Hagia Sophia Mosque
Mosque museum

The first church was built by Constantine I, the first emperor of Byzantium,, who declared Christianity the official religion of the empire. It has been believed that Hagia Sophia was built on the ruins of the Temple of Artemis and burned out during the rebellion that occurred in 404.


At the request of Justinian I, Hagia Sofia was rebuilt in 532 in a larger, more sumptuous, and completely different style than before. Physicist Isidoros of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles are appointed as architects, and according to a myth, Justinian didn’t like the first draft, and Isidoros saw the new and accepted plan in his dream. Instead of producing the construction materials, they used those brought from imperial lands, such as the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, the Temple of the Sun (Heliopolis) in Egypt, the Temple of Baalbek in Lebanon, and others...


It was regarded as the greatest building of all time when it was built, and it has been known that Emperor Justinian said "Solomon! I defeat you" during the opening ceremony. It has 40 windows on the dome, and the light coming inside from its stained glass creates a magnificent atmosphere that shouldn’t be missed. During the Ottoman period, it was a mosque, and during the Republic of Turkey, it was a museum first and a mosque now.

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