Hagia Sophia (Istanbul)
The Hagia Sophia has a long an rich history and is one of the most famous buildings in Europe. Hagia Sophia means Holy Wisdom in Greek, in Turkish today it is called Ayasofya.
The building is breathtaking both from the outside and the inside. If you ever come to Istanbul, it is highly recommended to see it. It is worthwhile to wait in line for admission.
The History of the Hagia Sophia
- The current building in the third building on this site.
- It was built when Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire).
- From its construction in 537 AD until 1453 it served as an Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
- After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, the building was a mosque until 1931.
- After that it was secularized and opened as a museum in 1935, which it is until today.
Additional high resolution photos of the Hagia Sophia are available on my flickr album.
More about Hagia Sophia
The following Ted-ed video gives a good overview of the fascinating history of the Hagia Sophia.