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A Brief Information About Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Entrace Fee

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 historic sight in the world. Used as the major temple of the city by Byzantine Empire (as a Church), and Ottoman Empire (as a Mosque) for hundreds of years.

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
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
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). For more information you may check Hagia Sophia Architecture, Mosaics, Facts article.

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
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
Hagia Sophia Square

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’s Grand Dome

Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee 2018

Admission fee is 40 Turkish Lira for Hagia Sophia. Children under the age of 12 free of charge. You may consider buying Istanbul Museum Pass, especially if you will visit Topkapi Palace and other nearby museums.

Hagia Sophia Is A Must-See Sight In Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Is A Must-See Sight In Istanbul

Hagia Sophia Visiting Hours & Working Days 2018

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


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Serhat Engül

Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee, Ticket Price (Cost), Working Days 2017 & 2018

Hagia Sophia Museum Entrance (Admission) Fee 2018 was last modified: November 26th, 2017 by Serhat Engül

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