Hagia Sophia Mosque – History & Significance

Hagia Sophia Mosque, which was built as a monastery about 1500 years ago, is one of the oldest buildings in Istanbul. It was used as a museum for the last 86 years. However, it was opened for worship for Muslims by the decision of President Erdogan in 2020. It now acts as both museum for tourists and a mosque for Muslim prayers. Hagia Sophia is located in Sultan Ahmet square in Istanbul and is a popular tourist attraction. Over the years, Hagia Sophia has been a very significant landmark of Istanbul since it is a sacred place for both Christian and Muslim world.

History of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Mosque, which means “Holy Wisdom” has attracted everyone’s attention throughout history. Used as a mosque today, Hagia Sophia is also known as the largest church built in Istanbul. The structure had been built in 537 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was designed by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. Since the structure was largely destroyed in the uprisings, Hagia Sophia was built three times in the same place. It has been used as a church for 916 years before the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed in 1453.

Hagia Sophia, used as a mosque from 1453 to 1934, is one of the symbols of the conquest of Istanbul. In 1934, Turkey’s first president and chief commander Mustafa Kemal Ataturk turned it into a museum. However, President Erdogan converted Hagia Sophia back into a mosque again in 2020. It is now open to the public as half museum and half mosque, and it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul.

Significance of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Mosque has been the political and religious center of Istanbul for 1500 years. It is a sacred place for both Christianity and Islam. For almost a thousand years, it was the largest cathedral for Christendom in the world.

The significance of the mosque comes from the city of Istanbul. Istanbul is a dearly-won city for the Ottoman Empire and it has played a huge role in the spread of Christianity and Islam. Hagia Sophia is still one of the most important landmarks of Istanbul. Every year millions of people from different religions visit this magnificent structure. Hagia Sophia was chosen for the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1985.

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