Exterior of Hagia Sophia with its massive domes and minarets, blending Byzantine and Islamic architectural styles.

Hagia Sophia

  • Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia, a marvel of architectural grandeur in Istanbul, stands as a testament to the city’s complex history. Initially constructed as a cathedral in 537 AD under Emperor Justinian I, it was the world’s largest building at the time and an engineering marvel of its age. After the Ottoman conquest in 1453, it was converted into a mosque, and since 1935, it has been a museum, showcasing a blend of Christian and Islamic art. Its massive dome, considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture, is particularly notable for its size and the way it seems to float above the nave. The interior is adorned with intricate mosaics and calligraphy, offering insights into religious and artistic shifts over centuries. Hagia Sophia is not only a symbol of religious harmony but also a reflection of Istanbul’s tumultuous history.