Hagia ( Saint ) Sophia

Hagia Sophia is an architectural monument of great in both Byzantine and Ottoman terms. Built as a church, then transformed into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. The first Haghia Sophia was partially burnt during an uprising. It was restored by Theodosius II and opened for worship in 415, but it was burned down during a public uprising in 532. After the revolt, Emperor Justinian was determined to build an unparalleled church and entrusted two architect-engineers from Anatolia, Isidoros and Anthemios, with the task. Building materials were brought in from all the Mediterranean countries. In addition, the columns of a number of Pagan temples in Anatolia, including the Temple of Artemis, were used in the construction. This lasted for five years, and Hagia Sophia was once again open for worship. The structure standing today is the structure, built by Justinian as a church. Throughout its history, Hagia Sophia sustained damages which were repaired and also various additions were made throughout its history as well. Despite the changes, the main structure remains intact. (Hagia-Sophia is closed on Monday, so on that day we will visit the Kariye (Chora) Museum, a former church which is home to the most important surviving Byzantine mosaics and frescoes in the world.)

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