Whether A Church or A Mosque – Discover Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul
Are you planning to visit Istanbul? Do you know Hagia Sophia, or so-called ‘eight wonder of the world’ by East Roman Philon, is in Istanbul? Museum is definitely one of the museums that you should add to your to-do list in Istanbul. Looking at its name, Hagia Sophia, also called Ayasofya in Turkish and Santa Sofia in Latin comes from Greek which means ‘Church of the Divine Wisdom’. To whom curious about its history, it was built in 6th century by the order of Emperor Justinianos. Anthemios (Tralles) and Isidoros (Miletus) are the famous architectures of this prominent monument. You may be surprised to hear that, these architectures are said to have 100 architectures working under them, who in turn had 100 workers working with them in building this amazing monument.
Actually, the current Hagia Sophia is the third one built in the same location, with different architectural styles. Previous two Hagia Sophias were built from wood and destroyed by fire and riots.
Although it served as a church for 916 years, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque when Istanbul was conquered by Fatih Sultan Mehmed. Then it continued to serve as a mosque until 1935, when Atatürk and Council of Ministers decided to turn it into a museum. You can visit Hagia Sophia and enjoy Byzantine mosaics, architectural drawings, amazing structural incarnations, such as Mighty Dome (32m in diameter and 55m high), Omphalos (place in which the Byzantine emperors were crowned), Weeping Column, (which is said that if your thumb emerges from the copper-faced hole moist, you will be cured of all your ailments) and etc. If you want to enter the museum, you can buy a museum card at the entrance which will also able you to visit other museums for free. A piece of note for museum fans: You can visit Hagia Sophia in European Night of Museum Week, enjoy the mystic ambience of fascinating
Hagia Sophia Museum under darkness of the night.