Hagia Sophia Mosque (Ayasofya-i Kebîr Câmi-i Şerîfi), which has become the symbol of Istanbul, was used as a church, museum, and mosque in history. We have included all the details about this structure, which has witnessed many historical events.
You can find all the must-see places in Istanbul in our article Things to Do in Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia History
Hagia Sophia is the largest church built by the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul. It is a remarkable feature of the church that it was built three times in the same place. Emperor Constantius had the first church built in 360. It was burned and destroyed as a result of the popular uprising in 404. As of today, no remains of the first church can be seen. Theodosios had the church rebuilt in 415. The second church built was built as a work with a monumental entrance covered with a wooden roof. As a result of the popular uprising, which went down in history as the Nika Revolt, the church was destroyed for the second time in 532.
Hagia Sophia, known today, was built by Emperor Justinian in 537 and was opened to worship with a ceremony. In the temple of Emperor Justinian, Hz. Referring to Solomon, ” O Suleyman, I passed you” is reported by historians. This third church was built; It has two narthexes, an outer and an inner one, an apse, and three naves. During its construction, columns and marbles were brought from the ruins of ancient cities such as Aspendos, Baalbek, Ephesos, and Tarsus. In addition, marbles brought from Marmara island, Afyon, Eğriboz island, and North Africa were used in magnificent architecture. Since it was an imperial church, Hagia Sophia was a place where the coronation ceremonies of the emperors were held during the Roman period.
After the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1453, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. After the conquest, the building was strengthened, and the minarets built by Mimar Sinan contributed to the protection of the building with its supporting feature. In the Ottoman period, pulpit, altars, sermon pulpit, muezzin mahfils, and measures were built inside Hagia Sophia. Suleiman the Magnificent gave bronze oil lamps, which he brought with him on his return from the Budin expedition, to the Hagia Sophia Mosque.
Conversion into a Museum
Hagia Sophia was later turned into a museum in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers of the period. Converted into a museum, Hagia Sophia was opened to visitors on February 1, 1935.
Conversion into a Mosque
It was brought to the judiciary to be a mosque again in 2005, but it was rejected by the Council of State. The case, which was reopened in 2016, was concluded in 2018 and was rejected again. In this process, the morning prayer was read for the first time since it was turned into a museum in 2016. Then, the day of the conquest of Istanbul in May 2020 The time of the conquest was read in Hagia Sophia. After these developments, a case was opened again for Hagia Sophia, which was brought to the agenda to be a mosque again. On July 10, 2020, the Council of Ministers canceled the 1934 decision of the Council of Ministers to turn it from a mosque into a museum. And now Hagia Sophia has been reopened as a mosque.
Where is Hagia Sophia Mosque?
Hagia Sophia Mosque is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul province and in Sultanahmet. To the museum; It is possible to reach by tram, train, ferry, bus, taxi and private vehicles.
How to go?
The museum can be reached by using the Bağcılar Kabataş tram line, which is connected to the Hagia Sophia museum, by using the Sultanahmet and Gülhane stops.
It is possible to reach Sirkeci via Halkalı Sirkeci suburban train line and to the museum from Sirkeci by a tram line.
If you are coming from the Anatolian side, it is possible to reach the tram line by using the Kadıköy Eminönü and Üsküdar Eminönü ferry services.
In addition, it is possible to reach Eminönü by public buses or municipal buses from every direction of Istanbul and to reach the museum from here by tram. Another thing to note for those who will come to visit is that there is no parking space in the Hagia Sophia museum.
Map and Location
You can find the map and transportation alternatives for the museum in the location information section.
Address : Hagia Sophia Square Sultanahmet Fatih / Istanbul – Turkey
Tel: +90 (212) 522 17 50
Tel: +90 (212) 522 09 89
Fax +90 (212) 512 54 74
Places to Visit in the Region
For your trips to Sultanahmet, you can take a look at our article on Sultanahmet Square, where many historical buildings are located, and Sultan Ahmet Mosque, which is located right across Hagia Sophia and is among the must-see places. you can throw.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is no longer needed as it is no longer a museum.
The mosque is open to worship and visit 24 hours a day.
Since it is now a mosque, visits are free for all.
You can share your travels and experiences with us by commenting on our article.