A Brief Information About Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia have been in the heart of Istanbul Old City for 1500 years. This marvel of ancient architecture, considered as one of the most important historical sight in the world. The Hagia Sophia (meaning Holy Wisdom) had been the primary temple in the Byzantine’s Constantinople (as a Church), Ottoman’s Istanbul (as a Mosque) for hundreds of years. Nowadays it’s a museum that represents both religions.
Hagia Sophia (Church) In The Byzantine Period
The construction of the building completed in 537 A.D. and it was the largest domed building of the world back then. With Its dome which was 49 meters from the ground, mesmerized the visitors of medieval ages. People had hard times to acknowledge the wisdom of its architectural features. Therefore they attributed some spiritual meanings to it. They escaped to take shelter under its grand roof, whenever an earthquake strikes the city or city is besieged by enemies.
Hagia Sophia’s great dome, collapsed in 557 due to a disastrous earthquake. Justinian, who was the greatest emperor of Byzantine Empire, summoned Young Isidore to fix it. He elevated the dome 7 meters more and created a brand new dome with 56 meters height from the ground. This second generation dome still stands.
Architectural Features Of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia (Mosque) In The Ottoman Period
After the Fall of Consantinople in 1453, city was captured by Turks. Ottoman Sultan (Mehmed II) converted the church into a mosque. Ottomans paid the utmost respect to the building. Therefore, they honoured old Hagia Sophia with “Protocol Mosque” title. Even tough they built grand imperial mosques like Blue Mosque or Süleymaniye Mosque, the Hagia Sophia was still the number one in the religious hierarchy.
Almost every Ottoman Ruler made a move to decorate the Hagia Sophia. Sultan Murad brought the Marble Jar, Sultan Suleiman placed the massive candles in the center, Sultan Mahmud added the elaborate library and Sultan Abdülmecid made a comprehensive restoration.
Hagia Sophia As A Mosque In Late Ottoman Period
Royal Tombs In The Courtyard
The spiritual meaning of Hagia Sophia was so powerful that 4 of the Ottoman Sultans was buried in the courtyard according to their last will. Nowadays, you may see the tombs in the courtyard without any extra fee.
Who Built The Hagia Sophia And When?
The mighty Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, built the Hagia Sophia as a church from 532 to 537. According to chronicles, 11 thousand people engaged in the construction process.
Two of the most talented architects of that era was comissioned to build Hagia Sophia. Their names were Anthemius (of Tralles) and Isidore (of Miletus).
Mosaics Of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is housing most valuable Byzantine art pieces. The splendid mosaics of Hagia Sophia dating back from 9th century to 13th century. Oldest one is placed at the top of Apse in the center.
Splendid Mosaics Of Hagia Sophia
Where is Hagia Sophia Museum & How To Get There?
Hagia Sophia is located in Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih District. Fatih is the name of Istanbul’s Historic Peninsula. Therefore it’s very centrally located and accesible from Taksim, Cihangir, Galata, Sirkeci or Eminönü easily. These are the location where popular hotels located.
Major public transportation vehicle is tram to get to Hagia Sophia Museum. If you leave the tram at Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque) stop, you can easily walk to Hagia Sophia which is only five minutes walk from there.
Hagia Sophia Square Is Bustling With People All Day Long
Why The Hagia Sophia Is So Famous?
Hagia Sophia is one of the oldest historic building in the world. Besides it had been both a church (900 years) and a mosque (500 years). Moreover it was a great architectural innovation when it was first built. It was the greatest domed temple in the world and there had been no rival to it until St. Peter’s Basilica is re-built in 17th century.
Hagia Sophia’s Grand Dome
Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee 2019
Admission fee is 60 Turkish Lira for Hagia Sophia. Children under the age of 8 free of charge. You may consider buying Istanbul Museum Pass, especially if you will visit Topkapi Palace and other nearby museums.
It’s recommended to visit the Hagia Sophia with a private tour guide. If you are interested in listening to the stories of this fantastic place, you may visit Hagia Sophia tour guides website to arrange your guided tour.
Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia Visiting Hours & Working Days 2019
Hagia Sophia visiting hours depending on the tourism season. It’s closing much earlier in the winter (low season) schedule comparing to the summer (high season) schedule.
Summer (High Season) Schedule
Between 15 April – 25 October
09.00 – 19.00
Ticket Office Closed By 18.00
Hagia Sophia is open everyday during the High Season
Winter (Low Season) Schedule
Between 25 October ile 15 April
09.00 – 17.00
Ticket Office Closed By 16.00
Hagia Sophia is closed on Monday during the Low Season
Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee Blog Article By Serhat Engül