the main space of the Hagia Sophia Mosque were decorated with the largest paintings of Arabic calligraphy in the Islamic world, which included the word Majesty, the name of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, in addition to the names of the Righteous caliphs that were written by the calligrapher Mustafa Izzat Effendi who also wrote a verse from Surat Al-NUR in the center of the dome.

Over the years the structure of the Hagia Sophia Mosque has been strengthened and maintained as a mosque with some additions during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

The building of the Hagia Sophia Mosque, which suffered many earthquakes, was rebuilt , Also added to Hagia Sophia during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, mosques and pulpits in addition to a room for the muezzin and the bronze lights were placed on both sides of the niche by Sultan Suleiman the Great,

The Hagia Sophia Mosque has remained one of the most important and largest mosques in Istanbul more than 480 years throughout the period of the rule of the Ottoman Empire, then it turned into a museum in 1934 during the founding of the Turkish state.

Hagia Sophia Museum

In 1934, after the fall of the Ottoman rule and the establishment of the Turkish state, the Hagia Sophia Mosque was converted into a museum, by order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish state, and by a decision of the Council of Ministers the Hagia Sophia Mosque was transformed into a historical museum.

Inside the museum there are many Christian decorations, inscriptions and antiques such as (Christian icons above the ceiling such as the icon of the Virgin Mary), motifs and inscriptions Islamic such as (the word “majesty” (may God’s majesty) and the name of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him), in addition to graves of some of the Ottoman sultans,

The museum is one of the most beautiful and oldest tourist attractions in Istanbul and the world, it is considered the only place in the world in which civilization and culture Islamic combined with civilization and culture Christian .

Hagia Sophia building has nine doors, the outer section of the mosque covers with white, green, pink and yellow marble stones extracted from around the world, and the surface is covered with mosaics.

The outer section of Hagia Sophia also contains an elementary school, a Al Fateh school, a waterfall and faucets for ablution, minarets.

The interior of Hagia Sophia , there is in it paintings and drawings mosaic , calligraphy paintings, the central dome, the Sultan's room, the muezzin room, the niche , the pulpit , the Emperor's Gate, Mahmoud I's library.

Hagia Sophia combined the art, creativity and innovation of Byzantine architecture with the art and skill of Islamic Ottoman architecture, and it formed an extremely beautiful painting that narrates the story of the interrelations of religions.

Therefore, Upon entering the visitors of museum from all religions , they will feel awe and splendor of the sanctity of this place and the luxury of the building.

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