Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
Imagine a building constructed during the sixth century, displaying thirty million gold tiles throughout the interior, with a wide, flat dome which was considered a nearly impossible task during its construction. The dome is nearly fifty six meters high and thirty one meters wide. The Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) defeats imagination and leaves visitors with the real deal.
The Turkish empire is sometimes described as one of the greatest empires of all times, most likely because of the enormous constructions that became reality and still stand on their foundations in Istanbul. Making use of a professional tour guide during the visit will be beneficial. Since 1935 this building has been a national museum. This is also the third building on the very same site. The first was a church which was built in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. After burning down in the riots a new church was built by emperor Theodosius and once again burnt down during riots in the year 532.
After the Muslims conquered it five hundred years later, it became the grand mosque for the Sultans. The name Hagia Sophia translates in English as Shrine of the Holy of God and thus it holds spiritual significance for many people all across the world.
The interior mosaics are elements of adoration. They portray the Virgin Mary, Jesus, various saints, various emperors and decorations. The doors and some elements such as jars are made of solid marble. The Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) has four minarets, three built out of white limestone and the fourth of red brick.
The museum is open every day of the week except Mondays and entrance fees are twenty five Turkish Lira.